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Quick Escapes: 10 Trails Near Major Cities

The perfect metro-area trail: close, wild, uncrowded. Here are 10 major city options.

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Los Angeles, CA
The best vista in Hollywood? Right under its iconic sign.

No need to brave freeway gridlock to stretch your legs. Griffith Park–with 4,000 acres of open space–lies right in the Hollywood Hills. And its best trails aren’t overrun, because the park’s surprisingly sharp vertical gain discourages casual hikers. Top hour-long escape: Enter at the Cadman Drive entrance and drive to the start of the Coolidge Trail, on the left. Ascend switchbacks up the mountainside to a bird’s-eye view of Glendale and downtown L.A. At the intersection of the Upper Beacon and Fern Canyon Trails (at 1.1 miles), stay left on Upper Beacon for 300 yards, then snake 1.2 miles down the Lower Beacon Trail to close the loop.

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