13 Easy Hikes in Los Angeles

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When most people think of Los Angeles, they are quick to dream up Hollywood Boulevard or the Venice Beach Boardwalk. It is easy to forget that Los Angeles county is also home to a wide array of natural parks and hiking trails. Many of which are easily accessible to Angelinos and visitors alike. 

They all have in common: plenty of citizens out enjoying the sunny California weather and great views of the city and all it has to offer.

hikers on LA trail

Keep reading to find 13 hikes in Los Angeles that are great for beginners, kids, or those just looking for a casual nature outing. 

» Looking for more help with your Los Angeles trip planning? Check out our full Los Angeles travel guide as well as this useful 2-day LA itinerary.

Hiking Etiquette & Tips

It is essential to always be prepared for hiking by wearing the appropriate clothing, packing the right gear, and being aware of hiking etiquette whenever you’re out on the trail. Here are some of our tips for ensuring your hike is a good one:

  • Park only in designated spots, not off-road or in unpermitted areas.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing for the time of year – bringing a layer in case of sudden temperature changes. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes (flip flops are never a good idea).
  • Do not feed or approach any wildlife. Be aware there might be bears mountain lions, bobcats, or rattlesnakes on the trail.
  • Bring a good amount of water, some food, and sunscreen with you.
  • Never leave trash behind.
  • It’s best not to hike alone, but if you do tell a friend where you’re going and when to expect you back.

10 Easy Hikes in Los Angeles

#1 Santa Ynez Falls Trail

hikers crossing stream on one of the hikes in los angeles

Santa Ynez Falls Trail is located in Topanga State Park. This 2.5-mile trail takes hikers along a shaded creek through lush woodlands until they come upon a gorge and 18-foot waterfall. Many hikers favor this trail for its lush plant life, as few Los Angeles hikes boast as much greenery. 

This hike is common as a family outing as its minimal elevation change, constant shade, and engaging scenery keep hikers entertained and comfortable as they approach their destination. The hike takes visitors an average of 53 minutes to complete and is perfect for those looking to get outside and get a bit of movement in. 

#2 Fryman Canyon Park

buildings on dry hill

Fryman Canyon is a familiar hike for those in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, popular amongst those looking to get in their daily dose of exercise and sunshine. The trail is a popular 1.5- mile loop with its head accessible at the Nancy Pohl Overlook in Fryman Canyon Park. From the park, many other trailheads are also accessible to those eager to try their hand on new terrain. 

While this trail can get crowded on weekends and fair weathered weekdays, there is a parking lot and ample street parking available. To top it all off, Fryman Canyon park is dog friendly, so take a break from work and bring your furry friend as you get your daily steps in. 

#3 Caballero Canyon

hiker at sunset

Caballero Canyon Trail is a slightly more challenging hike compared to the others on the list. For those looking to step out of easy and into a more moderate hike, this 5.1-mile loop takes an average of 2.5 hours to complete and is highly trafficked for hiking, mountain biking, and running. Because of this, it is rare that the course of the hike is not relatively busy. 

This happening trail is accessible year-round but can get hot in the Summer months, so it is recommended to pack plenty of sunscreen and water for a hike of this distance. 

#4 Getty View Trail

hiker standing at overlook

Getty View Trail starts with a steep uphill trek but quickly evens to a mellow terrain that is friendly to most. The path sits in the hills above the 405 freeway, amongst fire roads and breaks.

As you complete the 1.3-mile trail, you can amuse yourself by peering down at LA’s infamous traffic. The Getty Museum, Santa Monica Bay, and even Catalina Island are visible on clearer days, making the hike a bit more interesting.

This is one of the best hikes in Los Angeles to keep in mind for those visiting the city who may also prefer to avoid the crowds that gather on the trails surrounding the Hollywood sign but still want to experience some of the city’s famous landmarks. 

#5 Los Liones Trail

palm trees near city

Los Liones Trail is one of the more scenic hikes in LA, weaving up a green canyon and offering views of Santa Monica bay. This trail is just a mile from the beach, located at the south end of Topanga State Park. 

The 2.6-mile out-and-back trek sees 550 feet of elevation gain before hikers come upon a clearing and bench looking down upon the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Once hikers enjoy their views and some water, they can head back down the return trail or continue upward toward Parker Mesa Overlook. 

Los Liones can vary significantly from green and lush in cooler, rainier months to dry and hot in the Summer months, so some recommend planning accordingly. In the Summer months, many hikers choose to partake in early morning or evening hikes to avoid the midday sun. 

#6 Mount Hollywood

hiker at sunset looking over city

Mount Hollywood trail is a popular route for hiking, running, and eleven riding on horseback, so completing the 2.4-mile loop is guaranteed to provide plenty of sites and sounds. This hike is known to be suitable for the entire family as hikers get to enjoy Griffith park and pass close by the LA zoo. 

The hike is reported to take about one hour on average and gets busy on most days, so it is recommended to start hiking earlier in the day to avoid parking mayhem. Leashed dogs are also welcome on Mount Hollywood trail, making it true to its family-friendly reputation. 

#7 Portuguese Bend Reserve

beachside hiking trail

Portuguese Bend Reserve is a large park in Palos Verdes, expanding over 399 acres. It is known to hikers for having an extensive network of trails to choose from, ranging from easy to moderate. Steep canyons and rolling hills provide enchanting views of the ocean and Catalina Island. 

Many trails in the reserve are known as “mixed trails,” meaning they are accessible year-round to those hiking, mountain biking, running, and horseback riding. Rim Trail and Burma Road Trail are two recommended options for those looking for easier paths, or more hikes in Los Angeles. 

#8 Solstice Canyon

ruins of an old house

Solstice Canyon is undoubtedly the hike for you if you’re looking for a hike boasting a running creek, waterfall, and even ruins. A broad and level trail makes it accessible to those with strollers or disabilities. This easy trail leads visitors alongside a flowing stream as they traverse through a beautiful canyon setting. 

Solstice canyon is suitable for nearly everyone and even provides intermittent shade to its visitors. 

The trail concludes at Roberts Ranch House, the ruins of a home designed by architect Paul Williams and burnt down by wildfires in 1982. The ruins now create an idyllic picnic spot for visitors to rest and enjoy the shade after their hike. 

#9 Escondido Falls Trail

people watching waterfall

Escondido Falls Trail offers it all as it begins uphill along Winding Way, flaunting some of Malibu’s luxury homes and then transitioning into Escondido Canyon Park. The park is full of natural beauty and leads hikers toward the popular Escondido Falls. 

Most hikers arrive at the lower falls with minimal exertion and can sit back and enjoy the view. However, those who would like a little extra challenge can make the trek to the upper falls, which are guaranteed to be a bit less crowded and just as beautiful.

#10 Vetter Mountain Lookout

overlook house near beach

Vetter Mountain is a prominent peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, a part of the Angeles National Forest. The peak may tower at 5,911 feet, but the hike to the summit is known to be relatively easy. The trail itself is only about 1.5 miles. 

The trail begins on a dirt path, immersed in a pine forest but eventually leads to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and canyons. Hikers who reach the peak can also find a renovated version of the historic fire lookout tower that burned down in 2009.

#11 Bronson Cave

Bronson Cave

Want to visit the place Batman calls home? If you do, a hike to Bronson Cave is your best chance to do so. This trail’s claim to fame is being home to the “Batcave” in Adam West’s rendition of Batman, which makes it a popular tourist destination and, in turn, quite crowded unfortunately.

The hike is an easy one, at just about 2/3 of a mile round trip, with about 50 feet of elevation change up to the entrance of the man-made cave. The hike begins from Canyon Drive on the south side of Griffith Park.

#12 Inspiration Point Trail

Inspiration Point

This trail, located in Will Rogers State Historic Park, is one that’s great for the whole family. It’s only 2.3 miles long with 325 feet of elevation gain, and offers beautiful far-reaching views of a polo field, Santa Monica, and the ocean. 

Since Inspiration Trail is one of the more popular ones in Los Angeles, make sure to go early in the morning if you’re not a fan of crowds. There is a $12 parking fee to get into the park and only limited free parking outside the park.

#13 Eaton Canyon

eaton canyon falls
Eaton Canyon Waterfall

The Eaton Canyon trail, in the Eaton Canyon Natural Area, is one of the best hiking spots near LA. This trail is a marvel of nature, featuring a 40-foot waterfall, diverse plant life, and fascinating wildlife. It’s a 4.4-mile round trip trail with 521 feet of elevation gain. Because of its proximity to Pasadena, Altadena, and Santa Monica, it can get quite crowded on the weekends.

You’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping view of the San Gabriel Mountains and Santa Monica Mountains, and of course there’s the waterfall at the end. The trail is easy with just a few rockier spots at the end as you near the waterfall.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a ton of different easy hikes you can do in and around Los Angeles, so there’s no reason not to get out there and explore. If you have a favorite hike you like to take in the area, tell us about it in the comments.

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13 Easy Hikes in Los Angeles

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