The Best Hiking Trails In Los Angeles

Above: The wooden bench at the top of Runyon Canyon Park which overlooks Los Angeles
Above: The wooden bench at the top of Runyon Canyon Park which overlooks Los Angeles

Presented by Ford

Looking for hiking trails with some quintessential views of LA (you know you want that perfect snapshot for you Instagram)? Whether you’re strolling leisurely or want to work up a sweat with a run, these five scenic trails will inspire you to push forward. Bonus: Many of these routes offer an off-leash policy for your four-legged friend.

Runyon Canyon Loop

If you need to escape the tourists and chaos in Hollywood, a hike at Runyon Canyon will do the trick — and you may even spot a star working up a sweat here, too (but not to worry, it’s not like you’ll encounter a horde of paparazzi on the trails). This three-mile hike will reward you with views of the Hollywood Hills (the bird’s eye peek at the mansions alone is worth the trek) and you can take a breather at the summit, known as Cloud’s Rest. You’ll also get a fantastic view of the famous Hollywood Sign so you can snap the obligatory Instagram.

Franklin Canyon Discovery Trail

If Runyon Canyon is too crowded for your liking, then make your way over to Franklin Canyon to walk the Discovery Trail. This short, one-mile hike around the reservoir in the Hollywood Hills will reward you with some decent bird-watching opportunities, too, so you might want to bring some binoculars.

Point Vicente

Keen on breathing in some salty air with views of the gorgeous coast during your stroll? It’s a short hike, but Point Vicente will satisfy that craving of yours for stunning views of the water crashing along the coast as you walk along the cliffs of Palos Verdes. Pair your hike with a tour of the Point Vicente Lighthouse and Interpretive Center (a popular wedding venue). Oh, and keep your eyes peeled on the water — you may be able to spot a whale during your hike.

Griffith Park West Trail Loop

Embark on the West Trail Loop at the Griffith Observatory (it starts at the Fern Dell picnic area, so pack some provisions for a pre-hike snack al fresco). This hike is less than three miles, and it’ll give you the chance to see not only the Observatory but also the LA Basin and the Hollywood Sign.

Griffith Park Bronson Canyon

For a great photo op that’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from Hollywood, you won’t want to miss hiking this short loop at Griffith Park (it totals less than a mile). You’ll get to go to the Batcave, a.k.a. the entrance to the Bronson Cave, which was shot as the entrance to Batman’s lair in the 1960s Batman series.

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