Topanga State Park
Hidden in the hills of Topanga Canyon lies Topanga State Park. With miles of beautiful scenery and stunning views, here you can relax and keep moving at the same time. Hike the four-mile trail to Eagle Rock (locals say it reminds them of Pride Rock from Disney’s The Lion King) and see all the beauty that the park has to offer. Bask in California’s beauty and keep an eye out for the state flower, the California Poppy. With dozens of trails to offer, Topanga State Park will keep any outdoors-types entertained and relaxed.
Right at the entrance to several hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains lies Paramount Ranch, where some of Hollywood’s most well known Westerns were filmed. Movies starring John Wayne, Bob Hope, and Lucille Ball were filmed at this historic location. It’s now owned by the National Park Service and is used as a hiking spot for nature lovers. Some of the trails are unmarked, so take a look at a copy of the Paramount Ranch Trail guide before starting your hike. While many say the main attraction of this park is the Western town, don’t forget to enjoy yourself on the trails and soak up the beauty of the park.
Los Liones Canyon
Los Liones Canyon overlooks Malibu, Santa Monica, and the Pacific Palisades. This popular hiking spot is home to fabulous views of LA’s beaches, cities, and natural beauty. Many hikers choose to not pass the first bench at the quarter-mile mark because the views are so spectacular there, but for those adventurers who want to keep going, expect a more strenuous hike. The trails are very exposed, so if you’re going on a hot summer day, make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
Point Mugu State Park
If you’re looking for a long hike, this one is for you. Walk through the Santa Monica Mountains and gaze upon rolling hills, a breathtaking view of the ocean, and all of the beauty that Point Mugu has to offer. The locals like to hike the Big Sycamore Canyon trail; for this route, start in the suburbs of Thousand Oaks and hike the 8-mile trail all the way down to the beach in Malibu. If you don’t want to hike for that long, take a look at their map for a shorter trail or one more suited to your hiking interests.
Get ready to tone your glutes on this steep uphill hike. Runyon Canyon, located in West Hollywood, is home to famous views and celebrity sightings. During the day, the Hollywood Sign and Downtown LA can be seen on one side of the hill, and on clear days, the Pacific Ocean can be seen in the distance on the opposite side. Locals love to hike Runyon at night to see remarkable views of the city’s lights and nightlife. When you’re done with the hike, head to WeHo and indulge in world-class shopping and fabulous restaurants. Although this hike isn’t a long one, the uphill incline is sure to get your heart rate sky-high.
Malibu Creek State Park
Hike into the Santa Monica Mountains and get away from the pressures of the city while enjoying the serenity of Malibu Creek State Park. Locals love to come here and go cliff diving or take full advantage of the campgrounds that the park has to offer, and there are trails for experienced and beginning hikers alike. Hike for a few hours or stay for the day and get lost in Malibu’s beauty. No matter what trail you take, you’ll find out why everyone calls it the ‘Yosemite of Southern California’. Just make sure to pick up a map before you go!
1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA, USA, +1 (818) 880-0367
Franklin Canyon Park
Franklin Canyon Park is Beverly Hills’ best-kept secret. Take a stroll around the Lagoon, soak up the sun, and escape the pressures of the city without leaving it. This hike is not particularly challenging, so it is great for young children and those trying to get back into shape. There are tons of coves and trails to discover in this park that will keep you entertained for hours. It seems to be a secret among Beverly Hills residents, so you can be sure it won’t get too crowded, and it’s the perfect place for a relaxing walk to unwind after a long day.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area
For movie fans, this is a must! Vasquez Rocks has served as a backdrop for many of Hollywood’s most well known movies and television shows; this park will seem especially familiar to Star Trek fans. With its prehistoric rock structures that date back 25 million years, this hike mixes history with exercise. The climbing rocks are perfect for great photo-ops and a solid workout, but if that’s not your style, the park has tons of trails for hikers of all skill levels. If you’re looking for a more leisurely day, they offer picnic areas and an equestrian area.
Mount San Antonio
This spot is perfect for experienced hikers. The locals refer to Mount San Antonio as Mount Baldy, and it is known as the highest point in Los Angeles County. Reaching a height of 10,000 feet, Mount Baldy offers killer workouts and mind-blowing views of the San Gabriel Mountains. This 10-mile loop will give you an amazing leg workout that you’ll feel for days, but once you reach the top of the mountain at the six-mile marker, you’ll be able to rest and soak in all the serenity that the park has to offer. During the winter months, Mount San Antonio tends to get a healthy snowfall, so make sure to check weather conditions before you head over.
Wildwood Regional Park
Wildwood Regional Park is hidden in the suburbs of LA and is great for hikers who are looking for an easier trail. Take a trip to Lizard Rock and see jaw-dropping views of the park and the nearby suburbs. If you want to challenge yourself, Wildwood offers tons of hills that are sure to spike your heart rate, and these trails are the ones that lead to the best places. Wildwood is littered with waterfalls, steep trails, and beautiful wildlife. With rich gorgeous bluff trails and views of numerous mountain ranges, Wildwood is a perfect escape from LA’s hustle and bustle.