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Best Hiking in Los Angeles

I’ve heard L.A. is great for hiking—can anyone recommend a couple of good hiking spots? I’ll be staying in West Hollywood but I’d be willing to drive to a great hiking spot. 

7 Answers

top answer by
Melanie from Los Angeles

I'd agree with all of Courtney's suggestions, but point out that Runyon Canyon Park and Griffith Park are the closest on the list (by far) to West Hollywood. Avoid Saturday and Sunday mid-mornings if exercising hordes aren't your thing. 

Also close to West Hollywood is a great one-hour hike, just over the Laurel Canyon Blvd. hill in Studio CityFryman Canyonhugs the edges of Coldwater Canyon, offering a steep climb and sweeping valley views, occasional celebrity sightings, a water-fountain stop by a tree preserve, and a series of downward switchbacks into a fancy residential neighborhood...which includes George Clooney's house. ;)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Runyon Canyon Park (attraction)
  2. Griffith Park (attraction)
  3. Studio City (city)
  4. Fryman Canyon (attraction)
  5. Coldwater Canyon (attraction)
11 thanks

answered by
TJ from Marina Del Rey

There are two hikes in the LA area that I really enjoy:

Both can be considered intermediate hikes, imo.  Be sure to bring at least 16oz of water and maybe nutrition depending on hike length. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mishe Mokwa - Sandstone Peak (attraction)
  2. La Jolla Valley Loop & Backbone Trail (attraction)
10 thanks

answered first by
Courtney from Los Angeles

I have to admit, I'm not a huge hiker, but I do have a few favorites here. A lot of the trails here have some really cool features that you literally can't see anywhere else. See what you think of these:

  • Runyon Canyon Park– the views here are incredible and it’s always full of celebs if that interests you
  • Griffith Park– gorgeous park in the Los Feliz area. There are a bunch of different trails here but my favorite one is the one with the cave that was used in the “Batman” TV series. 
  • Solstice Canyon–this is such a cool hike because it has all these statues from a house that used to be there (part of the house is there, too), and even a waterfall. Of all the hikes I’ve mentioned I actually think this one is the most interesting. 
  • Malibu Creek State Park–beautiful park where they filmed M*A*S*H* (the minute you see the mountains you’ll recognize it). There’s a pretty little lake here, too
  • Joshua Tree –it’s a bit of a drive, but there are some breathtaking trails here to make it worth it. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Runyon Canyon Park (attraction)
  2. Griffith Park (attraction)
  3. Solstice Canyon (attraction)
  4. Malibu Creek State Park (attraction)
  5. Joshua Tree (city)
10 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Trevor from Los Angeles

I wrote about this on my blog (Hike Like A Local: Best Hikes In LA). The post includes a detailed Google Map at the bottom outlining the trails and provides more information.

1)  Griffith Park starting at  The Trails Cafe (a local favorite serving up great coffee and scones). If you're visiting LA and staying in West Hollywood, this will be the closest hike worth taking as you'll get incredible views of the city (lots of good photos opportunities) and you'll get to visit a famous LA landmark -- The Griffith Observatory

2)  Stough Canyon (which is over the hill from West Hollywood in Burbank) is one of LA's best (and most undiscovered) hikes. It's never crowded, the trails go on forever (you reach a higher elevation than any other hike in the direct LA area), and there are incredible views of Downtown, the Valley, and all the way to the ocean on clear days.

3)  Temescal Canyon Park. The Temescal Canyon Loop is a beautiful hike through a valley then up and down a mountain/hill. Whereas most other hikes in the area will have you hiking along a fire road, you'll be hiking actual trails here.

4)  Charmlee Wilderness Park (which is in Malibu) is my favorite hike in Malibu. It's pretty far into Malibu but the drive along the PCH and up into the mountains is reason enough to go. This is more so an amazing walk high above the ocean through some fields and rolling hills vs a hike. The weather in Malibu can be fickle, so hopefully you'll get a sunny day to get to most out of the views. 

5) Paseo Miramar Hiking Trail (which is in Pacific Palisades at the very top of Paseo Miramar -- Google "Paseo Miramar Trailhead") is a hike I recently discovered and it's now one of my favorites. It's a fantastic trail with nice mountain and ocean views. I don't think many people know about it, so it's nice alternative to nearby Temescal Canyon (you'll get more sun on this hike and in my opinion, this trail is a little more interesting). 

I personally avoid  Runyon Canyon Park, although it's an alright hike and the closest to West Hollywood. I've never done  Fryman Canyon or  Coldwater Canyon but I've heard pretty good things about them. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Griffith Park (attraction)
  2. The Trails Cafe (restaurant)
  3. The Griffith Observatory (attraction)
  4. Stough Canyon (attraction)
  5. Temescal Canyon Park (attraction)
  6. Charmlee Wilderness Park (attraction)
  7. Paseo Miramar Hiking Trail (attraction)
  8. Runyon Canyon Park (attraction)
  9. Fryman Canyon (attraction)
  10. Coldwater Canyon (attraction)
6 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

I can't believe no one recommended Beachwood Canyon yet! You have to check this hike out - it takes you straight up to the Hollywood Sign. Yea, the pic below will be your end of hike view. Plus, there are plenty of ghost stories about this area which makes it even more intriguing. (Like the failed actress who committed suicide by jumping from the top of one of the sign's letters and still likes to hang around there...)

To get there from from West Hollywood: go over to Highland Ave, go north and make a right onto Franklin Ave. From Franklin you'll make a left onto N Beachwood Drive and take that through all of its twists and turns until you can't go any further. Boom, you're there!

Happy exploring!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Beachwood Canyon (attraction)
  2. Hollywood Sign (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by
Vicky from Los Angeles

Red Rock Canyon in Topanga offers something a little different if you like colorful sandstone and beautiful views of LA. This site has a great info on getting to the trailhead.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Red Rock Canyon (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Kelly from Santa Monica

Closer to Santa Monica in Pacific Palisades is Los Liones Trailhead it's short and easy with an amazing view of the ocean up the top. Close by is also Temescal Canyon Park lots of uphill hiking there and you work up quite a sweat. I'm usually too busy talking or sweating to notice any celebrities.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Monica (city)
  2. Pacific Palisades (neighborhood)
  3. Los Liones Trailhead (attraction)
  4. Temescal Canyon Park (attraction)
1 thanks

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