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8 Hiking Trails in Los Angeles That We Love (Part 1)

With sunshine most days and a temperature that makes everyone want to be outside, Los Angeles is a dream for any outdoor enthusiast. Ranking second on Niche.com’s list of America’s best cities for outdoor activities, LA boasts an abundance of opportunities to explore. I mean what’s not to love?! One second you can be surrounded by the crowded, artsy streets of the city and within minutes you can be on hiking on a cliff by the beach. Los Angeles’ hiking trails are nothing short of spectacular and we wanted to share some of our favorite spots with you!

Cahuenga peak and the wisdom tree of LA

This loop trail is one of the most picturesque places to go hiking in Los Angeles. It is best known for its access and views of the Hollywood sign. In fact, local authorities wanted the site removed from GPS mapping systems due to the influx of selfie-goers looking for close-up snaps of the famous sign. But we thought this was a secret worth sharing – you just have to push yourself a little further from the main loop to reach the peak. You also have the iconic wisdom tree which draws crowds from all over the world with its interesting history and photogenic aesthetic.

Runyon Canyon 

This dirt trail is probably the most popular among locals, celebrities, and LA visitors alike. At this point everyone who lives in LA has taken a walk on this path, but there’s a reason for that. The trail offers some fantastic views of the below LA neighborhood of West Hollywood. Thankfully the trail makes a one-way loop so you won’t have to worry about getting stuck in any foot traffic jams. Given how popular it is, this helps mitigate some of those peak season crowds. 

Santa Anita Canyon

You could also make a whole trip out of it with an LA hike around the Santa Anita Canyon. In addition to all the natural scenery you have to look forward to, this trail includes camping sites where you can rest and regroup before going out on more adventures. The highlight is definitely the pair of waterfalls on the canyon. Hike by the bottom of the Sturtevant falls, then head to the top and take in the view. Just make sure to time your hike appropriately to avoid crowds on the waterfall sites. With all this, plus being a dog-friendly trail, it was bound to make our list of the best hiking trails in Los Angeles

Charlie Turner Trail 

It really does not get any more iconic than the post card views from Mount Hollywood, in which case the Charlie Turner trail is one of the best ways to explore it and take in the surrounding sights. You get 360-degree views of the area, from the Hollywood sign, LA city and the beach that’s way out, the San Gabriel mountains, to the sprawling range of Santa Monica Mountains (that you’ll be on). This makes it one of the fun things to do in Los Angeles. It is also the perfect level of difficulty for rookie hikers to comfortably navigate while also offering enough of a challenge to make all the views worth it. 

The Grotto Trail

Want to walk behind a waterfall? Well we have just the place for you to do it at this awesome hiking trail in Los Angeles. The picture opportunities are simply insane. From beautiful waterfalls and towering canyons to lush greenery and rock formations, everything around you is just begging to be climbed. It is one of those places that truly never grows old and you will enjoy visiting and exploring time and time again. 

Wilacre Park

This is perfect for moderate hikes where you want the fresh air and views without pushing yourself too hard physically. You get to bring along your dog for walks as well. The sunset views are also pretty breath taking and make for perfect photo-ops for a nice little keepsake. 

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Who would ever have thought that oil rigs would contribute to the appeal of a nature trail? Well, that is exactly the case on the stone-stair trail leading up the Baldwin Hills scenic overlook. This hiker’s paradise offers a very unique perspective of the Hollywood hills like you may never see elsewhere. You can choose between the winding switchbacks, or power through all 282 Culver City Stairs – where the step heights range between 3.5 and 20 inches. They may make your knees shake, but the view from the top will be worth it. 

Los Liones Canyon

What sets this Los Angeles hiking trail apart from the rest is location, location, location. Located right on the Pacific Ocean, Los Liones is perfect for those sea horizon views and beach breezes. Lush vegetation and beautiful flowers sprout from both sides of the path as you make your way up the  It is also popular for night time hikes and biking adventures.