Best hikes in LA: Get outdoors and view the city from the hills

From secluded mountain treks in Altadena to unparalleled people-watching in Runyon Canyon, here are five of the best hikes in LA with great views of the city.

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  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

  • Photograph: Benny Haddad

    Best hikes: Runyon Canyon

Photograph: Benny Haddad

Best hikes: Runyon Canyon



In a city where open space is sparse and the sprawl can feel endelss, climb up to escape from it all. These five hikes provide a great experience and unmatched views that really put Los Angeles in perspective. Whether you're more cityscape gawker or ocean gazer, we've got the trek for you, in this list of the best hikes in LA—with views.


 


Hollywood | Los Feliz | Malibu | Culver City | Altadena


Runyon Canyon, Hollywood


An exerciser’s paradise in the Hollywood Hills, Runyon’s the spot for views of the toned bodies and even tonier homes endemic to this part of LA. The packed dirt path leads hikers, runners, yoga enthusiasts and roving weightlifters on a loop around the canyon, guaranteeing countless moments to pause and utter “This is so LA”—particularly during the after-work rush hour, when people-watching reaches its frenzied peak. Look out for tatted-up porn-star bodies sprinting bare-chested through the hills. Make eyes with middle-aged gay couples, chiseled and waxed. And clear the path for at least one dog walker, clogging the trail with a pack of purebreds.

You can catch the loop from either the east (Fuller Avenue) or West (North Vista Street) side of the canyon. Either way, it’s a mostly gradual ascent, except for a treacherously steep and narrow section near the top of the eastern canyon wall. At the top, the trail plateaus along a ridge, giving views of the architectural hodgepodge of the Hollywood Hills—solar panels, pools and decks on stilts—downtown Hollywood and the Capitol Records building, the manicured tidiness of WeHo’s grid, and the tangle of high-rises along Miracle Mile.

Runyon Canyon

Address: 2001 N Fuller Ave

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Parking: Street parking. Franklin Avenue is a good place to find a two-hour spot. You can enter the park on North Fuller Avenue or North Vista Street. Watch out for permit-parking only blocks in this neighborhood.

Pets? Dogs are welcome (encouraged, really), with much of the trail allowing off-leash roaming.

Length: ~1.5 miles with possibilities to extend

Time: 30-60 mins

  1. Hollywood
  2. Los Feliz
  3. Malibu
  4. Culver City
  5. Altadena

Users say

6 comments
Maria F
Maria F

Miss Heaven's Bustop at the top of Runyon!

Justin S
Justin S

Whatever dumbass wrote this article gave the wrong address for the Sara Wan Trailhead. 25623 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu 90265

Jack
Jack

Great site to explore the city.

Julie Kashen
Julie Kashen

Corral Canyon is awesome, but the address you have listed is wrong. Newport Beach is also beautiful, but not as good for a great hike. I recommend you correct the address.

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