Runyon Canyon. It’s a local institution, treasured by locals, tourists, and celebrities alike. But it’s not the only hike in town, and it’s certainly not the best. Ween yourself off of Runyon with these five treks, categorized by what you find most important.
If You Want a Solid Workout: Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak and Tri Peaks
The seven-mile loop takes hikers up the Backbone Trail past fields of wildflowers to the top of Sandstone peak. It’s gorgeous but strenuous, so don’t underestimate the climb. Nestled high in the Santa Monica Mountains, the summit holds a registry where successful hikers leave their names and (sometimes) witty trail commentary.
If You Want Ocean Views: Temescal Canyon Park
Make it to the top of Temescal Canyon’s winding trails and your prize is a panoramic view of Los Angeles. On a clear day, the hike up to Skull Rock will reward you with vistas of the ocean and the westside.
If You Want a Unique Landscape: Bridge to Nowhere (San Gabriel Mountains)
The almost-ten mile trail follows the San Gabriel River through spiky yucca plants and hot, rocky mountains to reach the giant Bridge to Nowhere—a failed government project turned bungee jumping destination. The hike can be punishing, so start early to avoid a wave of afternoon heat.
If You Want to Take a Swim: Malibu Creek State Park
ICYMI, we’re in the midst of a crushing drought, meaning the rock pool at the end of this trek is lower than normal. But don’t let that stop you—the large volcanic swimming hole still has a good amount of water in it, so wade in and cool down. The hike also doubles as a photo opp; it’s most famous for serving as an outdoor set for the TV show M*A*S*H.
If You Want to Bring Your Dogs: Ernest E Debs Regional Park
No need to leave your pup at home on a trip to Debs, where manageable inclines and shady spots make for an especially canine friendly jaunt. The on-site pond is ideal for a game of water-logged fetch.