10 Best Hikes in Los Angeles

As we roll into spring, here are some spots to try in the greater L.A. area.

Spring has sprung, and even though it feels like spring is pretty much year-round in sunny L.A, there is something so special about exploring nature during this time of year. Flowers blooming, baby animals, seasonal allergies. What more could you ask for? So here are ten hiking spots to check out in the greater Los Angeles area as we roll into springtime.

1. Malibu Creek State Park
Looking for gorgeous views only minutes away from high-end shopping and exciting eats? Look no further than Malibu Creek State Park. Depending on which trail you take, the intensity varies.

Views from my hike at Malibu Creek State Park

2) Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
This park actually surrounds Malibu State Park, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you could make a whole day out of it and explore both. But be warned, it’s super dry up there so bring tons of water and loads of snacks (may I suggest cherry pop tarts?) A great resource to find trails tailored to your skill level is Alltrails. It’s like Yelp for hiking and biking, so you can read reviews from other mountaineers before you take on the trek yourself.

California Poppies blooming at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (@santamonicamountainsnps on Instagram)

(@santamonicamountainsnps on Instagram)

3. Silver Lake Reservoir Trail
This is the place for you if you don’t want to travel too far outside of L.A. The Reservoir Trail is a 2.2-mile loop, so it’s great for strolling and running alike. And it’s dog friendly, which is a huge plus.

The path that runs along Silver Lake (Alex Jander on Alltrails.com)

4. Angeles National Forest
Only a 30-minute drive from downtown L.A., Angeles Nation Forest offers hikes varying in difficulty, gorgeous campgrounds and picnic areas, and breathtaking views. In January, I went on the Icehouse Canyon to Icehouse Saddle trail with my parents and absolutely loved it.

Towering trees at Rancho Cucamonga in Angeles National Forest

5. Joshua Tree National Park
Sprawling deserts, tumbleweeds, and relics of the wild west are only a 2-hour drive away from the city, making Joshua Tree National Park the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. My favorite part of the park is all the insane Doctor Suesian plants. Definitely Instagram-worthy.

Joshua Trees during high noon

6. Thousand Steps Beach, Laguna Beach 
Looking to combine your beach getaway and walking adventure in one? Then look no further than Thousand Steps Beach. And don’t worry, there are actually only around 218 steps leading down to the beach, not 1,000. However, on the way back up, it might feel like 2,000.


7. Crystal Cove State Park
If you make your way down to Laguna, you’ve got to check out Crystal Cove State Park. The 3.2 miles of beach also includes a federally listed historic district featuring 46 coastal cottages built in the 30s and 40s. One of the most popular hikes is the Reef Point and Crystal Cove Trail where you’ll come across breaktaking views of the ocean, local flaura and faunce, and 120,000 year old fossils.

8. Mount Baldy 
While this 2,300-feet elevation gain isn’t for the faint of heart, it is a must for any true Los Angeleno hikers. Boasting the highest peak in L.A, Mount Baldy features vistas stretching across the whole city.

Views from Mount Baldy (hikespeak.com)


9. Topanga State Park
Nestled between Calabasas and Santa Monica, offers views of lush mountains and The Pacific Ocean. If you’re looking for a moderate hike, I suggest Temescal Canyon Trail. It’s very popular, so you might bump into a few more hikers, but it’s worth it.

A scenic overlook on Temescal Trail (Sam Underwood on Alltrails.com)

(Sam Underwood on alltrails.com)

10. The Hollywood Sign
How could I make a list of Los Angeles hikes without including the quintessential trek to the Hollywood sign? You can take a few different routes to get to this L.A. icon, but I suggest taking the Hollyridge Trail. It’s out and back with 849 feet of elevation over 5 miles, making it the ideal trail for the intermediate hiker.

The view overlooking Los Angeles from behind the iconic Hollywood sign (travelcaffine.com)