Best Hiking Trails In Los Angeles
In the land of oat milk, honey and quinoa are trails yet to be trekked. We teamed up with Black Girls Trekkin’ to explore the best hiking trails in Los Angeles.
BEST HIKES IN LA
We teamed up with three expert hikers from Black Girls Trekkin’ to explore the outdoors. Brianna Cunningham, Tiffany Tharpe, and Jasmine Lowe have shared their favorite trails along with their expert tips below. Check out their list of the nine best hikes in LA!
Before embarking on your journey, check out our list of hiking essentials every hiker should pack. Pay attention to which trails are dog-friendly, and pack extra water for you and your furry friend.
ELYSIAN PARK TRAIL
Elysian Park Trail
Miles: 2.7 miles
Duration: 1 hour 12 minutes
Elysian Park is an easy hiking trail in the heart of LA. While on this hike, you’ll come across a shaded garden where you can sit and connect with nature before heading downhill for the remainder of the hike. While on this hike, you will see views of the Los Angeles skyline and the LA River. With several species of birds flying overhead, Elysian Park is a great place to hike in LA if you love bird watching.
Parking: The parking at Elysian Park is free and relatively easy to find. Hikers can park in a small lot right at the start of the trailhead. Hikers can also park on the street and start their hike counter-clockwise.
Be Prepared: Make sure to wear sunscreen because 90% of the trail is unshaded. Although this trail has a wide path, it is not wheelchair or stroller accessible due to rocky and steep terrain. There are also some sandy sections and gopher holes on this trail, so watch your step and wear closed-toe and comfortable shoes. Feel free to bring your dogs on this hike!
REDONDO BEACH LOOP
Redondo Beach Loop
Miles: 3.1 miles
Duration: 1 hour
The Redondo Beach loop is a relatively easy hike. This trail dips and weaves through the local pier and the beach along the ocean for stunning coast views. This is a popular trail for birding, trail running, and walking.
Parking: Redondo Beach has free public parking lots along the waterfront.
Be Prepared: Redondo Beach Loop is a non-dog-friendly hike. Whenever you hike, it’s essential to wear close-toe and comfortable shoes. Always be sure to bring sun protection and water.
BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Miles: 1.3 miles
Duration: 43 minutes
Some of the best hikes in LA happen at the Baldwin Hill Scenic Overlook. A local favorite, this hike follows the Culver City Steps and surrounding dirt trails to the top of a steep hill with sweeping views of LA, Hollywood Hills, and the ocean. This trail is open year-round and is popular for working out and scenic photography.
Parking: You can park for free along the street or in the lot on the upper level near the recreation area. The parking area charges an entrance fee on weekdays and holidays.
Be Prepared: Although this hike is only 43 minutes, the steepness of this hike makes it moderately challenging. There is minimal shade, so be sure to bring sun protection and wear protective shoes. Dogs are not allowed on this trail
Miles: 4.1 miles
Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes
If in doubt about where to hike in LA, check out Murphy Ranch. A hike within the Santa Monica Mountains, Murphy Ranch gives hikers a magnificent view of the ocean and city at the start of the trail. However, you will be surrounded by trees for most of the hike. The trail features stairs that lead hikers down into the canyon. Murphy Ranch also has a lot of graffiti art, so be ready to take pictures!
Parking: Parking is free and can be found on the street. However, street parking may not always be available. This trail is in a neighborhood, so you can park anywhere that permits it and walk up to Murphy Ranch.
Be Prepared: Murphy Ranch is a dog-friendly hike. This trail has quite a few potholes and cracks, so watch your step and wear supportive and sturdy hiking shoes. And don’t forget your sunscreen!
Miles: 3.8 miles
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Bee Rock is a sweat-producing hike, but the views are worth it. A moderate hike in Griffith Park. You take the main trail connecting many trails in Griffth Park, and you’ll find yourself hiking up a steep and narrow path to Bee Rock. Hikers will have a great view of the LA skyline and local mountains. The nighttime view of the LA Skyline from Bee Rock is even better.
Parking: There is plenty of free parking at Bee Rock in the merry-go-round parking lot.
Be Prepared: The last section of the hike is currently gated off and inaccessible. While on this hike, make sure to wear long pants. This trail isn’t well maintained and there’s a lot of plant overgrowth and bugs. Be sure to bring bug spray and sunscreen. Do a tik check after your hike, especially during the summer months. Lastly, this trail is not wheelchair or stroller accessible, but you are able to bring your furry friends!
LOS LEONES TRAIL
Los Leones Trail
Miles: 4.4 miles
Duration: 3 hours
A rocky hike near Pacific Palisades, this trail has a few rock formations where you can stop and catch your breath as you trek uphill. This trail is full of flora, and many of the plants on the trail are native to California. Los Leones is one of the best hikes in Los Angeles because of its views. When you get to the overlook, you get a 360-degree view of the mountains, ocean, and city.
Parking: There are three small parking lots with nice bathrooms and sinks for washing your hands after your hike. These lots are free but fill up quickly. Once the lots are full, you can park on the street. Remember to pay attention to “No Parking” signs.
Be Prepared: The rocky and rough terrain of this hike makes it non-dog-friendly. This trail can get congested so if you want to get a good parking spot and avoid the crowds, then arrive early. Most of the trail is unshaded so make sure to bring sun protection and water. Be sure to wear long pants on this hike because poison oak shows up on this trail. Lastly, be aware of the rattlesnakes!
AHWINGNA AND NATIVE OAK LOOP
Ahwingna & Native Oak Loop
Miles: 4.8 miles
Duration: 2 hour 36 minutes
A hike with a steep climb, Ahwingna & Native Oak Loop is perfect for hikers who want a bit of a challenge. The trail starts on a wide gravel and dirt road. As you continue to hike, you will be met with a steep, sun-exposed trek up the ridge to the Native Oak trail. While on this hike, you can enjoy various foliage along the trail, small wildlife, and views of the LA cityscape.
Parking: Parking is free, and a small parking lot is available at the trailhead during operating hours.
Be Prepared: This trail is very sun-exposed, be sure to bring water and sunscreen and wear protective and supportive shoes. The trail is dog-friendly!
PARKER MESA OVERLOOK
Parker Mesa Overlook
Miles: 7.5 miles
Duration: 3 hours
Parker Mesa Overlook is a moderate trail located on the west side of Topanga State Park. This beautiful trail offers panoramic views of Santa Monica Bay and the ocean. On a clear day, you can see Catalina Island from this overlook. If you love catching beautiful sunrise or sunset views, this hike is for you.
Parking: Parking is free and easy to find on the street or in one of the trails' three parking lots.
Be Prepared: This is a non-dog-friendly trail and is very sun-exposed, so leave your fur friends at home and wear sun protection and supportive shoes.
ECHO MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Echo Mountain Trail
Miles: 6.3 miles
Duration: 3 hours
This one goes out to all my hikers that like the burn. The Echo Mountain trail is challenging but worth the sweat. This is a steady uphill hike and has minimal shaded areas. Echo Mountain is a popular trail for running and hiking. During this hike, you will have views of the city, ocean, and Mt. Wilson. Plaques and markers throughout the trail indicate an old railroad route through the mountain, making this an excellent hike for history buffs.
Parking: Parking is free and can be found in front of Cobb Estate. If you park on an incline, rotate your tires in the correct direction—otherwise you might get a $60 ticket from parking enforcement.
Be Prepared: Although they tend to keep to themselves, there are bears around.
There are also railway ruins on this trail, so watch your step. Wear long pants for overgrown bushes and good hiking socks to prevent blisters. And always make sure you have sun protection, bug spray, and the right pair of protective shoes on. This is a dog-friendly trail!
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