LA is surrounded by mountains filled with trails, and the city itself is dotted with public greenspace. In this guidebook, you'll discover the best hikes for families in the city of angels.Less
Runyon Canyon is a very popular urban park near Hollywood Hills. It’s loved by locals and visitors alike for its panoramic viewpoints over Hollywood and Central LA, as well as considerable elevation gain for aerobic workouts. The network of trails makes many hike variations possible. The one described here is a longer loop connecting all the park’s major viewpoints, including the highest-elevation spot in the park.
Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is a great place to bring the family for a variety of activities. You’ll find grassy picnic areas with sun and shade, playgrounds, a lake with a swim beach and kayak rentals, a campground, and hiking trails. The loop described here is one of the best hikes in the park. It climbs to a grassy ridgetop with 360-degree views over the park and the surrounding city.
Take a hike to the classic view over Los Angeles from the Hollywood Sign! The route shown here begins from the Griffith Observatory and adds in a few other landmarks and overlooks along the way.
Just a short distance from metro LA is this coastal nature reserve, set aside for hiking and conservation of rare species. It’s on a peninsula that juts toward Catalina Island, and the deep-water channel in between is a common route for dolphins and whales to swim through. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of them in the water below.
Malibu Creek State Park is a large, mountainous open space in between LA and Thousand Oaks. It has many miles of hiking and biking trails, a few swimming holes, good rock climbing, wildflowers, and lots of wildlife, but one of the things it’s most famous for is the outdoor set of the TV show MAS*H. The TV set is now a popular hiking destination in the park.
This lovely cascade was a favorite of John Muir himself, and is today loved by countless hikers in the LA area. This is one of the region’s most popular hikes, and for good reason. It begins in an easily accessible and free urban park with wildflowers and mountain views, then enters the forested canyon and follows tumbling waters upstream to the falls.
In the mountains north of Azusa, deep in the canyon of the San Gabriel River, sits a concrete arch bridge starkly out of place in its wilderness surroundings. This is the Bridge to Nowhere. It was built in 1936 as part of a road project but was abandoned after a flood wiped out much of the construction’s progress. The project was never resumed, and the area was later designated as the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, but the bridge survived.