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: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Best hikes: Griffith Park

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Best hikes: Griffith Park



Hollywood | Los Feliz | Malibu | Culver City | Altadena


The Charlie Turner Trail to Mount Hollywood, Griffith Park


At the top of Mount Hollywood, 360-degree views of everything from the Verdugo Mountains to the Pacific Ocean (on a rare, smog-free day) offer a bird’s-eye crash course on LA geography. That is, if you can fight the feeling of visual overload—inspired by Griffith Park’s dazzlingly varied landscape—long enough to keep your bearings.

To get to the Mount Hollywood summit, Griffith’s highest peak, pick up the trail at the north side of the Observatory parking lot. Starting off amid scrubby evergreens, the path quickly emerges into the hills, winding higher and deeper, with the Hollywood sign appearing to the left about 15 minutes in.

After about a solid 40 minutes of walking, you’ll reach the top: a big, dusty clearing with picnic tables. It’s an ideal vantage point for checking out sweeping views of the Los Angeles basin, the edge of the San Fernando Valley, the hazy hills to the west, the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles with the observatory in the foreground, and the money shot: a close-up of the Hollywood sign at eye level.

Griffith Park

Address: 2800 E Observatory Ave

Hours: From 5am-10:30pm. Hiking trails close at sunset.

Parking: Snag a spot in the lot next to the Griffith Observatory. If that lot is too hectic, look for street parking along Observatory Avenue.

Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes.

Length: ~3 miles

Time: 90 mins


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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