Los Angeles has a variety of hikes for those seeking a more challenging promenade than Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and these four offer an awe-inspiring perspective on the sprawling city and its nearby mountains.
Chantry Flats to Mount Wilson
This strenuous 14-mile-roundtrip
hike in the Angeles
National Forest is noted for its soaring views of the Mojave desert to the
north and the Los Angeles basin to the south. The
trail starts at the Chantry Flats trailhead above the city of Arcadia, 23 miles
northeast of LA, and the end-point, Mount Wilson, is a southern California landmark. At 5,710ft
high, Mount Wilson stands prominently above the suburb of Pasadena and is home
to a vast array of LA radio and television antennae, an observatory and fixed telescopes. On a haze-free day, you can
even spot Catalina
Island, located 100 miles to the south of Mount Wilson.
The Hollywood sign hike
score of this six-and-a-half mile hike
is the ultimate holiday snap: the back of the iconic Hollywood sign and a spectacular view
of Los Angeles, from downtown all the way to the ocean. The famed sign itself
is protected by security cameras and tall fences, but hikers can get within
feet of its rarely-seen backside, with 360-degree views from atop the 1,709ft
summit of Mount Lee. Start the hike at the trailhead at the end
of Canyon Drive in Bronson Canyon Park, Hollywood.
Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa
trailhead at the end of Los Liones Drive in Santa
Monica, it is a three-mile
hike, over rugged single-track trails, through woods and on wide exposed fire
roads, to the Parker Mesa Overlook, which grants a catbird seat of LA, from downtown
in the east to Rancho Palos Verde in the south. Just below the plateau is the Santa
Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean is to the west. The trail is
popular with mountain bikers, trail runners and the Sierra Club, an environmental group that meets for a hike every
other Friday around the city.
Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak
If you want to feel as though you are sitting on top of the world, tackle this hike to
Peak. With an elevation of 3,110ft, it is highest peak in the Santa Monica
Mountains, and has breathtaking views of the Channel
Islands in the west, Mount Baldy in the east, Los Padres National Forest in the north
and the Pacific Ocean in the south. The trail for the seven-mile
loop starts at the trailhead, one mile east of the Circle X Ranch
on Yerba Buena Road in western Malibu.
Pardilla is the Los Angeles Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes Carolineoncrack.com.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Catalina Island is located 100 miles to the south of LA. This has now been fixed.