Best time to visit Los Angeles

Hiking in Los Angeles

The stunning nature of national parks, canyons, lakes, and mountains in the vicinity of the City of Angels attracts with its beauty and unpredictability

Best time: October–June


Put on comfortable shoes, take a supply of drinking water, sunscreen, and sunglasses and go exploring Los Angeles and its vicinity. You can visit Griffith park with its numerous trails. This is a unique place in the middle of the metropolis. Wildlife watching, hiking, biking, horse trails, and the operating observatory are only a few of its attractions. Visit the famous Hollywood sign, the Travel Town Museum railway and the open air Greek Theater.

Bronson Canyon, located in the southwestern part of the park is a popular destination for dozens of filmmakers. But watch your step because there are a lot of rattlesnakes. In addition to snakes, there is the endangered American mountain lion.

Runyon Canyon Park is a hidden treasure right in the center of Los Angeles. It is located only two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. However, this spot is unexplored for most tourists. Many Los Angeles residents come here to get fresh air, exercise, and walk their dogs. Runyon Canyon Park offers several different routes, all with a delightful view of the rugged landscape and the urban landscape of Los Angeles. From some points of view you can see the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island in the distance.

Malibu Creek State Park is one of the most non-touristic places. It occupies over 2500 hectare of beautiful landscapes and coastal trails along oak and sycamore forests, and chaparral-covered slopes. A lot of films and television programs were shot in this park. There are many trails for beginners or even the most experienced tourists. Light routes pass through the valleys, and complex ones include climbing.

Park Franklin Canyon is located between the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills. It offers luxurious picnic spots and hiking trails. The lake and streams serve as a permanent and seasonal home for birds on the Pacific coast.

If you want to move a bit further from Los Angeles, visit Eaton Canyon and Falls, a zoological, botanical, and geological reserve located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. Its main attraction is a 5-km trek to some waterfalls. You will never be alone in this hike, which is very popular among slow-moving families with pets every weekend, so be prepared to share the stunning 12-meter-tall cascade with a crowd.

North of Pasadena, in the San Gabriel Mountains, Angeles National Forest wilderness is another dream destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and backpackers. With many canyons and mountains, 53 trailheads and 697 mi (1122 km) of trails it offers many wonderful experiences for nature enthusiasts.

One of the favorite places for beginner backpackers in the Angeles National Forest is Little Jimmy Trail Camp. It's about 1,5-hour drive from Los Angeles and 2-mile (3,2-km) hike. After you reach the campground, you can continue walking uphill to see amazing views reaching far into the desert. There are also several tables and a fire ring. Little Jimmy Spring is known to have the best drinking water in the area. Little Jimmy Trail Camp is an excellent base to start a hike of Mt. Islip, 8,250 ft (2,514 m). or Mt. Hawkins, 8,850 ft (2,697 m). Little Jimmy Trail Camp was named after cartoonist for the Hearst newspapers, Jimmy Swinnerton, who liked to hike in the area.

Another route to the waterfalls which saves you from the Californian heat is Escondido, the highest waterfall in the Santa Monica mountains. This weekend hike is about 5 km. The itinerary is difficult. The real complexity begins after turning right to the upper tier of the waterfall, where you have to walk on a slippery slope along a safety line. As a bonus, you can try bathing under the waterfall in cold water.

A variety of trails makes hiking possible all year round, yet summers may appear uncomfortably hot, especially July to September. So it's better to avoid these months if you plan a lasting hiking adventure.

Practical info

When is the best time to go hiking in Los Angeles?

The best time for hiking in Los Angeles is from October to June because peak summer (July-September) may cause discomfort due to high temperatures. Although the winter may bring rain, the weather is comparatively mild and comfortable for hiking. Show more

What is there to do in Griffith Park besides seeing the Hollywood sign?

Griffith Park, located in the center of Los Angeles, is a unique place that offers numerous trails for hikers, bikers, and horse riders alike. The park is home to the Hollywood sign, Greek Theater, Travel Town Museum, Fern Dell Nature Museum, and the Bronson Canyon. It provides easy access to nature and breathtaking views of the city. Show more

Which hiking trails in Angeles National Forest are ideal for beginners?

Angeles National Forest is an ideal destination for people looking to explore the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. Little Jimmy Trail Camp is an excellent place for beginners as it offers a 2-mile walk, after which visitors can hike to either Mount Islip (8,250 ft) or Mount Hawkins (8,550 ft). The Little Jimmy Spring serves as an excellent place to get drinking water. Show more

What precautions should be taken when hiking in Bronson Canyon?

Bronson Canyon, located in Griffith Park, is a favorite film location and also home to many rattlesnakes. Therefore, hikers should watch their step and should be equipped with appropriate safety gear. American mountain lions, which are endangered species, also reside in the canyon. Hence, visitors should avoid hiking alone and stick to designated trails, carry enough drinking water, sunscreen, and food. Show more

What's the Escondido Falls hike difficulty level, and when's the perfect time for the hike?

Escondido Falls is a popular weekend hiking destination but not suitable for beginners. The hike is around 5 km long and features a slippery slope along with a safety line that ultimately leads to the waterfalls. It's best to hike during spring or winter when the weather is mild and pleasant. Hikers should carry enough water, avoid hiking during the hottest parts of the day and prepare appropriately for the challenging hike. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin