Best Hikes Near Los Angeles  by Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel

Best Hikes Near Los Angeles Guide Book

by Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel (Falcon Guides)
Best Hikes Near Los Angeles  by Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel
Here are forty-six of the best hikes within a ninety-minute drive of downtown Los Angeles—from the chaparral-covered slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains to the lush alpine forests of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Ranges, and several nature preserves that protect valuable ecosystems and wildlife around the southland. Whether you’re in the mood for an easy nature walk, a day-long hike, or an overnighter, this guide offers plenty to choose from.

© 2011 Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes Near Los Angeles" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 46.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 46.

A short jaunt through verdant meadows peppered with streams and seasonal waterfalls is enticingly close to the extravagance and luxury of prestigious Malibu estates. This trail is ideal for nature lovers seeking solace and a quick getaway in an idyllic setting. There is a restroom and picnic facilities near the ranger residence. This trail is probably one of Malibu's best-kept secrets.
Malibu, CA - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 1.9
The Aspen Grove is one of the San Bernardino Mountains’ sweetest gifts. The quaking trees display some of the finest fall color this side of the Rockies. Follow the trail through the arboreal splendor of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. From the trailhead parking and kiosk, head southwest and down the trail into the canyon carved out of the surrounding mountainside by Fish Creek. The trail turns south and parallels the canyon before crossing the creek and entering the largest grove of aspens and the only set of groves in Southern California.
Angelus Oaks, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Explore spectacular botanic gardens and a majestic historic monument memorializing a world-renowned chewing gum tycoon and entertainment entrepreneur while hiking to one of the most breathtaking peaks on Santa Catalina Island. From a leisurely stroll to steep switchbacks, this trail offers something for everyone.
Avalon, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.5
Hike along the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s wondrous Backbone Trail, traversing a ridgeline with tremendous unimpeded views of the Pacific coastline. On clear days the vantage is unparalleled. This point-to-point hike requires a car shuttle and provides a fine workout.
Ventura, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 4.25
A hardy ten-stamp mill stands intact on the stalwart slopes of Mount Baden-Powell. Follow an old wagon route to the mine and enjoy the scenery of Mount Baldy and the rugged East Fork of the San Gabriel River.
Wrightwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.8
Hike through the strange formations of Red Rock Canyon Park up to the high valley viewpoints of Calabasas Peak.
Woodland Hills, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5
It isn’t a coincidence that the name Charmlee evokes visions of a charming and magical place. Nestled on a meadowland bluff above the Pacific Coast Highway, Charmlee Wilderness Park is an idyllic setting for hikers of all ages.
Malibu, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2.1
The Chiquito Trail is a secluded wonder known mostly to mountain bikers and those with the verve to explore out-of-the-way territory in one of California’s more ignored mountain chains and national forests. The hike passes through a sylvan canyon, making parts of the trail well shaded, and traverses near a splendid seasonal waterfall. The downhill point-to-point nature of the hike makes it fairly easy for anyone wanting to attempt a longer hike.
Lake Elsinore, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8
The Devil’s Backbone is the colloquial moniker of the trail up the knifelike ridgeline to Mount San Antonio. The “other Devils Backbone” follows a mountaineer use trail on the backside of Mount Baldy and traverses the second-and third-highest peaks in the Angeles National Forest. The way is steep, no-nonsense, not overused, and not for the timid or the acrophobic. Breathtaking views are the norm and scrambling over loose rock is guaranteed, as well as high-mountain adventure.
Wrightwood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.3
Enjoy the remarkable tectonic scenery of Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area and its smooth, angular, uplifted sedimentary rocks. Hike high above through shrub forests of pinyon and Coulter pine, incense cedar, and the occasional Joshua tree for an awe inspiring view of the Devils Punchbowl formation from the vista point known as the Devils Chair.
Littlerock, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
If you are looking for variety and challenge, Eaton Canyon is for you. This trail is a reasonably leisurely stroll that, at times, presents a moderate challenge and an even greater reward in the form of one of Southern California’s most picturesque waterfalls and mirrored pools.
Pasadena, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.7
Experience vistas of the Los Angeles metro area while ascending to the ruins of a historic Victorian chalet, and follow the trail of the only scenic mountain electric traction railroad ever built in the United States.
Altadena, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 5
The Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail is a great introduction to Idyllwild hiking and the San Jacinto Mountains. Children and hikers of all ages will enjoy the views, the shady forest, and the gentle trip to Humber Park and back.
Idyllwild, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5
The hike to Etiwanda Peak combines a trek up the Middle Fork of Lytle Creek and an epic adventure from Icehouse Saddle deep into the Cucamonga Wilderness to Cucamonga Peak—and ultimately to remote Etiwanda Peak, where views into the Southern California basin are incredible and the serenity is sublime.
Lytle Creek, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 16.5
Hike through the lovely shaded splendor of Franklin Canyon, the quieter and more peaceful alternative to Runyon Canyon. Franklin Canyon is one of the most popular filming parks in Los Angeles; movie and television buffs will undoubtedly recognize some of the more prominent spots.
Beverly Hills, CA - Hiking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 3.5
This hike highlights some magical Hollywood hotspots, from the Griffith Observatory to the views from Mount Hollywood to an overlook that takes hikers to the back of the Hollywood sign atop Mount Lee. There is something for everyone on this trip.
Hollywood, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 8
The hike to Heart Rock Falls follows lovely Seeley Creek through wooded pine and cedar. An overlook provides the best views of the heart formation, and both the top and bottom of the falls can be visited. Several pools below the falls can be used for wading and swimming.
Crestline, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Holy Jim Falls graces the lovely little side canyon that bears the same name. Lined with fern and riparian splendor, the hike is a popular one, and the tranquil falls, while not overpowering, are quaint, contemplative, and pretty. In times of high water, the falls are more resplendent, but the creek crossings are also a bit trickier. This is a nice hike for all ages and it is one that won’t disappoint.
Corona, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3.1
The hike to Jepson Peak is definitely a demanding one. Beginning in a dusty wash and ending on an alpine summit ridge, the trail leads to a short cross-country traverse up to the second-highest summit in Southern California. The views are stellar and wide.
Forest Falls, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 16
Hike up the oldest trail in Southern California, ascend to the top of a magnificent coastal peak with dynamite views, explore the beautiful flower-filled landscape, and walk through a historic valley where native Chumash thrived in the pre-Columbian era.
Malibu, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 6