When I first started visiting John in Los Angeles a little over two years ago, I walked (or scootered) everywhere. He didn’t have a car, LA’s public transportation system is awful, and I was used to getting everywhere on my own two feet in New York. After about two days of walking around and seeing NO ONE on the sidewalks, I started to wonder where the heck they all were. A few months later I found out that there are three potential answers to that question:
Sitting in traffic
So yes, Angelenos do walk, but only on designated trails in coordinating workout sets and fanny packs with doggo in toe. The optics are comical and all too stereotypical, but as you may have guessed, I was all for it! Anyone close to me knows how much of a serial power-walker I am, and the idea of being able to do it whenever and wherever (& with pretty spectacular views!) was all the convincing I needed (IF ANY) to get out to the west coast. Here are some of my favorites:
LOS LIONES // This is my absolute favorite hike in Los Angeles. It’s perfect for any level because you can go as far as you want and the views are incredible! It’s only about a mile (~30 minutes) through tree trails to the first overlook (Paseo Miramar) and you can see all the way out to Catalina Island on a clear day. After that you can either turn around or, if you’re up for a real sweat, take Paseo Miramar Trail another 2.5 miles up some steep hills and bends to Parker Mesa Overlook. The full hike to Parker Mesa Overlook is about 3 hours, but the views are unreal. After you can grab a well-deserved brunch at one of our favs, Cafe Vida!
RUNYON CANYON // If you’re staying in the Hollywood / West Hollywood area or want the quintessential LA experience, this is the hike for you. Runyon is a massive park in the Hollywood Hills with views of the entire skyline and Hollywood Sign and plenty of dogs. If you’re looking for a casual stroll with potential for a celebrity sighting or two, stick to the main paved road. It’s enough to get you sweating, but it won’t kill you. If you want a serious challenge and aren’t afraid of heights, you can try out the East or West Trails. My favorite is the West Trail - plenty of scrambling and sliding with views to boot!
BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK // Baldwin Hills is your perfect quick fix for hiking in the middle of Los Angeles. Most people flock here for a Saturday morning trek up the insane set of stairs that sit right in the middle of the hills. If you’ve ever been to the Exorcist stairs in Georgetown, this is like those x 10. Don’t worry, the steps are optional. This hike is great for anyone staying / living in Culver City.
SANTA MONICA STAIRS // This technically isn’t a hike, but it’s an outdoor workout and the area is too beautiful not to include on the list! The Santa Monica Stairs are two sets of steep staircases nestled in Santa Monica Canyon, one of my favorite parts of Los Angeles. Besides working up a major sweat, you’ll get in some incredible house inspo for when you make it big one day!
ESCONDIDO FALLS MALIBU // Admittedly, this wasn’t our favorite hike of all time, but that’s just because the waterfall wasn’t at its fullest during the time of year that we visited and I couldn’t do the second part of the hike (the hard part) up to the top fall due to my wobbly shoulder! If you willing to venture up to Malibu (I highly recommend you do), this is a great four-mile roundtrip hike for big groups and families. Be sure to stop at Lily’s Malibu after for the best fish burrito of your life.
*I wanted to mention that hiking to the Hollywood sign is fun and well worth it for first time visitors! These are just the hikes that I gravitated towards most while living in / visiting the city over the past two years.
Much more fun from my LA days to come. :)