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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.