LA’s Most Scenic Hikes

Los Angeles Bucket List By Los Angeles Bucket List

Los Angeles – where you can hike for 20 minutes to take photos for 45 ⛰🤳


Waking up at 7AM for a Sunday morning hike is a Los Angeles right of passage. It’s like owning a Prius or buying a fedora. You can’t be taken seriously as a true Angeleno or even an LA-transplant until an “It’s the climb” or “Adventure awaits” captioned cityscape graces your ‘gram. To help, we’ve gathered up seven of our favorite hikes throughout the LA-area.

 

 

 

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Hollywood Sign Hike

Possibly the most popular hike on this list leads to unobscured views of one of the west coast’s most iconic landmarks, the Hollywood Sign. There are several routes, each providing a different perspective of the sign and ranging in length and difficulty. See below for four of our favorites. 

Brush Canyon Trail: 6.4 miles round trip; 1,050 feet elevation
Grab your Hydro Flask and dri-fit cap because the Brush Canyon Trail is perfect for a day hike. At its peak, you'll find a viewing area just behind the Hollywood Sign. In true Hollywood spirit, you can also take a fun side trip to the Bronson Caves, where the Batmobile was stored in the 1960s Batman TV series.

Hollyridge Trail: 3.5 miles round trip; 750 feet elevation
One of the easiest ways to the sign, the Hollyridge Trail will get you start to finish in about an hour. However, with parking restrictions and the popularity of this trail, your hike may end up being slightly longer than you’d planned for. Just a few minutes into the hike, you’ll see the sign in all its glory, making the thirty minutes you spent circling side streets and the numerous coins you fed to the parking meter totally worth it. 

Burbank Peak Trail: 3 miles round trip; 875 feet elevation 
Though the shortest route, the Burbank Peak Trail’s steep elevation makes it possibly the most challenging. With the rough trail, you won’t find many crowds, making your path to the “Wisdom Tree” that much more rewarding – and peaceful. 

Innsdale Drive: 4.6 miles round trip; 750 feet elevation
Starting at Innsdale Drive, a winding of residential streets and dirt and paved trails will lead you to some of the best head-on views (read: photos) of the sign.

Trailhead: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (Varies depending on route)

 
 
 
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Escondido Canyon and Falls

3.8 miles round trip; 400 feet elevation

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…unless it leads you to Escondido Canyon and Falls. Beginning just off of the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll start this hike by passing extremely extravagant Malibu homes, followed by a field of fennel and mustard, a small creek, and a field. Finally, you’ll wind up at a two-tier 200-foot waterfall waterfall – its smaller waterfall tier is easy to reach at just 50 feet with an upper tier reaching 150 additional feet.
Pro tip: Plan your hike from mid-March to early April to see the field along this trail transform into a super beautiful super bloom. 

Trailhead address: 27807 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

 
 
 
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Runyon Canyon

2.7 mile loop; 748 feet elevation

In the city of stars, you might just run into one while hiking Runyon Canyon. The wide popularity of this trail may have you questioning if you’ve somehow been transported to the 405 during rush hour. However, your eastern views of Griffith Observatory and views of the Pacific Ocean in the west, makes this heavily trafficked, dog-friendly loop a bucket list must.

Trailhead address: 2000 North Fuller Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

 
 
 
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Nojoqui Falls 

0.65 miles miles out-and-back; 175 foot elevation

Taking a weekend trip to Santa Barbara? The quick hike to Nojoqui Falls (pronounced Na-hoo-ee) won’t have you break a sweat, making it the perfect way to stretch your legs on your way down the 101 and back to LA. One of the shortest hikes on our list, in just about 20 minutes you’ll be led to an enchanting 80-foot waterfall. Though the falls are fullest in early spring, the surrounding area is still extremely picturesque throughout autumn and into winter. 

Trailhead address: 3200 South Alisal Road‎, Nojoqui Falls Park‎, Gaviota, CA 93117

 
 
 
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Griffith Park Trails

Starting from Western Canyon: 3 to 4.8 miles round trip; 925 feet elevation
Starting from the Griffith Observatory: 1.4 to 3.2 miles round trip; 500 feet elevation

If Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling could dance through the Griffith Park Trails in La La Land, you surely can hike through them. You can start your hike up Mount Hollywood from the Griffith Observatory’s parking lot or begin in the Western Canyon for a longer route. Griffith Park, one of America’s largest parks, is known for being home to the Hollywood Sign, Greek Theatre and Griffith Observatory, along having incredible views of everything between the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains. Now try finding a souvenir shop on Hollywood Blvd. that does not have a postcard captured from one of the trails on Mount Hollywood. 

Trailhead address: Varies per trail

 
 
 
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Hummingbird Trail

3.7 miles up and back; 1,069 feet elevation

Follow the yellow brick road purple arrows on the rocks to find your way up this challenging trail near the Simi Valley. Thanks to LA’s year round near-perfect weather, this hike is even better from October through May. 

Trailhead address: 2954-2980 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063 

 
 
 
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Santa Monica Mountains

Roughly 6 miles round trip; 1,100 feet elevation

The Mishe Mokwa trail to Sandstone Peak is located in the Santa Monica Mountains and offers a combined view of the valley, ocean and mountains. There are a few different routes to Sandstone Peak but Mishe Mokwa trail turns the hike into a loop and has countless options for additional adventure. Roughly 3 miles in, you’ll come across signs to Tri-Peaks. This out and back option, captured above, is the ultimate photo-worthy spot (we’ll let the image speak for itself).
Pro tip: Refuel post-hike at Neptune’s Net, a popular Malibu seafood restaurant nearby. Replace your vegan pesto kelp noodles and homegrown kombucha for some fish & chips and chili cheese fries – you deserve it.

Trailhead address: 12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu, CA 90265

 
 
 
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(Cover photo courtesy of Roberto Nickson @rpnickson)

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