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Hiking in Los Angeles: L.A.’s Best Trails

As Los Angeles is the ideal place to get outside, it offers numerous hiking trails from easy to moderate, for which it’s not necessary to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them.

RUNYON CANYON

Trail: Runyon Canyon Loop / 3 miles round-trip
What to see there : The views at Cloud’s Rest, the off-leash policy for dogs and the occasional celebrity sighting
How to get there : From Hollywood Blvd., head north on Fuller Ave.

This is a fun hike for people-watching highlighted by million dollar mansions and amazing views of the Hollywood Hills and the Hollywood Sign, the Sunset Strip and the L.A. Basin and unparalleled views at the trail summit, known as Cloud’s Rest.

GRIFFITH PARK TRAILS

Griffith Park is the tenth-largest municipally owned park in the United States and one of the largest urban parks in North America, spanning over 4,300 acres of land.

Trail: Bronson Canyon / Less than a mile roundtrip
What to see there : “Bronson Cave”
How to get there : From Franklin Ave. in Hollywood, go north on Canyon Dr. until the road ends, at the “Camp Hollywoodland” parking lot.

Located in the southwest section of Griffith Park and easily accessible from Hollywood, Bronson Canyon has been a popular location for generations of filmmakers. “Bronson Cave” is actually a 50-foot long tunnel.

Trail: Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop / 2.5 miles
What to see there : Views of Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood sign and the LA Basin
How to get there : The hike starts at the Fern Dell picnic area near Los Feliz Blvd.

Trail: Brush Canyon Trail / 2 miles
What to see there : spectacular views near Mount Hollywood Dr.
How to get there : You can park in the lot on Canyon Dr., located just past Bronson Park. From there, head uphill past the gate and pick up the trail on the fire road heading toward the Pacific Electric quarry. You’ll pass a park and a picnic area and then climb out of the canyon. After about 3/4 of a mile, the trail intersects with the Mulholland Trail. Follow the trail to the right and continue another 1/4 mile to Mount Hollywood Dr.

FRANKLIN CANYON PARK

Located near Benedict Canyon at the geographical center of Los Angeles, Franklin Canyon Park spans 605 acres and features over five miles of hiking trails.

Trail: Discovery Trail / About 1 mile round-trip
What to see there : Franklin Canyon Lake and the Sooky Goldman Nature Center
How to get there : From West Los Angeles, head north on Beverly Drive, following signs to Coldwater Canyon. Turn left on Coldwater/Beverly Dr., and turn left again on Beverly Dr., at Fire Station No. 2. The third right is Franklin Canyon Dr. Continue through the residential area to the park entrance. At the intersection of Franklin Canyon Dr. and Lake Dr. turn right to go to Franklin Canyon Ranch site.

WILACRE PARK

Trail: Betty B. Dearing Trail / About 2.5 miles round-trip
What to see there : Panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley, TreePeople, “Rainforest”
How to get there : From Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, take Laurel Canyon Blvd. about a mile south to Fryman Road. Make a right and you’ll see the large parking lot, which features restrooms, water fountains and picnic area.

This hike can take you through three parks: Wilacre, Fryman Canyon and Coldwater Canyon.

EATON CANYON

Trail: Eaton Canyon Trail / Just under 4 miles
What to see there : Eaton Canyon Nature Center, 40-foot waterfall
How to get there : From the 210 Freeway, head north on Altadena Drive about 1.5 miles to the park entrance. Eaton Canyon Natural Area is located at 1750 North Altadena Drive, one block north of New York Drive in Pasadena.

The Eaton Canyon Natural Area is a 190-acre zoological, botanical, and geological nature preserve situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Eaton Canyon Nature Center features a wonderful variety of live animals on display, fascinating exhibits and useful visitor information.

Trough the Eaton Canyon Trail to the junction marked WATERFALL, there is a 40-foot waterfall, which is a very popular destination during the summer, with a small pool at its base.