Hikes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Hikes
When it comes to Los Angeles hikes, locals and tourists alike will find a good variety of adventures that align with their age, interests, and skill level. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned outdoor enthusiast one thing is for sure, the majority of Los Angeles hikes are easily accessible from the city and include some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and cityscape!
Surprisingly, Los Angeles is a hiking oasis—boasting the perfect ratio of inner-city trails to backcountry adventures. While the City of Angels is usually not considered an adventure traveler’s haven, it is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts in search of the solitude of the unspoiled wilderness and the excitement of an urban setting. LA is a wonderland, and Los Angeles hikes form the perfect contrast to the quintessential tourist attractions, offering a little something for everyone looking to visit the West Coast.
Known as the entertainment capital of the world and a cultural mecca, Los Angeles is one of the most famous metropolitan areas that attracts millions of visitors every year. Because most head to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, the Sunset Strip, or the Hollywood Sign, hiking usually falls short on the to-do list, but we aim to change this! Los Angeles hikes are unquestionably the best way to discover the wild character and beauty of La La Land and the Greater Los Angeles Area, all you need to do is tie up your laces and hit the trail!
Explore a landscape characterized by miles of pristine beaches and rugged headlands, the Transverse Ranges, cultivated farmland, chaparral regions, inland valleys, timbered foothills, and coastal plains. The topographic range of the area engenders a diverse network of trails that tailor to adventurers of all skill levels and ages. Many Los Angeles hikes are easy to follow and suitable for kids, with little elevation gain or technical terrain. If, however, you are seeking a more arduous and sweat-inducing trek, you will indeed find a trail to test you!
Occupied by a diversity of flora and fauna, famous landmarks, nature parks, gorgeous beaches, tumbling waterfalls, and impressive skyscrapers, Los Angeles is a sight to behold. But, no matter your motivation for visiting the star-studded city, we encourage you to get out into the wilderness and indulge in the beauty of this natural sanctuary on one of many amazing Los Angeles hikes. You can treat yourself to a refreshing beverage after a tiring trek with a bustling bar and restaurant scene.
15 Fantastic Hikes in the Los Angeles Area
Los Angeles is chock full of wonderment and incredible scenery. Enjoy hikes into the rolling foothills, urban greenspaces, along the rugged coastline, or through oak woodlands. Abundant with various wildlife, vegetation, and tremendous beauty, hiking in Los Angeles is tough to beat. Many of these hikes are perfect for families or those looking for easy, low-key trails. However, there is a selection of arduous adventures to satisfy the intrepid, thrill-seeking bunch!
- Top of the World via Canyon Acres Trail - Sweeping maritime views await you on the Top of the World via Canyon Acres Trail. This remarkable adventure near Laguna Beach demands quite the climb, but the spectacular views from the “top of the world” are well worth the sweat.
- Lake Perris Area Trail - The Lake Perris Area Trail is a moderate day-hike to the southwest of Los Angeles that climbs up to the summit of Terri Peak, boasting spellbinding views of the lake below. Note this is a popular recreational area, so expect some company!
- Paradise Falls Hike - Discover a beautiful waterfall hidden in the Wildwood Regional Park on the Paradise Falls Hike. This family-friendly adventure in Southern California yields a diversity of flora and wonderful scenery, affording any explorer a great time.
- South Coast Botanic Garden - The South Coast Botanic Garden is a beautiful space adorned with pleasant walking trails that the whole family can enjoy. Wander through an enchanting garden abundant with an array of plant life and learn all about horticulture and wildlife. This destination is worth adding to your LA itinerary.
- Runyon Canyon Trail - Explore the rugged landscape that bounds the bustling city on the Runyon Canyon Trail. This scenic expedition is ideal for intermediate hikers and families with older children as it traverses some undulating terrain. Those who make it to the trail’s end will be rewarded for their effort with breathtaking cityscape views.
- Point Dume Cove Trail - Located in gorgeous Malibu, the Point Dume Cove Trail traces the Pacific Coastline through a nature preserve. Marvel at the sweeping ocean views from the rugged headlands, then plunge to the soft sandy beaches and enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
- Thousand Steps Beach Walk - The Thousand Steps Beach Walk is a fun family adventure near Laguna Beach. Head to the Pacific Coast and explore the uncrowded beach, complete with a fascinating sea cave. Make sure to check the tides; this hike is only accessible during low tide!
- Lake Skinner Loop Trail - The Lake Skinner Loop Trail is an easy-going adventure southeast of Los Angeles. Suitable for the whole family, this scenic route wanders along the waterline of the shimmering lake. As you walk, you will likely be in the company of fellow-outdoor enthusiasts—those hiking and those in the water.
- Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail - Those seeking a laid-back outdoor experience will enjoy exploring the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Adorned with several walking trails, this beautiful space boasts the opportunity to spot various wildlife and bird species as you stroll through wetlands.
- Inspiration Point Trail - The Inspiration Point Trail travels through the Will Rogers State Historic Park into the Santa Monica Mountains, offering breathtaking views of LA’s spectacular cityscape. This is a popular hike, and the trail can get congested on weekends, so head out in the early morning to beat the crowds.
- Escondido Falls Trail - Discover a mesmerizing, three-tiered waterfall in Malibu on the Escondido Falls Trail. This beautiful, laid-back adventure through the Escondido Canyon is suitable for the whole family—enjoy!
- Sycamore Canyon Trail - Immerse yourself in the wilderness surrounded by various flora and fauna on the Sycamore Canyon Trail. Explore the timbered foothills that border the city and enjoy the wild character of the arid landscape. Note dogs are not permitted on this route.
- Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area Hike - The Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area Hike is a pleasant trail that meanders through a swathe of wilderness occupied by waterfalls and serene gardens—offering spellbinding vistas of LA’s famed cityscape along the way.
- Carbon Canyon Nature Trail - Meander aimlessly through an enchanting redwood grove on the Carbon Canyon Nature Trail. This beautiful footpath travels along the banks of Carbon Canyon Creek, boasting a relaxing ambiance. Suitable for the whole family, this LA adventure is worth adding to the to-do list.
- Franklin Canyon Site Trail - Nestled amongst the mountains, the Franklin Canyon Site Trail boasts the perfect opportunity to spot wildlife, waterfowl, and an array of bird species. Wander along the banks of a scenic reservoir, through an area of wetlands, and by a charming pond—just don’t forget to bring the bug spray!
When is the Best Time to Visit Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is a year-round hiking destination. The sunny arid climate engenders ideal conditions for outdoor exploration, no matter the season. However, La La Land is notorious for extremely hot weather in July-October. In addition, the dry climate is predisposed to wildfires—so some regions and hiking networks are subject to seasonal closure. We enjoy hiking in the spring and late autumn when it is not uncomfortably warm and wildflower displays adorn the landscape.
Other Outdoor Activities in the Los Angeles Area
San Francisco is an outdoor playground, and in addition to hiking, you’ll find plenty of other fun outdoor activities. While the tourist attractions, sightseeing, and celebrity spotting tours are abundant, there is also remarkable biking, camping, sea kayaking, surfing, sailing, swimming, and wildlife watching opportunities. This beautifully diverse region has an extensive range of places to explore, and you will surely find an adventure to suit your preferences.
Frequently-Asked-Questions About Los Angeles
What is Los Angeles known for?
Los Angeles is famously known as the world's entertainment capital—with landmarks including the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Paramount Pictures Studios.
Is it safe to visit Los Angeles?
Yes, Los Angeles is a safe tourist destination.
Can you hike to the Hollywood Sign?
Yes, you can hike up to the sign via the Hollywood Sign via Canyon Drive.
Is the San Francisco Area good for hiking?
Los Angeles’ year-round Mediterranean climate, dramatic coastline, and hilly terrain make for a hiking wonderland.
Awesome Adventure Tours near Los Angeles
While we have yet to curate a tour specifically tailored to the City of Angels, we have an extensive repertoire of adventure tours in California that we encourage you to check out! The Point Reyes hiking tour and California and Hawaii multisport self-drive tour are unforgettable vacations!
Find Other Amazing Hiking Regions in California
- Death Valley
- Inyo National Forest
- Joshua Tree National Park
- North Bay
- Yosemite National Park
- Stanislaus National Forest
- Sierra National Forest
- Redwoods National and State Parks
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Point Reyes National Seashore
- Los Padres National Forest
- Angeles National Forest
- San Francisco
- Lake Tahoe
- Sequoia and Kings National Parks
Best Hikes in Los Angeles
Naples Canals Loop
The Naples Canals Loop is a similar adventure to the one found nearby in Venice, where you can stroll alongside several interconnected waterways. While out walking this route, you will weave between residential buildings that line the waterside and take in the beauty of this quiet community in Southern California. This relaxing walk is best suited for the evening, when you can enjoy a nice sunset by the water’s edge.
El Dorado Park Nature Trail
The El Dorado Park Nature Trail is a lovely adventure in Long Beach that winds through a beautifully scenic park. While out on the trail, you will follow along a meandering path that passes through the southern portion of the park, skirting around the edge of several ponds and lightly wooded recreation spaces. This is an excellent route that is suitable for all ages and skill levels, including the elderly, people with wheelchairs, and younger children.
Leo Carrillo Beach Trail
Hiking the Leo Carrillo Beach Trail is a wonderful experience in Southern California that will see you become acquainted with the natural beauty of Malibu. While out on the trail, you will stroll along the edge of the ocean and gaze out across its deep blue expanse, before making a return along the same route. Don’t forget to pack a towel and swimsuit to spend some time relaxing at the beach after you wrap up your walk!
Silverado Canyon Motorway Trail
The Silverado Canyon Motorway Trail is a steep hiking route southeast of Los Angeles that climbs uphill through some rugged terrain. While out on the trail, you will follow a track that winds uphill through a series of switchbacks to enjoy some beautiful views from atop Bedford Peak. Make sure to purchase and display an adventure pass in your vehicle prior to setting out on your hike.
Old Zoo Trail
The Old Zoo Trail is a fun hiking route in L.A. that will take you around Griffith Park to experience its different highlights. While out on the trail, you will follow a wide loop that travels around the park, before cutting through what was once the Griffith Park Zoo that closed in 1966. Be sure to arrive early or during off-peak hours for this hike, as the trail can become quite busy and congested.
Santa Susana Pass Hike
The Santa Susana Pass Hike is a quick and scenic adventure in Southern California that features a small amount of rugged terrain and beautiful views. While out hiking the trail, you will loop around the hilly terrain of Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, which featured the main throughway in the region during the late 1800s. Make sure to bring plenty of water, particularly during the warmer months of the year, as this trail is fairly exposed to the sun.
Amir’s Garden Trail
Hiking the Amir’s Garden Trail is a lovely experience in Los Angeles that will take you through a peaceful ornamental garden. While out on the trail, you will climb slightly uphill through a nearly 5 acre oasis that was constructed over the course of several decades by Amir Dialameh. Make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes in order to better traverse the trail.
Hollyridge Trail to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint
The Hollyridge Trail to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint is a fun outdoor excursion in Los Angeles that offers a moderate challenge and stunning views. While out on the hike, you will climb uphill along the Brush Canyon Trail, before heading west to a vista that has an unimpeded view of the iconic Hollywood Sign. This hiking trail features no protection from the sun, so make sure to bring plenty of water and protective clothing/sunscreen.
Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round to Beacon Hill Hike
The Griffith Park Merry Go-Round to Beacon Hill Hike is a quick and fairly easy adventure in Los Angeles that produces big views for little effort. While out hiking the trail, you will steadily gain elevation as you work your way up to the top of Beacon Hill, where you will enjoy sweeping views of the city. Griffith Park is a popular area with both tourists and locals alike, so be sure to arrive early to secure parking.
Getty View Trail
The Getty View Trail is a wonderfully scenic hiking route near Los Angeles that features some lovely views of the surrounding Southern California landscape. While out on the trail, you will gain a small amount of elevation as you work your way into the hills for sweeping views of the undulating terrain. This hiking route features little protection from the sun, so make sure that you bring plenty of water and take the weather into consideration when hiking with dogs and children.
Porter Ranch Palisades Trail
The Porter Ranch Palisades Trail is a fun hiking route near Los Angeles that will take you through a rugged stretch of parkland. While out on the trail, you will make your way through the hilly expanse of Wilbur Tampa Park, taking in the views that stretch out across the hills to the surrounding city. Hikers should take note that there are no parking spaces at the trailhead, so you will need to find parking nearby and walk over to the starting point.
Vanalden Cave Trail
The Vanalden Cave Trail is a great Family-friendly adventure in Los Angeles that will take you to a sandstone rock formation that can be explored. While out on the trail, you will follow along Mulholland Drive, before breaking off onto the footpath for a rugged walk up to the cave. Hikers should take note that the final portion of the hike leading up to the cave is not marked, so be sure to bring a GPS or trail map for navigation.
Inspiration Loop Trail
The Inspiration Point Loop Trail is a spectacular adventure in Los Angeles that offers scenic views of both the ocean and the city. While out on the trail, you will traverse the undulating terrain of Will Rogers State Historic Park, looping around to several vantage points overlooking the surrounding landscape. While this is a great hiking route for the entire family, you will need to leave your canine companions at home, as dogs are not permitted on the trail.
Fern Canyon Trail
The Fern Canyon Trail is an excellent hiking route in Griffith Park, Los Angeles that offers amazing views across the city. While out on the trail, you will traverse wide, well-maintained paths that climb uphill to a series of scenic viewpoints. There is little shade along this route, so make sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection; there is also a water stop between the 5 Points viewpoint and Vista Viewpoint.
Port Hueneme Beach Trail
The Port Hueneme Beach Trail is a lovely seaside adventure in Southern California that offers some beautiful views across the water. While out on the trail, you will follow a paved path through Port Hueneme Beach Park, before looping around and traversing the beach on the return. While this is a great family-friendly adventure, you will need to leave your dogs at home.
Stocker Corridor Trail
The Stocker Corridor Trail is a fantastic day-hike in Los Angeles that features lovely Southern California views. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way through a narrow portion of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, enjoying views of the city and surrounding mountains in the process. Hikers should take note that there is a fee to hike this trail on weekends and holidays, so plan your excursion accordingly.
Huntington Library and Gardens Trail
Walking the Huntington Library and Gardens Trail is a great outdoor experience in Los Angeles that is suitable for all ages and skill levels. While out on the trail, you will meander through an interconnected network of walking paths and explore a well-manicured garden filled with a variety of plants. Those looking to explore the gardens should take note that there is a fee of $25 during the week and $29 on the weekends to access the area.
Vasquez Rocks Trail
The Vasquez Rocks Trail is a beautifully scenic hike outside of Los Angeles that traverses an area characterized by intriguing eroded rock formations. While out on the trail, you will follow a short loop around the rocks and will have great sightlines across the surrounding Southern California landscape. Hikers should take note that this route is best utilized on weekdays when foot traffic is at its lowest volume.
Griffith Observatory and Cahuenga Peak Loop
Hiking the Griffith Observatory and Cahuenga Peak Loop is a fantastic adventure in Los Angeles that climbs uphill into the mountains for views of the city. While out on the trail, you will traverse several summits and experience iconic views from atop the Hollywood sign. If you plan on attempting this hike during warmer months of the year, be sure to bring plenty of water, wear appropriate clothing, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Hogback Loop Trail
The Hogback Loop Trail is a rugged hiking route in Los Angeles that loops around the hilly landscape of Griffith Park for incredible views of the city. While out on the trail, you will make your way past several scenic viewpoints and up into the mountains, where you can appreciate the contrast between the natural beauty of Southern California and the manmade features of the city from atop several mountain peaks. Hikers should take note that some stretches of this trail are a bit rugged and will require some scrambling.
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