Los Angeles’s 6 Best Hiking Trails
Runyon Canyon, we love you, but we’ve moved on
Hiking. We all do it here, from lifelong jocks to fitness lightweights. It’s where we socialize, philosophize and--because it’s the new place to build business relationships--monetize. But since Hollywood Hills favorite spot Runyon Canyon closed for a few months for construction, we’ve been visiting other parks, hills and canyons. Here are the six best we’ve found. Happy trails, baby.
Franklin Canyon Park (1.4 miles)
For: The beginner
Located between Beverly Hills and the Valley, this hike has three main trails that are great for those who might be new to L.A.’s favorite pastime. Natural beauty includes 605 unspoiled acres, a duck pond and flybys like migrating waterfowl and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
Griffith Park Observatory (2 miles)
For: The wanderer
Are you the type of person who sometimes gets lost in her own hometown? Fear not, directionally challenged--you can go on a solo hike without fear of becoming lost by taking the West Observatory Trail from Griffith Park up to the Observatory. There are a few steep inclines, but since it’s all on a wide dirt fire road, there’s absolutely zero chance you’ll lose your way.
Cooper Canyon Falls (3.4 Miles)
For: The outdoors lover
Yes, there’s still a drought on, but that won’t stop you from seeing a modest-but-still-running waterfall on this hike. The first half is downhill, so pace yourself, because after you’ve made it to the falls at the bottom you’ll be scrambling back uphill. (Don't worry, there are ropes to help you get started from the bottom.)
San Vicente Mountain (2 miles)
For: The history buff
What says "outdoor fun" more than an abandoned military missile detection site? Nothing! In one direction, get a peek at some ’50s-era towers built to guard against a Soviet attack; in the other, take in a calming view of the Encino reservoir. Somehow the Cold War just got relaxing.
Point Dume to Paradise Cove (4 miles)
For: The Instagram Curator
Want to etch a hike into your memory forever? Time it so that you’ve already done your round-trip hike along the cliffside trails and sand to Paradise Cove beach and back, and are at the bluff edge of Point Dume State Beach as sunset descends.