Collected by Susan Mason, AFAR Local Expert
The best part about Los Angeles is the easy accessibility to nature. From more urban hikes with city views to coastal hikes overlooking the ocean, there's no better way to cleanse the mind and body than to gain elevation.
2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
Sitting near Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory has a vantage point that allows visitors great views of the HOLLYWOOD sign during the day, and even more fantastic views of the stars at night. The space has plenty...
6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232, USA
The Baldwin Hills Overlook affords some of the most unusual views in Los Angeles. From 511 feet high, not only can you see the entire L.A. basin with the downtown skyline, Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Mountains, and Pacific Ocean, but you get the...
1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
In the 1930s, there was a Nazi outpost in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. It was intended as a refuge for Nazis awaiting the fall of the US to Hitler. Instead, the ranch was raided by US authorities in the early 1940s. Now there are a...
Echo Mountain, California 91001, USA
Echo Mountain has a great deal to offer, from the switchback trail, which will give you a great workout on your way up the mountain (start early to avoid the blistering afternoon sun), to the views—on a clear day you can look out over Pasadena, ...
Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
Mt Baldy, CA 91759, USA
Whether sunshine or snow, a day at Mt. Baldy is a thrilling adventure above the clouds. At 10,068 feet the trek to the summit along cliff-hugging trails gets your adrenaline pumping. The best route is to tackle the steep 4.5 mile climb up the Ski...
Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, USA
In Los Angeles, the cliché is that people drive one block to get a soda. But there are lots of staircases hidden in the hills of L.A. In Silver Lake, I like a two-and-a-half mile loop of stairs known as the Music Box. Parts remind me of...
510 Los Liones Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
I have been walking, running, meditating, laughing, and training for a marathon along this trail for years. A perfect balance of inclines and flatness with ocean views to captivate your soul even when you are begging to get down the mountain all...
1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Eaton Canyon has a great nature center if you want to learn about the local plants, animals, geology, and ecology. The exhibits and nature walks are kid-friendly. Hiking trails are also easily accessible from the nature center. The Eaton Canyon...
Los Angeles, CA 90044, USA
The 1.7 mile hike up the grueling Hermit Gulch Trail overlooks the Avalon harbor cradled between the evergreen shrubbed hills. You can make out the wakes of boats coming and going like airplane contrails in the ocean but you wouldn't expect the...
10700 West Escondido Canyon Road, Agua Dulce, CA 91350, USA
If you are ever driving on Highway 14 from Los Angeles to the Antelope Valley, don't forget to stop by this park and check out these amazing rock formations. If they look familiar, they have been in many sci-fi movies.
Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Some friends and I hiked to Sandstone Peak (in April), which is the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains where we were rewarded with an amazing view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. It had just rained, so the view was crystal clear....
2 Park Pl, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, USA
Del Cerro Park is a great hiking trail in Palos Verdes, CA - 30ish minutes south of LAX. There are several trails, some that are for bikes, some for pedestrians, some for equestrians, and some for a combo of the three. The trail we hiked wasn't...