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
Hogback Trail to Mount Hollywood
Hiking the Hogback Trail to Mount Hollywood is a wonderful out-and-back adventure in Los Angeles that climbs up to the summit of the mountain for beautiful views. Along the trail, you will traverse the hilly landscape of Griffith Park, passing by the Vista Viewpoint and Glendale Peak on the way to the scenic lookout atop Mount Hollywood. This is a great no-fuss hike that features a good balance between difficulty and lovely views.
Caballero Canyon and Reseda Loop Trail
Hiking the Caballero Canyon and Reseda Loop Trail is an awesome adventure that showcases the natural beauty of Southern California’s canyon landscapes. While out on the trail, you will follow alongside Caballero Creek and make your way through the canyon, before looping around to make a return on Reseda Boulevard. Make sure to leave your canine companions at home, as dogs are not permitted along this trail.
Tiger Tail Trail
The Tiger Tail Trail is a fairly short and relatively challenging adventure in Los Angeles that offers scenic views. While out on the trail, you will traverse an undulating ridgeline while taking in views of surrounding canyons, big houses, and the sprawling city below. Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear for this adventure, as the rocky and rugged terrain can be difficult to traverse at times.
Sullivan Canyon Trail
The Sullivan Canyon Trail is a wonderfully scenic hiking route that offers a beautiful sightline across L.A. and a peaceful canyon setting. While out hiking the trail, you will traverse a fire road that cuts through Sullivan Canyon and is lined with a variety of beautiful trees. This is an excellent route if you are looking for a bit of a longer hike near the city.
Caballero Canyon Trail
The Caballero Canyon Trail is a great moderate-length adventure near L.A. that features a rugged canyon landscape and scenic views. While out hiking the trail, you will make your way through the canyon, gaining elevation for sweeping views of Topanga State Park. Some sections of this route are a bit overgrown, so bring a GPS in order to stay on the correct path.
Mineral Wells Hike
The Mineral Wells Hike is a fun adventure in Los Angeles that traverses the hilly terrain of Griffith Park. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill and loop around the undulating landscape, taking in the sprawling views of L.A. that extend in every direction. This hiking route is fairly exposed to the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water, especially on warmer days.
Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook Hike
The Nancy Hoover Pohl Overlook Hike is a short adventure in Los Angeles that is big on scenic views. While out walking the trail, you will loop around the hilly landscape, taking in the amazing views overlooking the city before ascending back into the parking area. This trail can be very busy during peak hours, so plan your adventure accordingly.
Bee Rock Loop Hike
The Bee Rock Loop Hike is a quick outdoor adventure that will see you loop around Griffith Park. While out on the trail, you will pass by the enclosures of the Old Griffith Park Zoo, before climbing up tot he top of Bee Rock for sweeping landscape views. Griffith Park is a popular hiking area, so make sure to arrive early in order to secure parking.
Sullivan Canyon Loop Hike
Hiking the Sullivan Canyon Loop is a moderate-length adventure in Los Angeles that traverses a tricky bit of canyon terrain. While out on the trail, you will hike along a ridgeline while enjoying views overlooking Topanga State Park, before descending into and climbing out of Sullivan Canyon. Make sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated and sunscreen to protect from overexposure.
Rivas Canyon Trail
Hiking the Rivas Canyon Trail is a wonderful experience near Los Angeles that will take you through a canyon for sweeping SoCal views. While out on the trail, you will traverse the hilly landscape of Will Rogers State Historic Park and take in the amazing views that extend out to blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to leave your dogs at home, as they are unfortunately not permitted on the trail.
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