7 Urban Hikes That Will Give You Some Peace and Quiet in Los Angeles

By Noah Kaufman |

The amazing view from Temescal Canyon. © Debra Behr / Alamy

Living in a fantastic city comes with plenty of perks—great restaurants, museums, your pick of hipster–made artisanal everything—but one thing that sometimes can be hard to find is the serenity of the great outdoors. Los Angeles, though, doesn’t suffer from this problem. In an area that most people associate with the beach, there are plenty of great hikes nestled in every part of the city.

Griffith Park; Los Feliz

At almost six times the size of New York’s Central Park, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness in America. You could live in L.A. for an entire year and not find every hike in there. The trek up to Mount  Hollywood is a great place to start though. The four-mile hike is centrally located, easy to get to and includes great views of the city. If you want something a little shorter and easier, park on Canyon Drive and walk up to the Bronson Caves, less than a mile from the trailhead. The caves were the entrance to the Batcave that Adam West drove out of.

Wilacre Park; Studio City

Everyone in L.A. rips on the people who live in the valley, but they do have access to some great outdoor space. Smack in the middle of Studio City is Wilacre Park. The 2.7-mile loop up to the top starts steep and flattens out toward the peak. For anyone looking for a longer hike, the trail in Wilacre also connects to nearby Fryman Canyon.

Sullivan Canyon; Brentwood

Drive through the small winding roads above Brentwood and you’ll eventually come to the Sullivan Canyon trailhead. The trail drops you down quickly into the shady canyon before bringing you back up to the Sullivan fire road, four miles later. The entire loop is a little more than eight miles, so pack some water.

Runyon Canyon; West Hollywood

No list of L.A. hikes would be complete without Runyon Canyon. The 3.5-mile hike above West Hollywood is as much a place to be seen as it is a place to work out. Yoga-panted and shirtless Angelinos walk the trail, often with a Starbucks in hand and a small dog in tow.

Arroyo Seco; Pasadena

Beginning by snaking its way along the border between Highland Park and South Pasadena, the Arroyo can be whatever you want it to. Follow the trail up to the Rose Bowl, as it climbs up to the Hahamongna Watershed and all the way into the San Gabriel Mountains above the city.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook; Culver City

Hiding right between the Culver City and Baldwin Hills neighborhoods, this short hike goes through a rehabilitated prairie that is full of runners and walkers every morning. More adventurous types can venture into the back of the park once they reach the top, on to some much less well-maintained trails.

Temescal Canyon; Pacific Palisades

Gorgeous views of the canyon and the Pacific Ocean are everywhere on this relatively easy 2.5-mile hike in the Pacific Palisades. 

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