8 Best Day Hikes Near Los Angeles

Stuck in that infamous Los Angeles traffic again? Tired of the grind?

Is LA’s suburban sprawl starting to feel like a spider web?

For every Los Angeles freeway, there is an amazing hiking trail. With hundreds of mountains and waterfalls and ridges and trails, make sure to escape every once in a while.

Below are our eight favorite day hikes near Los Angeles.

1. The Bridge to Nowhere

Although its history is not as mysterious as it sounds, this epic 10-mile round-trip hike is one of the best in the area. Located in Angeles National Forest, this bridge is what remains of a failed attempt at cutting a road into a mountainside during the 1930s. It is a mostly flat hike and well worth fighting the crowds at the beginning of the trail.

the bridge to nowhere day hike la

2. Mt. Baldy

Considered a rite of passage among southern California hikers, ascending Mt. Baldy is a must-do. It’s an 11-mile round-trip trek that’ll take you to the top of the highest peak in the San Gabriel range. Breathtaking views from the summit will make you forget you’re near civilization.

mt. baldy top hikes in los angeles

3. Griffith Park – Hollywood Sign Hike

What list of Los Angeles hiking would be complete without the hike to the Hollywood sign? At only 4 miles round-trip, this Griffith Park hike is a great option if you’ve only got a few hours to kill.

griffith park hollywood sign hike la

4. Sturtevant Falls

This trail is easy, but fun. It makes for a nice afternoon away from the city with its streams and creeks. There are multiple stream crossings throughout the trail so definitely bring waterproof shoes or extra socks! When you do get to the final destination, you will be greeted, kindly, by a 50-foot waterfall. Epic.

sturtevant falls day hike los angeles

5. Temescal Canyon

This trail offers spectacular coastal views, a canyon descent and interesting rock formations. If you would rather skip the canyon descent, there is an alternate, more gradual, sunny route.

Temescal Canyon day hike LA

6. Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa

Located in Topanga Park, the Parker Mesa is one of the best views of the Los Angeles coastline. The Los Liones Trail is the most scenic way to get there. It is 7.2 miles roundtrip and pretty gradual until you reach the last bit of the trail.

los liones trail to parker mesa

7. Murphy Ranch

This hike is also located in Topanga Park. The scenery isn’t particularly different, but the history behind this location is well worth the hike. Murphy Ranch starts off with stairs that descend down into what was previously a Nazi sympathizer stronghold. The buildings were literally meant to be a mountainside stronghold for the national socialists if America descended into anarchy after losing World War II. Obviously history played out a little differently, but it makes for a neat day hike!

Murphy Ranch day hike los angeles

8. Big Santa Anita Loop

This 10-mile round-trip hike is chock-full of waterfalls, streams and lush wildlife. There’s an area that’s great for picnicking about 3.5 miles in, and the terrain varies from thick forest to desert. Its got a little bit of everything packed into one trail. It’s good for dogs, too!

big santa anita loop day hike los angeles

Alan Perlman

Lead Adventurer at Nerve Rush
For three years, Alan traveled to 60+ countries as an international cost-of-living surveyor. Back in New York City, when he's not running, rock climbing or geeking out about UAV drones, Alan runs a marketing agency that helps companies generate more sales-ready leads using inbound marketing techniques.

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