Living in cities can have its ups and downs. Sure there’s tons of stuff to do, but you can only spend so much time in traffic before it all starts to wear you down. For residents of Los Angeles, it may seem impossible to do anything fun out of the house without spending a hefty chunk of change, but that’s where hiking comes in. Not only is hiking great for your physical and mental health, but the barriers to entry are minimal. Anyone can do it, which is why hiking is so popular among SoCal residents. The following are three LA hikes that will help you get away from it all, without having to drive too far.
Nestled above Burbank, on the cusp of Griffith Park, lies the Wisdom Tree. This classic LA hike isn’t overly challenging, and is extremely popular, due to the citywide views it delivers. Getting to the tree and back is roughly three miles, but if you’re looking to get more out of your hike, you can continue on the trail to Cahuenga Peak, eventually reaching one of LA’s most iconic landmarks: the Hollywood Sign. This trail is great for people watching as well, due to the fact that the Wisdom Tree makes for some grade-A Instagram material.
Murphy Ranch Trail
This one is a must-see if you’re around the Pacific Palisades. Located in Topanga State Park, Murphy Ranch is the perfect mix of rural hiking and urban exploring. To access the trail, you have to descend over 500 stairs into a valley, where you will come across the heavily graffitied remnants of a ranch built by Nazi sympathizers during WWII. While the structures have certainly seen better days, you can follow the trail up to the Temescal Canyon Will Rogers Loop, which will provide excellent views of both the city and the ocean as a reward.
If you’re willing to do some extra driving through winding Malibu roads, Sandstone Peak is a must-see. At roughly six miles, this loop through the Santa Monica mountains will make you feel like you’re far away from any sort of city life. While hiking boots are recommended for this moderately challenging trail, the views of both the mountains and the ocean are absolutely worth it. Due to the fact that there is minimal cover on the trail, the Sandstone Peak hike should be attempted earlier in the day to avoid overheating from the sun.