Coolest Hikes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles isn’t known for being a hiking town—its beaches tend to steal the spotlight—but there are actually hundreds of miles of hiking trails ripe for exploration in the city’s foothills. These five offer a sampler of natural assets, from lush canyons to soothing water features to eye-popping views of the ocean and urban grid.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Think of it as nature’s StairMaster: the set of steps running to the top of this 500-foot peak above Culver City is so steep you’ll feel like you’re mounting a pyramid. The stunning 360 views at the top from the South Bay to downtown, plus the heavenly ocean breezes, make the effort worth it.
Mount Hollywood Trail (Griffith Park)
Start at the Griffith Observatory, get some shade under the pine trees in the Berlin Forest, take a water break at the Dante’s Rest secret garden, and finally arrive at the summit of Mount Hollywood, the highest peak in Griffith Park, with superb views of the Hollywood Sign and L.A. basin.
As you snake up the canyon from Hollywood to Mulholland Drive, you’re bound to pass Drew Barrymore or Sheryl Crow or some other celebrity mid-workout. But if you can peel your eyes away from the beautiful people (and scores of cute dogs), the views of the L.A. basin are pretty stellar, too.
Temescal Canyon Loop Trail
The Santa Monica Mountains meet the ocean at this trail in lush Temescal Gateway Park. Hike through an oak- and sycamore-shaded canyon—complete with footbridges over a gurgling creek and a seasonal waterfall—to get to the jaw-dropping ocean views from the ridge at the trail’s peak.
Eaton Canyon Falls Trail
Leave the city behind completely at this San Gabriel Mountains trail. Wend your way through seasonal wildflowers and thickets of chaparral, and then zigzag back and forth across the rugged creek on your way to the prize: a roaring 40-foot waterfall. Cool off with a dip in the pool at its base.