When I need a break from the beach or hustle and bustle of the city, a hike is the perfect solution! Coming from Chicago, I never had these opportunities to be with nature that I do now. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
There are SO many beautiful spots to go hiking in LA. I've rounded up my top favorite hikes to do and will update this list as I continue to explore my city.
Let me know in the comments below which hike you are going to try next and if there is one that should be added to the list! Happy hiking :)
Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in LA for people-watching and possible celebrity sightings...and it's very dog friendly. This was my first hike in LA and probably most other transplants first one as well. It is a very easy hike with views of the Hollywood Hills, Hollywood Sign, and the Sunset Strip.
Trailhead address: 2000 N Fuller Ave
Escondido Falls is one of SoCal's most popular and biggest waterfall. This is the perfect nature hike when you don't have a lot of time to spend to get to your beautiful destination. You have two choices to take on this trail to get to the highest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains. You can either hike to the first waterfall with a 50-foot drop, or choose the more adventurous trail to the 150-foot falls.
Trailhead address: Winding Way and Pacific Coast Highway
Los Liones Trail
I love this trail because you are hiking in nature with gorgeous views of the coastline and water as you make your way up. This one is moderate and can be quite sunny on a hot day. You will end at the beautiful Parker Mesa Overlook, which is absolutely stunning.
Trailhead address: 510 Los Liones Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook / Culver City Steps
If you're ready to break a sweat and take in some breathtaking views, then head to the Culver City Steps. There are two options to get to the overlook. You can take the steep stairs right to the top or take the zig-zag trail up to enjoy the gorgeous views of the city. I love to take the stairs up and then take the trail side on the way back down. You'll find a lot of people going up and down the stairs several time for a killer leg workout! I go for the views and the workout. This is one of my favorite hikes if I want a quick and efficient way to burn some calories!
Trailhead address: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
The Hollyood Sign
The Hollywood Sign hike is one of the most iconic hikes in LA that you need to do at least one time in your life. I still have yet to go behind the sign and that is on my bucket list to do next! You have to take the Wonder View Trail (less than 2 hours) to get behind it. The views from this trail will be always from the side or behind.
Trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068
In the Santa Monica Mountains off of PCH you'll find Solstice Canyon Falls. This is an easier hike if you are mainly going for the views rather than the workout! On your 2.6 mile hike you will see ruins of Malibu Mansions (including the "Darth Vader House") with so much history until you get to the 30-foot waterfall (less dramatic during the summer). The trail is a full loop and the clockwise route is said to be the easier route. If you want to continue on for more exercise, take the Rising Sun and Sosotmo Trails, which have a breathtaking ocean view payoff, or the Dry Canyon Trail, which ends in another seasonal waterfall.
Trailhead address: 3998 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu 90265
Mugu Peak hike is located in Point Mugu State Park in Malibu. It is quite popular due to its short distance and 360-degree views. This one is a tough climb! I would recommend hiking shoes at it is a very steep hike to the top part of the summit. The views at the top are well worth it!
Trailhead address: Pacific Coast Highway, Point Mugu State Park, Malibu, CA 90265
Topanga Lookout Trail
The trail to the lookout and back is about a 2 mile easy hike. When you reach the lookout you will see the remaining platform of this former fire department observation tower that is now covered in graffiti. The lookout stands at one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Trailhead address: 23300 Saddle Peak Rd. Calabasas, CA 91302 (near the intersection of Stunt Road)