Los Angeles might not be the first place you think of when it comes to hiking, but the City of Angels has plenty of wilderness to explore both inside and outside the city limits. If you’re looking to hit the trail, these are some of your best bets.
Runyon Canyon Park
This 160-acre (65-hectare) park attracts fitness-minded locals to its easily accessible trails, just north of Hollywood. The 3-mile (5-kilometer) Runyon Canyon Loop affords views of the Hollywood Sign, Sunset Strip, and even the occasional celebrity.
Griffith Park Trails
One of the largest urban parks in North America, Griffith Park has loads of hiking trails to choose from for hikers of all abilities. Many trails lead to the iconic Hollywood Sign, but other points of interest include the Griffith Observatory, Wisdom Tree, and Bronson Canyon.
Will Rogers State Historic Park
The main road to this California state park lies just off Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades. One of the most popular trails takes hikers on a 2-mile (3-kilometer) loop through the eucalyptus-filled grounds of humorist Will Rogers’ estate to Inspiration Point.
Topanga State Park
For some of the best views of coastal Los Angeles and the Santa Monica Mountains, take the 7-mile (11-kilometer) round-trip hike along Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga State Park. Switchbacks, steep hills, and an elevation gain of some 1,300 feet (396 meters) make it a challenge with a great reward at the end.
Serious peak baggers won’t want to miss a hike to the top of Mount Baldy, the highest point in Los Angeles County at 10,064 feet (3,068 meters). Situated in the San Gabriel Mountains about an hour’s drive east of LA, this 10-mile ridge-line loop offers stellar views most of the way.
Malibu Creek State Park
Hikers will find 15 miles (24 kilometers) of streamside trails winding through oak and sycamore woodlands within the bounds of Malibu Creek State Park. Easy hikes keep to the canyon floor, while those looking for a challenge can climb the Castro Crest ridge.