Wait, Los Angeles has hikes? That’s right! LA might be famous (or notorious) for its celebrities, beaches and traffic, but little known fact: LA also has hundreds of fantastic hiking opportunities! Whether you’re a local or just in LA on vacay, we suggest that you take a hike (no pun intended).
Not convinced? There are tons of benefits to hiking: from the extra dose of vitamin D to the 430+ calories burned per hour, hiking is a fantastic alternative to cardio day at the gym! Also, you’ll have thousands of chances to snap that perfect Insta (#nature #greatoutdoors).
So what are you waiting for for? Check out some of our favorites:
Best place to see the Hollywood sign? From behind! A hike to the Hollywood sign is a rite of passage for many Los Angelenos and this trail gives hikers an alternative view of the famous landmark. Any Batman enthusiasts? Yes? Another awesome part about this hike is you can take a quick detour to the Bronson Canyon Caves, where scenes of the 60’s TV series “Batman” were filmed.
Fear not, hiking newbies! Malibu Creek State Park has plenty of opportunities for hikers of any level. There are tons of easily accessible swimming holes and creeks where you can go rock climbing and jumping. Pro tip: take note of the water level before taking a plunge from one of the higher rocks. If you’re looking for a challenge, the park has trails that go up into more strenuous terrain. Be sure to keep a look out for signs marking the site where the 70’s TV series, M*A*S*H*, was filmed!
Looking for an all-day escape from the city? The Bridge to Nowhere trail, on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, stretches 10 miles out and back – so leave plenty of time for this excursion! Even though this hike is mostly flat, the challenge is in the distance. The milage definitely pays off because you’ll hit plenty of seasonal swimming holes, perfect for cooling off on a hot LA day. You’ll also come across the abandoned Bridge to Nowhere, which has become a popular hangout for thrill-seeking bungee jumpers on weekends.
There are plenty of Griffith Park trails to choose from, but our personal favorite is the Griffith Observatory hike. LA residents know that this Griffith Park hike is awesome because you get to skip the crazy parking up near the observatory. Not only will you beat the crowds, but you’ll burn a couple hundred calories along the way! Bonus: the ridgeline trail up to the observatory has exclusive views of the Hollywood mansions as well as a fantastic shot of the Downtown LA skyline.
No need to travel to the moon when you can get an other-worldy experience right in your own backyard! These odd yet beautiful sandstone formations have been used as backdrops in many movies and TV shows, including the most recent Star Trek. Numerous trails are scattered throughout the multi-colored rock formations and provide a fantastic opportunity to get – temporarily – lost in nature.
This 3.4 mile loop in the Santa Monica Mountains is a perfect for slipping on our BTS Pro headphones and going for a picturesque, shaded trail run. The Solstice Canyon loop is very well maintained and a favorite escape for residents on the west side of Los Angeles. If you’re an LA history buff, this trail is made for you: it crosses paths with the oldest standing stone structure and oldest living tree in Malibu!
One of our favorite trails is right in the heart of LA, where you would least expect it! Nestled among the oil rigs right off of La Cienega Blvd. is one of the largest open spaces in the city, which is, coincidentally, a state park. This loop includes fantastic views of the city (on less smoggy days, of course), a small Japanese Garden, and a man-made lake. Fun fact: this park was the site of the very first Olympic Village during the 1932 Olympics. So, channel your inner Olympian and hit the trail like you’re gonna win that gold!
8. Murphy Ranch
LA history junkies and Instagram celebrities alike love Murphy Ranch’s graffiti-covered buildings scattered along this trail. Some background: Murphy Ranch is a former Nazi-sympathizer encampment from the 1930’s. Luckily, that portion of the property’s history is in the past! It’s now open to visitors to explore the ruins. Unfortunately, there are rumors that these ruins are slowly being demolished, so be sure to get out there and see it for yourself before they’re gone. Looking for a good workout? The concrete steps up to the encampment have a crazy steep incline. A perfect opportunity to work on those glutes!
Speaking of a great butt workout… Check out Temescal Canyon in Malibu for a quick ascent that’ll really get your legs burning. You’ll be feeling it the next day, and many days after. Luckily, most of Temescal’s trail is shaded, so you’ll be flying up that hill. Hikers who complete the challenge are rewarded with a fantastic view of the Malibu beaches and, during the right time of year, a cascading waterfall.
If you want to see the mother of all waterfalls – at least for LA standards – try out Eaton Canyon Trail near Pasadena. This hike follows a seasonal stream through a botanical nature preserve up to a 40-foot waterfall at the top of the canyon. Prepare to get your feet wet! There are plenty of creek crossings along the trail and you will have to brush up on those boulder-hopping skills if you want to successfully complete the hike.
The Coral Canyon Loop resides in the last undeveloped piece of land in Malibu. This hike provides an awesome opportunity to take in the beautiful Malibu coastline while exploring the protected land. This is another great opportunity for some scenic trail running while enjoying the salty ocean breeze. Some would argue that the best part about this hike is its proximity to Malibu Seafood – the perfect post-hike snack. You’ve earned it!
Turns out LA is full of awesome hiking opportunities, contrary to popular belief. Get out there and explore! Don’t forget to tag us in your pics or tweet at us @66Audio if you try out any of these hikes or have more to add to the list. Have fun and happy hiking!