Maybe nobody walks in Los Angeles, but one thing is for sure: Everybody hikes. The well-known Runyon Canyon draws tourists, locals and celebrities alike but it’s popularity also means it can get crowded. Whether you’re visiting Southern California or a resident, there are plenty of trails for you to choose from depending on your interest—Lisa Rosen shares four of her favorite LA hikes in Elliman Magazine.
1. Waterfalls on the Santa Ynez Trail
Water features are de rigueur these days, so why not add one to your hike? The Santa Ynez Trail in Pacific Palisades leads to a lovely waterfall. This is a relatively easy hike, about 2.5 miles to the falls and back, starting in shady oak woodlands that give way to coastal chaparral and craggy ridges.
2. The Hollywood Sign on Mt. Lee
If you have a guest in town who wants to see a Tinseltown icon, and doesn’t mind sweating for the privilege, head up to the Hollywood Sign on Mt. Lee. There are various routes you can take to reach the Hollywood sign, but in exchange for the sometimes arduous walk, you’ll enjoy rewarding views, especially at the top. But note, you’ll end up behind the sign. (You can’t get to the front of it without some serious trespassing, so don’t even think about it.) Look at it this way: It’s the view nobody else gets.
3. Tuna Canyon Trail
If you can’t hike without Spot, head to Tuna Canyon. This hidden treasure lying between Topanga Canyon and Malibu is not a state park, so dogs are allowed. And it’s far more beautiful than Runyon, with sweeping ocean views. Plus, far fewer people know about it, so you won’t be overwhelmed by the rest of the pack.
Take note: The trailhead is hard to find, so you’ll need your GPS. Trailhead: Tuna Canyon Road & Hearst Tank Motorway, Topanga Canyon
4. Echo Mountain
Echo Mountain, above Alta Dena in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles, offers beautiful views of the surrounding area all the way to downtown. The five-mile round-trip is moderate, and picnic tables at the top welcome a lunch break.
Trailhead: 3302 Lake Ave., Altadena
Still looking for more? Visit angeles.sierraclub.org for lots of other options. Their guided trips are free and open to all.
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