Best (and worst) LA Hikes
Since Runyon Canyon has closed I've been exploring some new options. Now that it's reopened I want to remember which hikes I should do again and which I should cross off the list.
- •Runyon CanyonThough not particularly exciting, I think Runyon will always be my favorite purely for the convenience and great workout in a short time. TIPS: take the long route to turn it into an hour and a half hike and score some killer views. Go around sunset to beat the heat and take those IG photos you don't even have to filter.
- •Wisdom TreeThis is another convenient hike. It's a steep incline but only takes about twenty minutes to reach the top. Then you get to zen out with a picture perfect tree and rock garden. TIP: for a longer hike you can continue on to the Hollywood sign. This brings it up to an hour and a half hike.
- •Kenneth Hahn State Recreation CenterLocated on the way to LAX, I enjoy this hike because you pass through a lot of different areas. There's a giant grass bowl to start off with (that once was a reservoir), a typical hike, a Japanese garden, and a man made pond complete with waterfalls and geese.
- •Los Liones Trail to Parker MesaThis Pacific Palisades hike has amazing views of the ocean. You can either chose to go a mile and a half through often shady undergrowth to one viewpoint or climb another two miles to reach the top. TIP: the view isn't that much better than the top and the second part of the hike is in direct sunlight, so I would skip the second leg.
- •Temescal CanyonThis two and a half hour hike takes you past a "waterfall" (which in the dry season is completely non-existent and a skull rock formation. You can also choose a steeper shady ascent or a more gradual sunny alternative. TIP: I found the signs here to be very confusing or non existent so definitely look up all the directions ahead of time (or even better, bring someone who's done it before with you).
- •Franklin CanyonThe Hastain Trail is a pretty good hill climb and offers some nice views of the west side. It offers a good workout without having to drive all the way to Malibu or pacific palisades. TIP: if you have some extra time, explore the rest of the park for a while. The green, forest like park is a far cry from most of LA's dusty trails.
- •Beaudry Fire Road to Verdugo CanyonMaybe don't do this Glendale/Burbank hike when it's 102 degrees out. But on the plus side, this loop offers one shady side and one sunnier side and some excellent views of Glendale and Burbank. TIP: go in the late afternoon and do the shaded side first. That way when you get to the sunny side, the day is already starting to cool down.
- •Ernest E. Debs Regional ParkI took my mom on this hike and we had an excellent time. It's nice and shaded and not too grueling. The only problem is we got lost once we reached the park and couldn't figure out how to get back to where we parked. TIP: if this happens to you, ask someone how to get to the lake. First off, the lake is very cute and second, it's easy to find your way back from there.
- •Santa Anita CanyonMy mom and I hiked this one as well. Pluses: a waterfall complete with loads of butterflies. These guys will fly up and land on you. Talk about a great photo op. You also pass by a bunch of cute cabins and picturesque ponds and an (abandoned?) camp resort. Also a lot of the hike takes place on the shady forest floor. Minuses: online we were told this hike would take four hours, it ended up taking closer to six. TIP: This is an all day hike. Bring plenty of food and water. And bug spray.
- •Fern Dell to Griffith ObservatoryIf you're tired of the regular Griffith Park hike, this one approaches the Observatory from a different angle. It's not particularly memorable, but it is convenient.
- •Elyria CanyonBarely a hike, this trail is located in Mt. Washington. The redeeming feature is that (at least when I went) there was no one else there so you can get that peaceful (and a little terrifying) feeling of being alone in the wilderness.
- •Westridge Canyonback Wilderness ParkThis three hour, seven mile hike can be a bit grueling in the summer as you are in direct sunlight almost the entire time. Pluses: there's a cool park and missile site at the top with a water fountains to refill your depleted supplies. And at no point is the hike particularly steep, you make the ascent gradually. Minuses: my dog actually got sunstroke and possibly burned his paw pads and I had to carry him the last two miles back to the car. I felt like a horrible dog mommy for the next week.