Around Town: Best Hiking Spots in LA

Hollywood Sign While Angelenos known for driving just about everywhere and anywhere (just watch “The Californians”), hiking does top the list of LA pastimes. People hike alone, with their dogs and even on first time dates! Hiking is so popular that it’s a frequent joke on @overheardLA. Our amazing weather, easy access to nature and fresh produce year-round, really drives a culture that’s concerned about wellness.  So, if you’re visiting or new to the city or just want some thoughts on the subject, here are some of the best places to hike.

Runyon Canyon: You’ve more than likely seen Runyon Canyon on a Bravo reality show. This 3-mile hike is the perfect place to see and be seen in your trendiest Bandier leggings. The views of LA at Cloud’s rest, the potential for celeb sighting and the fact that you can take your dog off-leash make this one of the most popular spots for hiking. The hike can be done by novices and there’s a ton to take it.  The only caveat is the parking and crowds.

Griffith Park Trails: Griffith Park offers a few trails so I’ll highlight a couple of hot spots. The first, Bronson Canyon, is short (less than a mile) but popular for superhero buffs, movie historians and adventure lovers. It’s been featured in many movies because it’s desolate looking and definitely doesn’t resemble the palm-tree filled LA that people are used to.  The best part is the cave which is a 50-foot long tunnel that is leftover from an old quarry. Remember the Batcave from the original series? This is the entrance!

The second, Wonderview Trail, makes a great place to take visitors to see the Hollywood sign up close and personal. It’s a 3-mile hike and one of the shortest options to get you to the sign. There is no parking nearby so prepare to walk to the entrance but the walk will take you through a beautiful, historic part of Los Angeles. This trail climbs a solid elevation over a short distance so it’s a solid workout that won’t take up your full day. And you get a picture with the sign!

Temescal Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains: Temescal Canyon Loop offers a great workout complete with ocean and canyon views. It’s easy to get to as it’s just off of Sunset in the Pacific Palisades. The main hike is 2.6 miles with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. However, you can extend the trail to four miles or more given lots of twists and turns. This is a great spot for westsiders and people who want a variety of views. You can see the ocean, there’s a waterfall and you get a densely wooded canyon. It’s not dog-friendly however which can be a detterent.

Malibu Creek State Park: A bit out of the way but this park has it all: rock climbing, lakes and rivers, twisted California geology, ranching. It’s been featured in several films from The Tarzan Series to The Planet of the Apes and more. In addition, much of the land was donated by both Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan. It’s gorgeous and has a ton to offer whether you want to take a flat walk along the canyon floor or climb the ridge of the Castro Crest.

Nora Sarrawi, Managing Director LA