Best Day Hikes In The L.A. Area

When people think of L.A., hiking is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Movie stars and Bloody Marys at famous hotels are usually more in line with initial thoughts. However, L.A. actually has some amazing hiking opportunities for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here are some of the best hiking opportunities available in the City of Angels.

Mt. San Jacinto

If you’re headed to the Palm Springs area for the weekend and you want to get in a little hiking, Mt. San Jacinto in the San Jacinto State Park is the perfect choice. It offers some amazing alpine views but won’t destroy you, physically, to get them. The trail’s highest peak is at about 10,833 feet, and from there you’ll be able to see the Palm Desert, Inland Empire, and Coachella Valley.

Parker Mesa

Parker Mesa, in Topanga State Park, is perfect for someone that wants to get in a hike without spending all day on the trail. You can walk the Los Liones trailhead in a little over 7 miles, roundtrip. The hike starts in the Pacific Palisades and for such a short trail you get some pretty insane views. On a clear day, you should have no problems seeing San Clemente Island, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and Catalina Island.

Cooper Canyon

Cooper Canyon, at Angeles National Forest, is actually a part of the Pacific Crest Trail. You’ll descend the Burkhart Trail, which is downhill the entire way, and in a mile and half, you’ll drop 745 feet. You’ll see plenty of gorgeous trees and actually cross the Pacific Crest Trail before arriving at Cooper Canyon Falls, a beautiful waterfall that’s a fitting reward for the end of a hike.

Mt. San Gorgonio

Mt. San Gorgonio is more of an expedition than a hike. At 11,503 feet, it’s the highest peak in Southern California. The trail itself is an 18-mile roundtrip hike, and you’ll gain 5,390 feet in elevation. That’s a beast of a hike! In fact, many will camp overnight in order to complete the whole trail. Camping permits are available at the Mill Creek Visitor Center. Regardless of how fast you decide to tackle the trail, you’ll experience a variety of climates and ecosystems that you won’t soon forget.