Take a Hike: Local Trails for the Outdoor Enthusiast
Nearby hikes offer stunning views—and a great workout.
Connecting with nature might not be the first thing you associate with visiting West Hollywood. But locals know: Los Angeles is bursting with scenic trails and spectacular views. In other words, it’s a great place to take a hike!
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, start with a guided tour. Bikes and Hikes LA will get your heart pumping as you pedal past celebrity homes or Hollywood hotspots. On a Rock ‘n Walk Tour of The Sunset Strip, veteran musician Jon D’Amico provides stories about The Strip’s glory days that are so juicy, you might even forget you’re sweating.
Runyon Canyon has several draws—its natural beauty, stunning views of mid-city and downtown, and its proximity to Hollywood, which means it’s often chock-full of starlets and Instagrammers climbing their way to the top.
One of the most iconic venues in Los Angeles is Griffith Observatory, an Art Deco masterpiece completed in 1935. Named for Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the land for the park and funds for the building, it houses a famous planetarium (part of Rebel Without a Cause was shot there). It’s also an excellent spot to see the Hollywood sign.
Each month, the Observatory offers a (free!) Sunset Walk & Talk led by a park ranger and a museum guide. The hour-long hike starts and ends on the Observatory’s West Terrace and covers about half a mile. You’ll make stops along the way to hear about Griffith Park’s history and to see objects in the evening sky.
Visit the Observatory website for a list of upcoming hikes. Of course, you can also hike in the park and visit the Observatory on your own schedule. Admission is free.
A more secluded part of Griffith Park is Bronson Canyon, sometimes called Bronson Caves. An excavation company dug the caves before closing down in the 1920s. The ruggedly austere exterior has served as a shooting location for many films and TV shows.
The name Mulholland Drive might make you think of director David Lynch. But the street itself borders Fryman Canyon Park, a 122-acre enclave in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. Get set for stunning views and access to the Betty B. Dearing Cross Mountain Trail, which connects Wilacre Park, Franklin Canyon and Coldwater Canyon Park.
One of the most popular parks in the Santa Monica Mountains is Temescal Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades. With more than 100 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, there is also access to miles of trails in Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park and a 20,000-acre area known as “Big Wild.”
Paramount Ranch boasts several miles of easy-to-moderate scenic hikes plus priceless Hollywood history. Countless Westerns came to life here during the Golden Age of movie making. After several ownership changes, a portion of the property was sold to the National Park Service in 1980. Most of the ranch’s western town was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in 2018, but local officials announced plans to rebuild. A white chapel just outside the town, used in the HBO series Westworld, survived the fires.
No visit to LA is complete without spending time in Malibu, and a hike in Solstice Canyon is truly unforgettable. Take a stroll along the Solstice Canyon Trail or a more challenging climb up the Rising Sun Trail.
Near the perennial waterfall (a must-see) are stone and brick ruins of the Roberts ranch house, designed by architect Paul Revere Williams in 1952. A prolific designer, Williams was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects.
For something a bit more exotic, check out Malibu Wine Hikes. These group hikes include the opportunity to meet wild animals and feed a giraffe. Enjoy a 2 mile moderate hike through the vineyards and private estate of Saddlerock Ranch, then shuttle over to the tasting room for a flight of wine.
Updated from the original article written by Jacqueline Fitzgerald.