Hiking is a great way to exercise and stay in shape while on vacation; all you need are your shoes, athletic clothes, and a trail. Luckily Los Angeles has plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Whether you're a novice hiker or an advanced one, Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have a trail for you.
- Trail: Runyon Canyon Loop
- Distance: About 3 miles round-trip
- Special Feature: The views at Cloud’s Rest, the off-leash policy for dogs and the occasional celebrity sighting
Griffith Park Trails
- Trail: Bronson Canyon
- Distance: Less than a mile roundtrip
- Special Feature: “To the Batcave!”
- Getting There: From Franklin Ave. in Hollywood, go north on Canyon Dr. until the road ends, at the "Camp Hollywoodland" parking lot. Cross the small, red concrete bridge on the right (east) side of the road. Walk around the vehicle barrier, keep left and follow the unpaved road for the short walk into Bronson Canyon.
Franklin Canyon Park
- Trail: Discovery Trail
- Distance: About 1 mile round-trip
- Special Feature: Franklin Canyon Lake and the Sooky Goldman Nature Center
- Getting 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, or turn left to go to the Sooky Goldman Nature Center and Franklin Canyon Lake.
- Trail: Betty B. Dearing Trail
- Distance: About 2.5 miles round-trip
- Special Feature: Panoramic views of the San Fernando Valley, TreePeople, “Rainforest”
- Getting 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 (fee: $1-3), which features restrooms, water fountains and picnic area.
- Trail: Eaton Canyon Trail
- Distance: Just under 4 miles
- Special Feature: 40-foot waterfall, Eaton Canyon Nature Center
- Getting 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.
Will Rogers State Park
- Trail: Rustic Canyon Loop/Inspiration Point Trail
- Distance: About 6 miles round-trip
- Special Feature: Exploring what was once the private ranch of a Hollywood star
- Getting There: Head to Will Rogers State Park in Santa Monica. The main road to the park is just off Sunset Blvd. about a half mile east of Chataqua Blvd. You can park the car near the visitor’s center (fee: $12, seniors $11). The hike begins just behind the main ranch house at the park, next to the sign for Inspiration Point Trail.
Topanga State Park
- Trail: Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook
- Distance: About 7 miles round-trip
- Special Feature: The magnificent views at Parker Mesa Overlook
- Getting There: The hike begins in Pacific Palisades at the end of Los Liones Drive, just north of Sunset BLvd. Leave the car in the parking lot at the end of the street (fee:$10). From there, follow the trail up to East Topanga Fire Rd. and follow that to the turnoff for the Parker Mesa Overlook.