If you’re looking for easy hiking trails in Los Angeles, look no further! Whether you’re a first-time hiker or an experienced outdoorsman, these hikes in LA offer something for everyone. Explore the Hollywood Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains, and more without breaking too much of a sweat – perfect for hot summer days. So grab your sunhat and water bottle, and get ready to hit the hiking trails in LA!
7 Best Easy Hiking Trails in LA
Are There a Lot of Places to Hike in Los Angeles?
Yes, there are plenty of hiking trails for all difficulties in Los Angeles, including plenty of easy hiking trails. The best places to enjoy the outdoors and find good hiking trails are around the Griffith Observatory, the Santa Monica Mountains and near Malibu, east LA in the San Gabriel Mountains, and down to the South Bay LA to hike on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. And if you’re looking for a challenge, check out Catalina Island’s Trans Catalina Trail!
When you’re ready to find more difficult trails, there are plenty with great views if you’re willing to drive a bit further out of the city. For example, Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains is a challenging but rewarding hike with amazing views from the summit.
Angeles National Forest is another great option for breathtaking hikes that are a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you’re looking for an easy trail to enjoy a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike with incredible views, Los Angeles has something for everyone!
Best Time of Year to Go Hiking in Los Angeles
While you can hike at all times of the year in Los Angeles, fall and spring are generally considered the best seasons. The weather is warm and sunny, but not too hot, and there are fewer crowds on the trails.
If you do decide to hike in the summer, try to go early in the day, as most trails don’t have much shade and they become packed with people very quickly.
Winter can also be a great time to hike, if you prefer cooler temperatures. Just be sure to dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly from cool and crisp in the morning to warm and sunny in the afternoons.
Always make sure to pack sunscreen and bring plenty of water! While these are easy trails and most of them are decently paved or packed dirt trails, it’s still best practice to wear hiking boots or at the very least comfortable, closed toes shoes.
1. Easy Hollywood Sign Hike
Length: 1.7 miles out-and-back
Elevation: 242 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 44 minutes
Looking for an easy and kid-friendly hike to the Hollywood sign? Look no further than the Innsdale trailhead. This is one of the few trails that will take you all the way to the back of the sign, though to get all the way up to the back it’s about 3 miles roundtrip. Otherwise, you will have great views of the sign from below, as well as views across the LA basin.
The trail is well-marked and relatively flat, making it a great option for families with small children. It’s also perfect for anyone on a California Road Trip with limited time in LA. Street parking can be found nearby on Innsdale Dr., and there are also a few places to rest and enjoy the view along the way. This trail has almost no shade, so make sure to go early or pick a cooler day.
2. Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop Trail
Length: 2.5 mile loop
Elevation: 390 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 1 hour and 7 minutes
The Old Zoo Loop Trail in Griffith Park is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. Dogs are welcome on the trail, and in some areas they may even be off leash. However, it’s important to note that the trail is not very well-marked, so it’s easy to loose the trail in some parts.
In addition, some sections of the trail cut through the dirt hillside instead of following the trail. But don’t let that deter you! The Old Zoo Loop Trail is a great way to see the remains of animal enclosures at the old Los Angeles Zoo. Plus, the views from the top of the hill are definitely worth the hike.
3. Malibu Bluff Trail
Length: 1.6 miles out-and-back
Elevation: 154 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 37 minutes
The Malibu Bluff Trail is a pleasant and easy hike located towards the northern part of Los Angeles, where the mountains meet the ocean. The trail offers stunning ocean views and is a great place to get some fresh air.
However, the trail is a bit overgrown in places and offers no shade, so be sure to wear sunscreen and bring a hat. Parking is free, but spaces can fill up quickly on the weekends.
Malibu has some of the absolute best surfing spots in LA. If you want to cool off in the water after your hike, head over to Malibu Surfrider Beach. This is one of the most popular surf beaches not only in LA, but in the world. The waves here are long and gentle, perfect for both beginners and experienced long board surfers. Or, simply take a dip in the water and watch the surfers.
4. Eaton Canyon Falls Hike
Length: 1.9 miles out-and-back
Elevation: 606 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 47 minutes
If you’re looking for a scenic hike, Eaton Canyon Falls in east Los Angeles is a great option. The trail has beautiful shrubbery along the way and ends in a stunning waterfall – try to go after it rains for a bigger waterfall and more vibrant plant-life!
The trail follows the river, which means in some areas it’s a little rocky and might require a bit of scrambling. However, the trail is mostly shady, which is nice for hot days.
Eaton Canyon is popular for families with kids and dogs but it can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends, so try to go early. You can park in the neighborhoods around the trailhead – just be sure to read the signs carefully so you don’t get a parking ticket.
5. Inspiration Point – LA Hiking Trail
Length: 2.2 mile loop
Elevation: 377 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 1 hour
Looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles city? Then head to Inspiration Point, a popular hiking trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. This scenic trail offers multiple vistas with wonderful views of both the Santa Monica Bay and the coastline as well as the Los Angeles basin
You’ll need to leave your furry friends at home, because dogs are not allowed on this trail. However, it is popular for hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. This trail was popular with visiting celebrities in the early Hollywood era, and remains a beautiful and peaceful trail today.
6. Del Cerro Park Hiking Trails
Length: ~3 miles
Elevation: ~700 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 1 hour 40 minutes
South of Los Angeles is an area known as the South Bay LA, and the peninsula to the very southern end offers some incredible hiking. Del Cerro Park is one of the best places to start a hike down the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
There are a few different trails to choose from, and you can go as far as you want before turning back. The views from the trails are exceptional – on a clear day, you can see all the way out to Catalina Island.
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can follow the trails all the way down to the ocean, but be warned – it’s not an easy hike. It’ll take most of the day to get all the way down (and back up!). But either way, venturing down to the South Bay is worth it for the amazing views.
7. Red Rock Creek Trail
Length: 2 miles out-and-back
Elevation: 390 ft.
Average Time to Complete: 1 hour
The Red Rock Creek Trail in Topanga Canyon is a great place to go for an easy hike in LA, and is especially popular for birdwatchers. It’s a moderate hike with some great views of the mountains at the peak.
There is a small parking lot at the trailhead, and the parking fee is $5. Dogs are not allowed on the trail. The trail is well-marked and there are plenty of places to rest along the way.
The highlight of this trail is the peak, where you can get an excellent view of the canyon and the surrounding mountainous area. There are also some cool rock formations and caves to explore along the way! The Red Rock Creek Trail is a great place to spend a day outdoors and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Conclusion: Easy Hiking Trails in Los Angeles
If you’re looking for an easy hike with plenty of natural beauty to take in, the trails near Los Angeles are perfect. With everything from canyons and ocean views to city skylines and mountain peaks, these routes have something for everyone. So lace up your shoes and get ready for some wonderful hiking!
About the Author
After traveling to over 25 countries, Janelle created Make the Trip Matter – a travel blog that offers Travel Planning Services to help you travel more, live abroad, and discover a more meaningful experience from your travels. Follow her on Instagram: @makethetripmatter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest