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Trails Near Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA: Inner Basin Pass, Joshua Tree National Park

Scramble across the trailless desert in Joshua Tree's wild northeast corner to inner Basin Pass. BY EMELIE FROJEN

Los Angeles: Vulture Crags

Jagged sandstone cliffs, glorious wildflowers, and deep canyons seem endless on this 9-mile out-and-back ridgeline run in Cleveland National Forest.

Los Angeles: Crystal Cove State Beach

Trace the rugged, uninhabited coastline of Crystal Cove on this 5.2-mile out-and-back to sunbleached bluffs, swirling tidal pools, and a deserted settlement of old beach villas.

Los Angeles: Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail

Trek into history on this 7-mile out-and-back in the San Gabriel foothills. You’ll visit the ruins of a luxurious hotel and cog railway that date back to the early 1900s.

Los Angeles: Santa Ynez Falls

This 4.6-mile canyon hike features chilly mountain pools, several beautiful waterfalls, and slim sandstone cliffs set in a cool oasis of lush oak and sycamore forests.

Los Angeles: Sullivan Ridge Loop

Savor sunny views of Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean, then descend to a cool creek under the pleasant shade of sycamore trees on this 8.9-mile canyon loop.

Los Angeles: Tongva Peak

Hike 6 miles to an island of green space nestled in L.A.’s suburbs, then climb steeply to panoramic views of the nearby San Gabriel mountains and the Hollywood Hills.

Los Angeles: Parker Mesa

Hike, run, or bike this moderate 6.2-mile out-and-back, which follows a scenic, rolling ridgeline to a boot-shaped mesa with a stunning ocean vista.

Los Angeles: Mount Bliss

Don’t be fooled by the name–this 9.3-mile out-and-back climbs more than 3,000 feet. But it rewards hikers with some of the most spectacular views in the LA foothills.

Los Angeles: Zuma Canyon Loop

This 4.2-mile hike begins in a deep cleft of the Santa Monica Mnts., then winds up a mellow ridgeline with gorgeous ocean views. Zuma Canyon is a lush basin of wildflowers in season.

Los Angeles: Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

The rocky points of this 5.6-mile coastal hike offer some of the best tidal pool viewing in Southern California. Go at low tide to see crabs, sea stars, anemones, and sea hares.

Los Angeles: La Jolla Valley Loop

Escape the city’s smog on this pretty 7.3-mile loop into the chaparral-covered ecosystem of La Jolla Canyon. Fresh air and Pacific Ocean vistas are only a 30-minute drive from downtown.

Los Angeles: Bear Canyon Loop

This 6.5-mile loop passes through sage, chaparral, and oak groves to a high plateau with panoramic views of the Santa Ana Mountains.

Los Angeles: Sycamore Canyon Falls

This easy 4.7-mile route loops past Sycamore Canyon Falls and the shady bottom of Big Sycamore Canyon.

Los Angeles: Lake Sabrina to Echo Lake

Navigate the long, gorgeous valley of Bishop Creek’s Middle Fork to alpine lakes beneath spectacular Sierra Crest peaks. Leave early for this arduous 17-mile hike.

Los Angeles: Ski Hut Trail

A 3,000-foot gain in 3.4 miles delivers landscape-painting vistas of pastoral valleys and idyllic California hamlets on this 6.8-mile round-trip.

Los Angeles: Winter Creek Loop, Angeles NF

Enjoy a gurgling creek, the staccato of canyon wrens, and ridgetop vistas on this 4.2-mile jaunt just minutes from downtown Pasadena.

Los Angeles: Whiting Ranch, Santa Ana Foothills

An oak-shaded creek with cat tails and mountain lion tracks.

Los Angeles: Bell Canyon-East Ridge Loop

Tall grass mixes with prickly pear on this 5.4-mile loop to sprawling ridgeline views of the Santa Ana Mountains, Bell Canyon, and San Juan Canyon.

Los Angeles, CA: Sandstone Peak Loop

Climb high above the Pacific on this 6-mile loop over 3,111-foot Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Los Angeles: Billy Goat Trail

Experience the many moods of the chaparral and wildflowers in bloom en route to an unnamed summit on this 6.8-mile hike in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

Los Angeles: Santiago Oaks Regional Park Loop

Escape cookie-cutter suburbia on this 4.5-mile hike or bike through a mix of soaring ridges, lush canyons, and remnants from the ranchero era.

Los Angeles: Cold Springs Trail

This 8.3-mile lollipop loop quickly ascends 2,500 feet into the coastal hills; bring your camera to capture striking above-the-fog seascapes.

Los Angeles: Rustic Canyon Loop

Explore the ranch estate of late cowboy humorist Will Rogers on this 5.4-mile trek among the Pacific Palisades ridgelines of Topanga State Park.

Los Angeles: Morris Peak

This rigorous but rewarding 9.8-mile out-and-back on the Pacific Crest Trail climbs more than 2,000 feet to a summit with splendid high-desert views.

Los Angeles: Fryman Canyon Loop

This 5-mile loop winds through an undisturbed swath of parkland to babbling creeks and fine views across the San Fernando Valley to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Los Angeles: Poppy Reserve

This 5.2-mile desert hike is great any time, but spectacular in spring when the Antelope Buttes bloom with native grasses and fire-orange poppies, the California state flower.

Los Angeles: Portuguese Bend

Amazing views of Catalina Island and Abalone Cove unfold right from the start of this 5.2-mile hike. Minutes from metro L.A., this quiet wildland is also home to red-tailed hawks.

Los Angeles: Holy Jim Falls-Trabuco Canyon Loop

This 14.4-mile loop starts in a lush canyon framed by a secluded waterfall, then ascends to a mellow ridgeline in the Santa Ana foothills.

Los Angeles: Satwiwa to Tri Peaks

A stiff 2,300-foot climb rewards you with monster views and a waterfall swim on this 8.8-mile out-and-back in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Los Angeles: Nicholas Flat

This 7.3-mile loop leads to photo-worthy views of the colorful Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, then enters a highland meadow to a tranquil pond.

Los Angeles: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

This 6.6-mile dayhike in Orange Country features scenic ridgelines and lush wooded canyons.

Los Angeles: Eagle Rock Loop

A scattering of rocky outcrops, with their big sky views, offers a surprisingly wild haven within the city limits on this 6.7-mile, figure-8 loop in Topanga State Park.

Los Angeles: Bolsa Chica Wetlands Loop

This 5-mile loop meanders along coastal bluffs and into wetlands in the heart of one of the finest birding spots in the United States.

Los Angeles: Telegraph Canyon via Diemer Trial

Cross a rolling ridgeline with great views of Orange County before descending down into the beautiful sycamore-, manzanita-, maple-, and wild zucchini-filled Telegraph Canyon.

Los Angeles: Point Dume Nature Preserve

This out-and-back beach hike climbs over Point Dume to a coastline littered with tidepools. Tip: Bring snorkel gear and plenty of drinking water.

Los Angeles: Peters Canyon Regional Park

Escape gridlock on this quick and easy 5.6-mile getaway along a peaceful reservoir with eucalyptus groves and views over Orange County.

Los Angeles: Upper Newport Bay Trail

Trace the muddy flats and coastal bluffs of Upper Newport Bay and observe a long list of birds on this easygoing 5.9-mile stroll.

Los Angeles: Trabuco Canyon Trail

Meander through big oaks, sycamores, and pines on this 7-mile, out-and-back hike along a tranquil creek and up Trabuco Canyon for vistas overlooking Cleveland National Forest.

Los Angeles: Temescal Canyon Loop

Get the best of two worlds–high ridgeline views and intimate canyon settings–on this moderate 4.8-mile trek in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Los Angeles: Wood-Mathis Canyon Loop

Wander through old ranching claims now covered with sage scrub and oak woodlands to ridgeline views of Catalina Island and the Santa Ana Mountains on this 10.8-mile loop.

Los Angeles: Weir Canyon Loop

This 4-mile loop boasts canyon views among layers and layers of hills, sandstone cliffs. Look for wild zucchini, thistle, prickly pear cactus, white sage, and raptors.

Los Angeles: Rancho Nuevo Trail-Deal Trail

Squeezed into the extremely rugged landscape of Dick Smith Wilderness, this 5-mile out-and-back features great streamside camping and plenty of solitude.

Los Angeles: Arroyo Seco Trail

This 9-miler travels a shady canyon with a handful of creek crossings to lovely picnic getaways in Angeles National Forest.

Los Angeles: Morro Strand Natural Preserve

Beachcomb 11.6 miles up and back on this sandy fin for intimate oceanside views and sweet body-surfing spots.

Los Angeles: East Island Loop

Escape the city’s bustle by leaving the mainland. This 10.4-mile loop explores the crowd-free hills and beautiful gardens of Santa Catalina Island.

Los Angeles: El Moro Canyon

Look for deer, bobcat, and soaring turkey vultures on this 8.8-mile ridgeline hike in Crystal Cove State Park.

Los Angeles: San Jacinto Peak

Hike one of SoCal’s highest peaks on this 10.4-miler that serves up magnificent views and plenty of high-country beauty in Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

Los Angeles, CA: Malibu Creek State Park Loop

This 14.2-mile hike shows off LA’s flipside: rugged mountains, oak-filled valleys, and miles of quiet trail.

Los Angeles: Hollywood Hills Loop

Hike 4.5 miles along Griffith Park’s ridge for commanding views of the Hollywood sign and downtown.

Los Angeles: Solstice Canyon Loop

Where do the locals go? To the lovely waterfalls, big ocean views, and hidden ruins on this 4.3-mile dayhike in the Santa Monica Mountains.

San Gorgonio Wilderness: San Bernardino Peak

Crave big views? Get your fix on this challenging 15-mile dayhike in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and bag SoCal’s third-highest summit.

Los Angeles: San Gorgonio Mountain

Want to get higher than a Hollywood star? Shoot up 5,400 feet and scrape the sky on SoCal’s tallest peak on this 13.2-miler in San Gorgonio Wilderness.

Los Angeles: San Rafael Traverse

Take a weekend for this 21.8-miler, which features a stout 3,000-foot climb up into the foothills and mountains of the San Rafael Wilderness.

Los Angeles: Inspiration Point Loop

Take the Metro to this 4.8-mile loop, then soak up sunny ocean views from the foothills of Will Rogers State Park.

Los Angeles: Bedford Peak

The views over SoCal and the Pacific keep getting better and better during this 2,000-foot climb to the Main Divide of the Santa Ana Mountains.

Los Angeles: Big Sycamore-Wood Canyon Loop

Lasso together the Pacific Ocean, two deep canyons, and an unnamed high point on this 11.9-mile loop in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Los Angeles: Bertha Peak

Catch killer views of Big Bear Lake and hike a short leg of the Pacific Crest Trail on this 7.8-mile out-and-back to an 8,200-foot peak.

Los Angeles: Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide

This 8.4-mile out-and-back gains 2,500 feet to unbeatable desert-to-ocean views over the San Jacinto Mountains.

Los Angeles: Chaparral Crest Loop

Test your map skills on this moderate 4.7-mile hike into the woodland maze along the Ventura River in El Nido Preserve.

Los Angeles, CA: Chorro Grande Trail

This challenging 10.4-miler climbs past lowland scrubs, a wildfire zone, and several campsites to a tall pine forest in Los Padres National Forest.

Los Angeles, CA: Mount Pinos to Cerro Noroeste

Bag four peaks all over 8,000 feet along this 13.8-mile out-and-back with two short off-trail summit scrambles.

Los Angeles, CA: Waterman Mountain Loop

This 6.4-mile loop follows trails and jeep roads to Waterman Mountain, where sweeping views of the San Gabriel Wilderness await.

Los Angeles, CA: Mount Markham

Ascend two rigorous saddles on this 6.3-mile out-and-back up to the unsung Mount Markham and panoramas of the San Gabriels and L.A. basin.

Los Angeles, CA: Mount Baden-Powell

Bag one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Los Angeles, CA: East Fork to Bridge to Nowhere

This 10-mile trek down the East Fork of the San Gabriel River ends at the 120-foot-high Bridge to Nowhere, a popular bungee jumping destination.

Los Angeles, CA: Kenyon Devore Trail Loop to Mount Wilson

Climb over the picturesque north face of Mount Wilson, the site of a historic observatory, on this 11-mile loop in L.A.’s San Gabriel Mountains.

Los Angeles, CA: Ontario and Bighorn Peaks via Icehouse Canyon

Explore the ruins of historic taverns and watch clouds roll over two 8,000-foot San Gabriel peaks on this 14-mile out-and-back in the Cucumonga Wilderness.

Los Angeles, CA: Strawberry Peak

Ascend razor-thin ridgelines and scramble up sheer rock faces on this 10.7-mile loop to Strawberry Peak, one of the most challenging summits in the San Gabriel frontcountry.

Los Angeles, CA: San Gabriel River

Find solitude less than an hour from 20 million Angelenos on a 14-mile out-and-back peppered with fishing spots, waterfalls and rock pools.

Joshua Tree National Park: California Riding and Hiking Trail

Clocking in at 36.5 miles, this trail is a fine choice for hikers to see high desert landscapes, mind-blowing rock formations, and absolutely no one.

Los Angeles, CA: Mount Islip

Climb 1,400 feet through a shady stretch of the Angeles National Forest on this 7-mile out-and-back that rewards with summit views from 8,250-foot Mount Islip.

Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area: Devils Chair

Climb to a rocky highpoint in the San Gabriel Mountains on this 6.7-mile dayhike in Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area.

Los Angeles, CA: Towsley Canyon to Wiley Canyon

Just 30 minutes from Los Angeles, this 6.2-mile loop in Ed Davis Park winds through two canyons and tops out on a ridge overlooking the Santa Clarita Valley.

Placerita Canyon Natural Area: Canyon and Waterfall Trails

You’ll trace Placerita Creek, pass a natural oil seep, and visit a 15-foot waterfall on this easy-going 4.8-miler in Placerita Canyon Natural Area.

Los Angeles: The Big Parade 2010

Two days. Forty-two miles. More than 10,000 feet elevation gain climbing 100+ stairways. In Los Angeles? Here’s how one visionary (OK, a slightly obsessed backpacker) started a local-hikes revolution in the epicenter of urban sprawl.

Los Angeles, CA: Echo Mountain

Visit the 100-year-old ruins of a once glamorous resort on this 5.3-mile hike to a 3,207-foot summit in the San Gabriel Mountains.

California Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Santa Ynez Falls

This 4.6-mile canyon hike features chilly mountain pools, several beautiful waterfalls, and slim sandstone cliffs set in a cool oasis of lush oak and sycamore forests.

California Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Tongva Peak

Hike 6 miles to an island of green space nestled in L.A.’s suburbs, then climb steeply to panoramic views of the nearby San Gabriel mountains and the Hollywood Hills.

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