6 Best LA Hiking Trails

Hiking. We all do it. But since Hollywood Hills favorite spot Runyon Canyon closed for a few months for construction, we’ve been visiting other parks, hills and canyons. It’s a great opportunity to break the routine and enjoy all that Los Angeles has to offer. Here are the best LA hiking trails we’ve found. (We even scoped out a few dog-friendly hikes.) Happy trails!


For those who are looking for the closest thing to Runyon Canyon, Fryman Canyon is equally as scenic and filled with star sightings. You’ll see celebrities like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Amanda Seyfried and Hayden Panettiere at this dog-friendly spot.


This is the perfect hike for the directionally challenged. You can go on a solo hike without fear of becoming lost by taking the West Observatory Trail from Griffith Park up to the Observatory. There are a few steep inclines, but since it’s all on a wide dirt fire road, there’s absolutely zero chance you’ll lose your way.


Yes, there’s still a drought on, but that won’t stop you from seeing a breathtaking waterfall on this hike. After a mile on the trail, gradually ascending over 150 feet from a low spot below the road, arrive at Lower Escondido Falls. This fifty-foot cascade transport hikers instantly to the tropics. For those yearning for more and willing to work for it, Upper Escondido Falls is three times as tall and ten times as beautiful. The water pours over a wall of lush green moss and falls some 150 feet before landing in a calm pool. If there is a good flow over the waterfall, it is one of the best around.


Want some privacy on your urban hike? Sycamore Canyon in Whittier is still basically undiscovered, so you won’t be crowded by tons of dog-walkers/yogis/dog-walking yogis.


If you are looking for a hike that’s an action-packed adventure- you’ll love this hike to the Cave of Munits and Castle Peak. You’ll start with a gradual warm up across El Escorpion Park to Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve, where you’ll find a fun vertical cave just begging to be explored. You won’t need any ropes or gear to get through the cave, just an adventurous spirit that will lead you out the top of the cave to a tough off-trail ascent to Castle Peak, a panoramic summit towering over the west end of the San Fernando Valley. Are you up for the challenge?


Perhaps the most-discussed and most mind-blowing of all these hikes, the Murphy Ranch Trail takes you through an abandoned Nazi Compound that’s nestled in the middle of the mountains. Your inner Indiana Jones will geek out over engine parts, crumbled huts, and even an overturned ’40s VW Bus nestled into the woods. Dogs are welcome to use the trail- but must be kept on leash.

There are PLENTY of other spectacular hiking trails in and around LA. Do you have other suggestions for LA hiking trails? Be sure to share!

Amy Johnson

is UDR’s budding social media guru, and has been instrumental in constructing the brand’s content strategy. After graduating from University of Colorado- Boulder, she started working for UDR as a marketing intern. When she isn’t perusing the web for the perfect pins and Facebook posts, she can be found hiking somewhere with her dog Rory.

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