Best Hikes in Los Angeles: Coastal, Suburban, and Epic Summits

Escape suburbia by exploring LA's numerous hiking trails!

Greg Heil

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One of the old trucks at the filming site

by National Park Service

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Sign at the MASH site

by National Park Service

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by Matthew Dillon via Flickr Creative Commons

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Iconic Views

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Looking at the route to the sign from Mount Hollywood.

by Charlie Boscoe

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The view over LA from the Hollywood sign.

by Charlie Boscoe

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Sturtevant Falls

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Description

Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis filled with cars, buildings, and strip malls for miles. With a population of 18.7 million people in the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area, most outsiders wouldn’t even dream of coming to Los Angeles to hike. But the millions of adventurous people that live here know that despite being such a massive megalopolis, LA has easy access to incredible hiking right on its doorstep!

Los Angeles is confined into a relatively limited geographical area by the Pacific Ocean on one side, and the San Gabriel Mountains on the other. The San Gabriels soar to heights over 10,000 feet, rising dramatically from the ocean. Most of this mountain range is protected by the Angeles National Forest, the most visited national forest in the United States. The hiking opportunities in the Angeles National Forest are abundant!

Even closer to home for the locals, the greater LA area—especially Orange County—has a surprising number of fantastic parks chock full of trails for shorter outings. In this guidebook, we’ve attempted to combine both big hiking efforts and quick hits, both providing a quick dose of nature and an escape from suburbia.

Adventures

Mount Wilson

Towering above the Los Angeles metro area, Mount Wilson is a formidable—but rewarding—objective.

Point Dume Trail

Spiraling path to a panorama over the Pacific, with tide pools and whale watching opportunities.

Bridge to Nowhere

Hike to a photogenic arch bridge curiously placed in a mountain wilderness area, with river crossings and swimming holes along the way.

M*A*S*H TV Set Hike

Scenic hike through Malibu Creek State Park to the filming location of a famous TV show.

Echo Mountain Loop

Historic path to a ruined resort and one of the best views over Pasadena, plus the waterfalls of Rubio Canyon.

Morton Peak

Gentle uphill hike to an impressive viewpoint and historic lookout tower in the San Bernardino Mountains.