Los Angeles may be known for glitz and glamour, but adventurers will find plenty of hiking trails around the city, some of which lead past areas featured in classic films. The trails around the city are varied and thrilling no matter what kind of outdoor experience you're looking to enjoy, all with an LA flair. If you're looking for a more traditional hiking experience, you'll find area trails that can satisfy that as well. Several different environments are available for hikes, as the trails can take you through grasslands and past waterfalls and peculiar rock formations in the desert. Check out the best hiking trails around Los Angeles.


    Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop

    Observe stunning views

    • Adventure

    The Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop is a fairly easy trail that takes you alongside the titular observatory where you'll see the basin and the famous Hollywood sign. The trail stretches about 2.5 miles in length and takes you directly to the observatory if you want to step off and visit the iconic building. Once you've reached the observatory, it's mostly downhill the rest of the way, so the hike is a bit more relaxing. You'll find the starting point at the Fern Dell picnic area by Los Feliz Boulevard.

    Location: Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 323-666-5046


    Brush Canyon Trail

    Enjoy some peace and quiet

    • Adventure

    Brush Canyon Trail is a quiet trail away from the hustle and bustle of the city that will take you through Mount Hollywood and a canyon. This trail is about 2 miles long and offers a peaceful walk through Mount Hollywood and the Pacific Electric Quarry. You'll notice about three-quarters of the way into the trail that it intersects with the popular Mulholland Trail. The entrance to this trail can be found just past Bronson Park on the fire road by the quarry.


    photo by James Gubera (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Runyon Canyon Loop

    People-watch on this urban hike

    The Runyon Canyon Loop will keep you close to the Hollywood Hills and all the people there, allowing for some great people-watching and potential celebrity sightings. The trail is quite easy, so beginner hikers can enjoy its offerings too. Along this trail, you'll find yourself reaching Cloud's Rest, which is a stunning viewpoint you're going to want to make time for. The trail is about 3 miles return. You'll find the entrance at the end of Fuller Avenue when you come in from Hollywood Boulevard.

    Location: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA

    Phone: +1 818-243-1145


    Discovery Trail

    See famous sights from films

    • History
    • Adventure

    Discovery Trail will take you through Franklin Canyon Park, which was frequently used as a filming location for a variety of classic films. The Discovery Trail is fairly easy, being just a mile-long return, but you'll find 5 miles of trails in total throughout the park. Some iconic films have been filmed here, and you still may recognise parts of the trail that were featured. For example, the fishing hole in the intro sequence of "The Andy Griffith Show" was filmed here, as were scenes from the "Creature from the Black Lagoon." You'll find the trail around the Sooky Goldman Nature Centre and Franklin Canyon Lake.

    Phone: +1 805-370-2301


    Rustic Canyon Loop

    Explore an abandoned ranch with a dark past

    • History
    • Adventure

    The Rustic Canyon Loop is an iconic trail through Will Rogers State Park that will take you through the remnants of an abandoned ranch. The history of this trail is rather dark, as you'll find yourself venturing past a ranch that was once controlled by Nazi sympathizers. The ruins are bizarre and open to exploration. Keep in mind that this trail can get quite rough at points, as the park service warns the area is simply unmaintainable. As a consequence, only experienced hikers should attempt this trail. You'll find the entrance in Will Rogers State Park.


    Los Liones Trail

    Challenge yourself on a thrilling trail

    • Adventure

    Los Liones Trail is a challenging hike that will take you through steep climbs and reward you with stunning views from the bluff. The trail is about a 7-miles return, so be prepared for a lengthy hike before you set out. Throughout the trail, you'll achieve an elevation increase of about 1,300 feet that culminates in Parker Mesa Overlook. This viewpoint offers scenic views of the area, and there are benches set up there so you can relax or enjoy a bit of lunch. You'll find the entrance in Pacific Palisades at the end of Los Liones Drive.

    Location: 510 Los Liones Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 8 pm


    photo by tmastro (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Escondido Canyon

    Reach the waterfall at the end

    • Adventure

    Escondido Canyon is a satisfying trail that rewards all your hard work with views of a breathtaking waterfall at the end. The trail is 4.2 miles return, so you can reach the waterfall after about 2.1 miles. You can enjoy quite a bit of tree covering during the trek, but it's not constant. Keep in mind that this trail crosses the Escondido Canyon Creek a few times throughout its length. If it has rained recently, your feet are going to get wet, so prepare accordingly. You'll find the trailhead off East Winding Way past Latigo Canyon Road.

    Location: 27200 Winding Way, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 310-589-3200


    Vasquez Rocks

    See odd rock formations

    • History
    • Adventure

    Vasquez Rocks is a trail that showcases some impressive natural history and odd geological formations resulting from millions of years of seismic activity and erosion. The unique rocks are notable not only for their shape but for their use as well. If you're a "Star Trek" fan, you'll recognise them from the set of Kirk's battle with Gorn. The trail is quite easy to traverse and can be travelled on foot or, as is popular here, on horseback. Keep in mind that there's hardly any shade, so you should prepare accordingly. You'll find the entrance a few miles north of LA past the Angeles National Forest.

    Location: 10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91350, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 661-268-0840


    Betty B. Dearing Trail

    Take in the San Fernando Valley

    • Adventure

    The Betty B. Dearing Trail is a popular trail through the San Fernando Valley where you can see a hidden rainforest amongst the stunning views. The trail is about 2.5 miles return and has varying difficulty. In the beginning, it's quite steep, but after about a quarter of a mile, it starts to level out significantly. Once you reach Iredell Lane, you should see the sign for the rainforest. While not an actual rainforest, this part of the natural area features towering trees and vibrant greenery that shut out the surroundings to the point where you really feel like you're in a rainforest. The entrance can be found off Fryman Road.


    Rising Sun Trail

    Journey through Solstice Canyon

    • Adventure

    Rising Sun Trail is a sunbaked trail that offers scenic views of Solstice Canyon and the Pacific Ocean in all its sparkling glory, and it's connected to another calmer trail. It's important to remember that the Rising Sun Trail contains no shade whatsoever, so plan for that before setting out. Before reaching the Rising Sun Trail, you'll have to traverse the trail through Solstice Canyon, as one eventually turns into the other. Unlike the Rising Sun Trail, Solstice Canyon is full of shade and features a babbling brook and a waterfall. You'll find the entrance off Solstice Canyon Road and Corral Canyon Road.

    Location: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 805-370-2301


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