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Best Hiking Trails in Los Angeles

Updated on May 10, 2009

Los Angeles Hiking trails

 Los Angeles is a great place to find a variety of hiking trails and national parks. Most of the hikes in LA are easy to moderate level of complexity, so you do not have to be an experienced hiker to venture into them. It is important to wear hiking shoes that are sturdy, take sunscreen lotion, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and do not forget to carry plenty of water to drink while hiking as you do not want to get dehydrated. Some of the best Hiking trails in Los Angeles include Runyon canyon, Echo mountain's Sam Merrill trail that are just wonderful.

Echo Mountain Sam Merrill Trail

Sam Merrill Trail pic
Sam Merrill Trail pic

 Echo Mountain is definitely one of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles. It is located at the top of Lake Avenue in Atadena just north of Pasadena in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest. Park along the street. The hike begins to the left of the stone gateway on the east side of the street. This is about 6 mile round trip Echo Mountain Sam Merrill trail is not that long but offers an uphill hike some may find strenuous. Your hard work will be rewarded with great views of the San Gabriel Valley and the ruins of the White city Resort. "The White City" was the heart of the resort with its elegant Echo Mountain House hotel, chalet, observatory, and small zoo. It has all since vanished, but this fascinating hike takes you to the ruins of this official historic landmark.

Runyon Canyon Trail

Runyon Canyon pic
Runyon Canyon pic

 Runyon Canyon is located in the heart of Hollywood and is the best and most popular hiking trails in LA. You will see a lot of beautiful people rocking to their music and talking on their cell phones. There is a chance that you might run into celebrity like Drew Barrymore or Charlize Theron. The most popular route is the 4-mile roundtrip jaunt up the paved path in the center of the park. Make sure to take a break near the top at Cloud's Rest, a bench that offers a great view of the Hollywood sign and enjoy your hiking on the Runyon Canyon trail.

Hollyridge Trail

View from the Hollyridge trail
View from the Hollyridge trail

 Hollyridge trail is one of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles mainly because it offers excellent views of the Hollywood sign, the signature of LA, and chaparral covered hills. Griffith Park is tucked into the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, is the largest municipal park in the United States. This trail provides a relatively easy 3-mile hike surrounded by oak trees and wild sage, alongside a lot of wild horses. The trail begins just below Sunset Ranch that offers day and evening horse rides. After checking out the horses, start up the trail and you will see Griffith Observatory. There are trails in a really wild portion of Griffith park that are not open to horseback riding.  Some of the Hollyridge Trails are very fragile and just can't handle horses being ridden there. 

Temescal Canyon hiking trails

Temescal Canyon pic
Temescal Canyon pic

 Temescal Canyon is located at the intersection of the Sunset Boulevard and Temescal canyon Road in Pacific Palisades. This is a moderately difficult hiking trail with a 4-mile loop but makes a fantastic hike for hikers. This place provides restrooms, water fountains and a convenience store in the parking lot. This store is open only on the weekends. It is a challenging uphill climb and finally leads  to outstanding panaromic views of the ocean and the valley. You may even spot snakes, coyotes, deer and other wild animals. With the great views and getting close to nature as it gets, this Temescal Canyon trail makes it one of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles with no second thought.

Griffith Park in Los Angeles

What is your favorite hiking trail in and around Los Angeles?

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Best hiking trails in LA

 Los Angeles has dozens of possibilities and each canyon and national park provides endless options and combinations allowing for a range of outdoor activities from a simple stroll to a serious workout for serious hikers. The spectacular views of the valley or a pacific ocean and the great landmarks, each of these best hiking trails in LA is great to explore by beginners to experienced hikers alike.


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    • profile image

      Doris 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I just started hiking in LA and love it. Here is another great site for hiking in LA --

      Happy hiking!

    • profile image

      Los Angeles Hiker 7 years ago

      I really like the Temescal Canyon Hike. I take my family there at least once a month get outside with them. I recommend that one.

    • profile image

      Crazdwriter 8 years ago

      thanks for the info. Just moved to Anaheim 6 months ago and trying to find good hiking trails. My hubby and I will have to try those ones. :)

    • LRobbins profile image

      Laurel 8 years ago from Germany

      I had never thought of good hiking in So Cal until I read your hub. Good info. Another place I want to go to now.

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 8 years ago

      I was raised in the Midwest so when I went to Southern California for the first time I was surprised with the quality of trails so close to the city. There are some very wild places and some great trails that are easily accessible.