20 Best Hikes In Los Angeles (2024)

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Want to know all the best hikes in Los Angeles? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

There are many hikes in Los Angeles, which wind through its lovely canyons, green hills, and some of the most beautiful coastal cliffs.

So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your camera, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

hiking trail in Los Angeles

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Best Hikes In Los Angeles

In this post, we’ll explore the best routes of hiking in Los Angeles that you can take, as well as how to prepare for hiking in Los Angeles, with help from Kanupriyaa from My Lost Camel.

We’ll discover an isolated beauty and peaceful wilderness beyond a bright city skyline.

✅ Runyon Canyon Loop

In the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Runyon Canyon Park is one of the top places to hike in Los Angeles.

It covers over 160 hectares and has various types of hikes.

There are a lot of other things in the park besides the trails.

Runyon Park is a dog-friendly park with plenty of space for dogs to play with other dogs.

There are yoga classes for fitness enthusiasts, exercise equipment on various trails, picnic areas under the warm shadow of humongous trees and wildlife like rabbits, lizards and other animals.

On clear days, you can see fantastic city views, including the iconic Hollywood Sign, the Los Angeles skyline, and the Pacific Ocean.

1. Runyon Canyon Loop

The Runyon Canyon is one of the most famous trails to hike in Los Angeles.

The hike is around 2.7 miles long and takes 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

It’s one of the most popular routes in the park. It has glorious views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign and the rest of the area.

It is an intermediate level hike and can be done by amateur and professional hikers.

2. Inspiration Point

An additional 0.8 km long hike takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to complete.

This trail cuts out from the Runyon Canyon loop and heads for Inspiration Point.

The path is more challenging with steeper inclines, but there are magnificent views of the city and nearby amazing mountains to reward that effort.

3. Star Trail

Star Trail hike is 1.5 mile long, and it takes 1 to 1.5 hours to cover this hike in Los Angeles.

It is a more gentle, less crowded route that provides peace of mind for the hiker.

It’s a moderately paved trail that takes you around spectacular landscapes and has excellent views of Los Angeles. 

✅ Griffith Park

Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America.

It covers over 4,300 acres and is one of the best places to hike in Los Angeles.

It has the Autry Museum of the American West that showcases the art, history and cultures of the American West through educational programs, exhibits and galleries. 

Griffith Park also has golf courses, tennis courts, soccer fields and even picnic areas for sports enthusiasts as well as people looking to relax.

In addition, the park also has the famous Griffith Observatory which is one of the popular spots to stop on the pacific coast highway road trip.

It’s a popular tourist attraction, having stunning views of Los Angeles and educational exhibits and telescopes for watching the stars.

Griffith Park Carousel

4. Griffith Observatory Loop

Griffith Observatory Loop is a 2.5 mile round trip that takes 1.5 to 2 hours to hike in LA.

You’ll see a panoramic view of Los Angeles and surrounding areas on this hike, which leads to the Griffith Observatory.

Before completing the loop, you can go to the observatory and try out some of the exhibits.

Griffith Observatory Loop Hike

5. Bronson Canyon Trail

Bronson Canyon is approximately a 1.3 mile round hike in Los Angeles and would take 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.

The hike includes the famous Bronson Cave, which has been seen several times in different movies.

It is also a relatively easy hike featuring unique geological formations to explore. 

6. Old Zoo Loop

Old Zoo Loop is a 2.2 mile long hiking trail in Los Angeles that takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

The loop passes through the remnants of the old Griffith Park Zoo.

You can see a glimpse of the park’s history while exploring the zoo ruins. 

7. Ferndell Nature Trail

Ferndell Nature hike is a short 0.5 mile one-way hike and would take barely 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

This gentle path leads along a babbling stream through beautiful greenery.

It’s a chill stroll that you can enjoy in peace.

nature trail

✅ Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park is an excellent natural oasis in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California and one of the best places you can go hiking in Los Angeles.

The park is home to various landscapes and trails for people who enjoy nature, stretching over 11,000 acres.

The park is home to many wonders.

Theatricum Botanicum is located within the park as well.

It is a theatre company that presents Shakespearean plays and other theatrical productions.

Filled with fun picnic spots, Topanga State Park has tables, benches, and barbecue pits, making it a reliable picnic spot for families and friends looking to spend quality time together.

The park also has a historical and cultural significance.

It was once inhabited by the Tongva people, indigenous to the area, and later played a role in the hippie counterculture movement of the 1960s.

If you go further down from Topanga there are lots of hikes with ocean view in Malibu too.

8. Eagle Rock Loop

Eagle Rock Loop is a 6 mile round hike which takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete.

This hike is a little rough and tough, but hikers get to enjoy incredible views throughout the hike and the views from eagle rock are incredible.

Eagle Rock is a large sandstone rock formation that has the perfect vantage point to see the surrounding area.

9. Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook

This 7.5 mile round trip takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete.

On this challenging hike in Los Angeles, you are rewarded with outstanding panoramas of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Mountains and the city.

You will walk through coastal sage scrub and chaparral-covered hills as you climb.

10. Backbone Trail

Backbone Trail is a challenging 67 mile long hike in LA.

It takes you through the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, including portions within Topanga State Park.

The length of your journey varies depending on the particular sections you choose to go to.

It could take several hours or multiple days depending on the distance covered.

✅ Franklin Canyon

Franklin Canyon is one of the best trails for hiking in Los Angeles in the summer because of its gorgeous 3 acre lake.

The park is between Beverly Hills and San Fernando Valley and very easy to reach.

It has lots of open grasslands and dense woodlands as well.

There are lots of picnic spots along the lake and you can watch the ducks play around. 

11. Discovery Trail

This is an easy trip for a quick walk around the park.

The trail is just 0.3 miles long and takes a quick 10 minutes to walk.

Since this trek is so easy you will find lots of people walking this trail everyday and it tends to get busy during good weather. 

12. Hastain Trail

This is a much harder 2.3 mile hike in Los Angeles around the park.

This is towards the Beverly Hills area and has gorgeous views of the cityline.

It takes around 1.5 hours to complete.

Most people recommend doing this trail clockwise otherwise it becomes too steep to get down from. 

13. Berman Trail

This is a 0.9 mile trail near Beverly Hills that only takes 30 minutes to complete.

You can see lots of wildflowers and dogs on this trail.

There is not much to see on this trail and it is quite overgrown so only the adventurous spirits should try this one out. 

✅ Wilacre Park

Located in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, Wilacre Park is a hidden gem for hikers that are looking for a peaceful hike.

This 128-acre park has a variety of trails suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Whether you are an experienced trekker or a novice hiker, Wilacre Park has something for everyone.

The park’s main trail, the Fryman Canyon Trail, is very popular.

14. Fryman Canyon Trail

The Fryman Canyon Trail at Wilacre Park goes through the scenic Santa Monica Mountains.

This 3-mile loop trail has stunning views of Los Angeles, including views as far as the San Fernando Valley.

The trail has a gradual incline, making it accessible for hikers of various levels.

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon is in the San Gabriel Mountains and it’s a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts.

It is a huge natural preserve that has a variety of hiking trails, each with its own distinct charm and natural wonders.

These are some of the most adventurous hikes in Los Angeles. 

15. Eaton Canyon Falls Trail

One of the highlights of Eaton Canyon is the scenic Eaton Canyon Falls Trail.

It is a moderately challenging trail that has landscapes of chaparral, and oak woodland.

The trail ends in an awe-inspiring 40-foot waterfall that flows into a natural pool below.

There are lots of small stream crossings and rocky terrain on this trail, which add a touch of adventure to it.

16. Hasting Debris Basin Trail

The Hasting Debris Basin Trail takes you through the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and has striking views of the city skyline.

As you ascend this Los Angeles hiking trail, you can see the contrast between the beauty of the mountains and the urban landscape below.

It’s a very unique and cool trail.

17. Altadena Crest Trail

The Altadena Crest Trail has breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, the San Gabriel Valley, and even glimpses of the Pacific Ocean on clear days.

The trail has a gradual ascent, so you can  enjoy the views at a relaxed pace.

You should take advantage of the numerous lookout points along the way.

✅ Will Rogers State Park

Situated in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, Will Rogers State Park has an expansive network of trails.

It is a ranch that was purchased by Will Rogers and later became a public park.

There are lots of other activities you can do here as well including horseback riding, picnic, polo matches and others.

This is where all the celebrities come for hiking in Los Angeles.

Will Rogers State Park

18. Inspiration Point Trail

The Inspiration Point Trail is a hidden gem within Will Rogers State Park.

This moderately challenging trail goes through the park’s rolling hills and has unparalleled views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the cityscape, and the surrounding landscape.

Inspiration Point at Will Rogers State Park

19. Backbone Trail

For hikers seeking a more rigorous adventure, the Backbone Trail in Will Rogers State Park is a thrilling experience.

This long-distance trail covers 67 miles of the Santa Monica Mountains, with stunning views and a chance to get away from the city.

20. Rivas Canyon Trail

Rivas Canyon Trail is a lesser-known trail within Will Rogers State Park, but it has a much more serene and secluded hike.

This trail weaves through a peaceful canyon surrounded by towering oak trees and vibrant wildflowers.

Planning Hikes In Los Angeles

There are a few things to keep in mind before heading out on hikes in Los Angeles.

✔️ Difficulty Level

Each hike in Los Angeles is different in terms of difficulty, length and elevation gain.

Before you go on a hike, check your level of fitness and experience.

Shorter and easier routes with a gentle slope can be chosen for those new to the trail, while experienced hikers may explore more difficult paths.

To define the difficulty level and estimated time required to complete a journey, research trails descriptions, reviews or maps.

✔️ Timing Of Hike 

When planning to hike in Los Angeles, consider the time of day and season.

It’s often cooler in the early morning, the trails are less crowded in the late afternoon, and the sunset view can be beautiful.

Some trails, such as wildflower blooms in spring and autumn leaves, may be better suited to particular seasons.

Take note of daylight hours because initiating long hikes late in the day may lead to wandering in dark areas, which can be hazardous and confusing.

dog friendly hiking trail in Los Angeles

✔️ Transportation 

You can drive there if the trail starts and ends in the same place.

If the endpoint is different – but you’re hiking with buddies – you can leave one car at the endpoint and one at the start point.

If you are planning to reach the start point without your vehicle, you should check the availability of the transport by assessing the time you will take to complete the hike.

Although it’s now easier to book a ride, sometimes cabs might not come if your hike is in a hilly region. 

✔️ Equipment

It’s only sometimes essential to carry the gear needed for a hike, especially if you are not planning to hike regularly.

But if you plan to buy hiking gear, you should buy hiking shoes, either boots or sports sneakers. 

A hiking bag should have 20-30 liters of space, a headlamp to assist while hiking in the dark regions, and a water bottle.

Hiking clothes involve a comfy moisture-wicking t-shirt or a polyester long-sleeve shirt, little loose cargo pants and if you are hiking in winter, then a decent hiking jacket. 

Smaller equipment like a phone, power bank, spare socks, food like energy bars, nuts, raisins, sandwiches and fruits, first aid kit, camera, pocket knife, sunscreen, and bug spray should always be carried while hiking.

✔️ Weather Conditions And Trail Closures 

Los Angeles may have different weather patterns, so verifying the forecast before your hike is essential.

The trail conditions may be influenced by extremes of temperature, heavy rainfall or high winds, which pose a safety risk.

If it is in a park, then keep in mind closing times. 

dog trail in Los Angeles

More Fun Things To Do In Los Angeles

Here are even more fun things to do around LA.

Universal Studios Hollywood One Day Itinerary

We’ve been annual pass holders at Universal Studios Hollywood a few times over the past several years and love to take our visitors here.

We know that most visitors will only get one day here to try to see and do it all, so we’ve compiled the ultimate Universal Studios Hollywood one day itinerary.

This is actually one of our most popular posts on our entire blog!

Universal Studios Hollywood Main Entrance Gate

? Secret Spots in Los Angeles

These hidden gems around LA are perfect for first time visitors or locals to explore on day trips or weekend getaways.

There are so many unique spots you wouldn’t even think to visit on your typical itinerary.

Walt Disney's grave site

Best Winery Day Trips Around Los Angeles

Within LA and nearby, there are a ton of destinations for wine lovers.

From wine tasting rooms to actually wineries, Southern California has some of the best and most award winning wines in the entire world.

Gershon Bacchus Winery in Temecula, California

Best Things To Do In South Bay Los Angeles

The South Bay region of Los Angeles is made up of the peninsula below downtown.

This area includes cities like Long Beach, Torrance, Marina Del Ray, and more.

Long Beach in particular is a huge tourist destination.

While it’s known for it’s Beaches, it’s the perfect place for a Day Trip or a Romantic date night.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach

Visiting in the Fall?

We’ve shared all the best things to do in LA in September and October.

This includes popular events like Nights of the JackCarved at Descanso GardensLIGHTS OUT At Pomona Fairplex, and Oktoberfest at Pomona Fairplex, among other activities.

While some of our favorite activities haven’t returned since the pandemic like Malibu Wine Safari and Pumpkin Nights, there’s still so much to do here.

Nights of the Jack in Calabasas, California

Visiting in the Winter?

Winter is a fun time in LA because it’s usually still warm enough to enjoy the seasonal festivities.

Though it’s not always the case, because we’ve actually had Snow In Los Angeles very recently!

Our personal favorite winter activity in Los Angeles is the LA Zoo Holiday Lights.

Some past favorites that haven’t returned since the pandemic include Malibu Lights: Winter Nights and Snow Day LA at Elysian Park.

LA Zoo Lights - Winter Wonderland Series

Where To Eat In Los Angeles

LA has seemingly endless options when it comes to dining.

It would be nearly impossible to try it all, so we’ve compiled some lists of the more popular restaurants that fit a variety of budgets and palettes.

You can try the Best Romantic Restaurants, the Best Birthday Restaurants, and even the Best Rooftop Restaurants in Los Angeles.

Hot Fudge Cake from Bob's Big Boy in Burbank

Conclusion: Best Hikes In Los Angeles

Los Angeles has so many outdoor adventures from hiking, mountain biking, exploring sunflower fields and much more that you will never run out of things to do here.

Hikes in Los Angeles are especially loved by the locals.

Whether you hiked the scenic trails of Runyon Canyon, explored the historical landmarks of Griffith Park, marvelled at the wonders of Topanga State Park, or discovered the beauty of Will Rogers Park, each hike offered its unique charm.

So, keep exploring, keep hiking, and continue discovering the wonders that await you in the stunning wilderness of the City of Angels.