Discover the breathtaking natural beauty and diverse landscapes of Los Angeles through its best hiking trails. From towering peaks to serene canyons, the City of Angels offers a plethora of outdoor adventures for hikers of all skill levels. Lace up your boots and embark on unforgettable journeys that will take you through scenic vistas, hidden waterfalls, and lush forests. Whether you’re seeking a challenging trek or a leisurely stroll, Los Angeles has something for everyone. Join us as we explore the top hiking trails in the city, each with its unique charm and captivating allure. Get ready to immerse yourself in the stunning wilderness that lies just beyond the bustling urban environment.
Trail Length: 10.4 Miles | Difficulty Level: Strenuous | Elevation Gain: 3,900 Feet | Trailhead: Mount Baldy Visitor Center
Mount Baldy, also known as San Antonio, is a hiker’s paradise nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains. Rising majestically at 10,064 feet, this iconic peak offers a challenging and rewarding trek for outdoor enthusiasts. With panoramic views, rugged terrains, and a sense of awe-inspiring accomplishment, Mount Baldy beckons adventurers to conquer its heights and immerse themselves in nature’s grandeur.
Reasons to Hike Mount Baldy:
- Breathtaking Scenery: Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring vistas of sweeping mountain ranges, lush forests, and panoramic views that stretch for miles.
- Challenging Adventure: Conquer the strenuous trail and push your limits as you navigate steep inclines, rocky terrain, and elevation gains, making it a thrilling and rewarding adventure.
- Summit Achievement: Reach the summit of Mount Baldy and relish in the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering one of the tallest peaks in Southern California.
- Natural Beauty: Encounter stunning alpine landscapes, serene lakes, and cascading waterfalls that dot the trail, providing picturesque spots for rest and rejuvenation.
- Wildlife Encounters: Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including bighorn sheep, birds of prey, and other fascinating creatures that call the mountain home, adding to the allure of the hike.
Bridge to Nowhere
Trail Length: 10 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 900 Feet | Trailhead: East Fork Road Parking Lot
The Bridge to Nowhere, located in the scenic San Gabriel Mountains, promises a unique and intriguing hiking experience. As you venture along this 10-mile trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in nature’s wonders, leading you to a striking bridge that spans a gorge. Abandoned and enigmatic, this bridge offers an unexpected encounter with history, making it a must-visit destination for adventurers seeking a thrilling and memorable hike.
Reasons to Hike Bridge to Nowhere:
- Mysterious Abandoned Bridge: Encounter the captivating sight of an abandoned bridge spanning a picturesque gorge, creating a sense of wonder and intrigue.
- Scenic San Gabriel Mountains: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains, with rugged landscapes, lush vegetation, and stunning vistas at every turn.
- Adventure and Exploration: Embark on a 10-mile journey that takes you through diverse terrains, river crossings, and rocky sections, providing an exciting and adventurous hiking experience.
- Swimming Holes and Waterfalls: Discover refreshing swimming holes and cascading waterfalls along the trail, offering opportunities to cool off and relax amidst nature’s splendor.
- Historical Significance: Learn about the bridge’s intriguing history, including its construction, subsequent abandonment, and the stories surrounding this architectural marvel nestled in the wilderness.
Trail Length: 6.25 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 1,075 Feet | Trailhead: Sandstone Peak Trailhead
Sandstone Peak, nestled in the magnificent Santa Monica Mountains, offers an enchanting hiking experience like no other. As you traverse the 6.25-mile trail, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty of this coastal range. Reach the summit, standing at an elevation of 3,111 feet, and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making Sandstone Peak a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Reasons to Hike Sandstone Peak:
- Spectacular Panoramic Views: Reach the summit of Sandstone Peak and be treated to awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains, Pacific Ocean, and surrounding landscapes.
- Varied Scenic Landscapes: Encounter diverse landscapes along the 6.25-mile trail, including lush forests, rocky outcrops, and stunning coastal views, providing a feast for the eyes.
- Iconic Rock Formations: Marvel at unique rock formations, such as the iconic “Balanced Rock,” that dot the trail and add a touch of intrigue and wonder to your hike.
- Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including birds, deer, and other fascinating creatures that call the Santa Monica Mountains home, offering a chance for wildlife encounters.
- Accessible and Well-Maintained Trail: Enjoy a well-marked and well-maintained trail that caters to hikers of various skill levels, making Sandstone Peak a great option for both beginners and seasoned adventurers.
Runyon Canyon Park
Trail Length: 2.65 Miles | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: 605 Feet | Trailhead: Fuller Avenue Entrance
Runyon Canyon Park, nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, offers an urban hiking experience like no other. This popular trail meanders through the scenic hills of Hollywood, providing stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding landscape. With its accessible trails and diverse wildlife, Runyon Canyon Park has become a beloved destination for fitness enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a refreshing escape amidst the bustling city life.
Reasons to Hike Runyon Canyon Park:
- Stunning City Views: Enjoy panoramic views of the Los Angeles city skyline, offering a unique perspective and photo opportunities.
- Proximity to Hollywood Sign: Catch glimpses of the iconic Hollywood Sign as you hike through the park, creating a memorable and quintessential LA experience.
- Varied Trail Options: Explore a variety of trails with different lengths and difficulty levels, catering to hikers of all skill levels and providing options for customized hikes.
- Dog-Friendly Atmosphere: Bring your furry friend along for the adventure, as Runyon Canyon Park is known for its dog-friendly trails and wide-open spaces.
- Potential Celebrity Sightings: Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities and local influencers, as Runyon Canyon Park is a popular hiking spot among the rich and famous.
Trail Length: 3.8 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 400 Feet | Trailhead: Winding Way Trailhead
Escondido Falls, located in the stunning coastal city of Malibu, offers a captivating hiking experience that combines scenic beauty and a majestic waterfall. This picturesque trail spans approximately 4 miles roundtrip and leads hikers through a peaceful canyon, lush landscapes, and culminates in the breathtaking sight of Escondido Falls. With its tranquil ambiance and enchanting cascades, Escondido Falls is a hidden gem that promises a memorable adventure amidst Malibu’s natural splendor.
Reasons to Hike Escondido Falls:
- Magnificent Waterfall: Witness the stunning Escondido Falls, a multi-tiered waterfall that cascades down a rocky cliff, providing a mesmerizing and tranquil sight.
- Scenic Canyon Views: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Malibu landscape as you hike through a serene canyon adorned with lush vegetation and picturesque vistas.
- Peaceful Atmosphere: Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and find solace in the peaceful ambiance of Escondido Falls, offering a serene retreat amidst nature.
- Nature Photography: Capture breathtaking moments with your camera as you encounter picturesque landscapes, lush greenery, and the majestic waterfall.
- Family-Friendly Hike: Enjoy a family-friendly adventure with moderate difficulty, making Escondido Falls accessible to hikers of various ages and skill levels.
Griffith Observatory via West Observatory Trail
Trail Length: 2.9 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 810 Feet | Trailhead: Fern Dell Drive Trailhead
The Griffith Observatory via West Observatory Trail presents a delightful hiking opportunity that combines nature, culture, and stunning views of Los Angeles. This popular trail leads visitors through Griffith Park, a sprawling urban park, to the iconic Griffith Observatory. As you ascend the trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the city skyline, while the observatory offers a chance to explore astronomy and immerse yourself in the rich scientific heritage of Griffith Park.
Reasons to Hike Griffith Observatory via West Observatory Trail:
- Breathtaking City Views: Enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the Los Angeles cityscape as you hike up the trail, providing a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.
- Iconic Griffith Observatory: Reach the renowned Griffith Observatory, a historic landmark and hub of scientific exploration, offering captivating exhibits, planetarium shows, and a chance to stargaze through telescopes.
- Nature Escape in the City: Immerse yourself in nature within the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, as Griffith Park is an expansive urban oasis teeming with diverse flora and fauna.
- Hiking and Fitness: Challenge yourself with a moderately strenuous hike, improving your fitness while enjoying the beauty of the trail and the satisfaction of reaching the observatory.
- Cultural and Educational Experience: Explore the intersection of science, astronomy, and culture at the Griffith Observatory, where you can expand your knowledge and appreciation of the universe.
Eaton Canyon Falls
Trail Length: 3.5 Miles | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: 375 Feet | Trailhead: Eaton Canyon Nature Center
Eaton Canyon Falls, located in the scenic San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, offers a delightful hiking experience for nature enthusiasts. This picturesque trail leads visitors through a tranquil canyon adorned with lush vegetation, culminating in the breathtaking sight of the 40-foot Eaton Canyon Falls. With its accessibility, natural beauty, and refreshing waterfall, Eaton Canyon Falls is a popular destination for hikers seeking a rejuvenating escape into nature.
Reasons to Hike Eaton Canyon Falls:
- Enchanting Waterfall: Witness the beauty of Eaton Canyon Falls, a stunning 40-foot waterfall that cascades into a picturesque pool, offering a serene and refreshing sight.
- Scenic Canyon Trail: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Eaton Canyon as you hike through a peaceful canyon adorned with lush vegetation and towering cliffs.
- Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for native wildlife such as birds, squirrels, and lizards that call Eaton Canyon home, providing opportunities for wildlife encounters.
- Family-Friendly Adventure: Enjoy a family-friendly hike suitable for all ages, with a well-maintained trail and accessible path to the waterfall, making it an ideal outing for the whole family.
- Educational Experience: Learn about the local flora, fauna, and geology of the area through informational signs along the trail, providing an educational aspect to your hike.
Trail Length: 3.2 Miles | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: 400 Feet | Trailhead: Chantry Flat Recreation Area
Sturtevant Falls, located in the serene San Gabriel Mountains near Sierra Madre, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by hikers. This enchanting trail meanders through a lush canyon, accompanied by the soothing sounds of a babbling creek. As you navigate the path, you’ll be rewarded with the captivating sight of Sturtevant Falls, a picturesque 50-foot waterfall cascading into a serene pool.
Reasons to Hike Sturtevant Falls:
- Scenic Waterfall: Experience the beauty of Sturtevant Falls, a captivating 50-foot waterfall that creates a tranquil oasis amidst the lush surroundings.
- Tranquil Nature Escape: Immerse yourself in the serenity of the San Gabriel Mountains as you hike through a peaceful canyon adorned with oak trees and a gentle creek.
- Refreshing Swimming Hole: Take a refreshing dip or relax by the pool beneath the waterfall, offering a delightful spot to cool off and unwind.
- Wildlife and Birdwatching: Keep an eye out for native wildlife and enjoy birdwatching opportunities along the trail, with the chance to spot various species in their natural habitat.
- Historical Ambiance: Discover the remnants of the historic Sturtevant Camp along the trail, adding a touch of history and intrigue to your hike.
Solstice Canyon Loop Trail
Trail Length: 3.2 Miles | Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: 660 Feet | Trailhead: Solstice Canyon Parking Area
The Solstice Canyon Loop Trail offers a captivating hiking experience through the scenic Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu. This picturesque trail takes you on a journey through a lush canyon, passing by historical ruins, serene creeks, and shaded oak groves. With its natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and intriguing history, the Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is a popular choice for hikers seeking a memorable outdoor adventure.
Reasons to Hike Solstice Canyon Loop Trail:
- Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains as you hike through diverse landscapes, including lush canyons, shaded oak groves, and tranquil creeks.
- Historical Ruins: Encounter the fascinating ruins of the Solstice Canyon House and the Keller House, offering a glimpse into the area’s rich history and providing unique photo opportunities.
- Waterfall Delight: Marvel at the enchanting Solstice Canyon Waterfall, a hidden gem nestled within the trail, offering a serene and picturesque spot to pause and enjoy the soothing sounds of cascading water.
- Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for wildlife, including various bird species, deer, and other native animals, as the trail provides opportunities for wildlife sightings.
- Family-Friendly Adventure: The Solstice Canyon Loop Trail offers a moderate-level hike suitable for families, providing an opportunity to connect with nature, explore historical sites, and create lasting memories together.
Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook
Trail Length: 7.2 Miles | Difficulty Level: Moderate | Elevation Gain: 1,300 Feet | Trailhead: Los Liones Drive Trailhead
The Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook offers an invigorating hike in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains near Pacific Palisades. This scenic trail takes you through a shady canyon, leading to the breathtaking Parker Mesa Overlook. From the overlook, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Bay, and the surrounding coastal landscape. With its stunning vistas and peaceful ambiance, the Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Reasons to Hike Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook:
- Panoramic Views: Experience breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Bay, and the coastal landscape from the Parker Mesa Overlook.
- Scenic Beauty: Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains as you hike through a shady canyon adorned with native vegetation.
- Fitness and Wellness: Enjoy a challenging yet rewarding workout as you ascend the trail, promoting physical fitness and overall well-being.
- Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photos of the scenic vistas, coastal scenery, and vibrant flora along the Los Liones Trail and at the Parker Mesa Overlook.
- Serene Escape: Find solace in the peaceful ambiance of the trail, providing a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Meet Cheri, a nature enthusiast who cherishes the simple joys of walking, hiking, and the comfort of glamping. With a background in e-commerce, she initially delved into the world of sports and outdoor equipment by selling products on Amazon. Today, she enjoys the freedom of blogging, sharing her expertise to help you pick the best of the best for your next outdoor adventure.