LA is a popular city break for many and is loved by tourists and residents alike. The city is also blessed with some of the best beaches and mountain ranges in the US so you can have the best of both worlds. If you are a fan of getting away from it all, a trip to the mountains and canyons that surround LA is the perfect way to unwind from city life.
Runyan Canyon (Hollywood)
Runyan Canyon is a favorite spot for runner and hikers to head to for a workout with a view. The 1.5 mile route (this can be extended) is made up of a packed dirt track with a gradual ascent. Depending on your fitness level you can reach the top of the canyon in 30-60 minutes and will enjoy great views of LA along the way. You can join the loop at Fuller Drive from the East or from North Vista Street from the West.
The Charlie Turner Trail to Mount Hollywood (Griffith Park)
Reaching the top of Mount Hollywood will be rewarded by a 360-degree view of LA that is difficult to beat. Mount Hollywood is the highest peak in Griffith Park and is reached by a path that begins at the back of the Observatory. It will take you approximately 40 minutes to walk the 3 miles that it takes to reach the summit where you can find picnic tables to sit and enjoy the dramatic views.
Baldwin Hills (Culver City)
Found on the outskirts of Culver City’s commercial zone, this oil-rig filled hill offers a quick 20 minute workout for those looking for scenic exercise. If you want to take your time to explore the views the take a picnic to enjoy at the top of the hill and enjoy views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Westwood’s Mormon temple. This climb is steep so you may struggle if you are in poor health or have accessibly concerns.
Echo Mountain (Altadena)
Part of the Sam Merrill Trail, Echo Mountain attracts nature lovers of all sorts. Whether you are an avid climber or simply want to meditate away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can take a hike up one of LA’s favorite climbs. The total path is 5 miles and you can spend up to 3.5 hours to reach the summit. This hike is great for a full afternoon out and you will certainly be rewarded for your efforts with excellent views of Pasadena and Downtown LA.
What Else to See and Do
Walking and hiking around these wonderful lakes is thirsty work but there is lots of great places to eat and drink in LA to suit all tastes. Whether you want to refuel with an energy-boosting smoothie from Naturewell Juice Bar LA or you need a caffeine fix from The Coffee Gallery in Altadena to keep your momentum going, LA has it all. As well as finding the best coffee in LA, there are many great street food trucks in LA if you want to eat while on-the-go or you can book yourself in to a fancy restaurant if you fancy rewarding yourself for your hard working hiking around the lakes.
Once you have refuelled you can visit some of LA’s tourists attractions that celebrate the need for taking things at a slower pace. Highlights include a guided dolphin and whale watching tour, Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Gardens, and Arlington Garden in Pasadena.
Whatever you choose to do in LA to get your nature fix, we are sure that you will want to return again and again.