This piece originally appeared as part of our Be A Tourist in Your Own Town guide, in the December 2017 issue of Los Angeles magazine.
It’s true: Runyon Canyon is centrally located, the views are top-notch, and it is an excellent place to show off your trendy athleisure. Even so, the parking is soul-crushing and the trails are crowded. Consider one of these less hectic beauts instead.
Elysian Park would’ve been history long ago if activist couple Grace E. Simons and Frank Glass hadn’t fought to preserve it. The crowning moment of this 2.8-mile loop is a colorful abstract sculpture that local artist Peter Shire crafted in their honor. See spectacular vistas of downtown and Dodger Stadium along the way.
Malibu Creek State Park stood in for South Korea on M.A.S.H., and a partly restored version of the set is still intact. Hike about 2.5 miles to get a selfie with the camp’s iconic signpost, or tackle the full 8-mile loop, then cool off in an idyllic rock pool.
Glendale’s century-old Brand Library is a destination in its own right, but hikers will know it as the beginning (and end) of a challenging 6.5-mile thigh-grinder through the Verdugos. Gorgeous views of L.A. and the adjacent San Gabriels make the steep schlep worthwhile.
This 3.8-mile trek along a tree-lined creek in the San Gabriels rewards hikers with a 40-foot waterfall. The walk draws crowds on Saturdays and Sundays, so try and visit on a weekday if you can.
But if you just can’t get enough of
Runway Runyon Canyon, know there’s more than one way to get in touch with nature there. Black Market Yoga’s Daniel Overberger has been orchestrating donation-based group vinyasa classes in the canyon since 2007. Not a pro? Not a problem. The hour-long sessions, offered daily at 10:30 a.m., cater to all skill levels. Check out the Runyon Canyon Yoga Facebook page for info and updates.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.