9 Outdoor Hiking Trails in Los Angeles
Discovering our new home of Los Angeles through hiking trails is quickly becoming one of my favorite pastimes. Whether you are a Los Angeles resident or you are just visiting SoCal, hiking can be a wonderful way to spend your day. Hiking is almost always free. Los Angeles can be a very expensive destination for a family, but hiking is a wonderful free activity! Hiking is also a great way to see sights, get some exercise, and unplug from a fast-paced world. Thank you to iQ Academy California for curating some of Los Angeles’ best hiking trails for families!
As part of our No Spend January Challenge, we have been hiking at least 2 times a week. My husband and I do not see any reason to have a gym membership when there are so many beautiful hiking trails in Southern California. Our hope is that this year we can use hiking as a fun way to spend time as a family, a day date as a couple, or meeting up with friends. We hope this new free habit of hiking on local trails will also translate to positive mental and physical health benefits.
Benefits of Hiking!
Staying active during winter months is crucial for several reasons. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and supports cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart-related issues.
Mental well-being is also impacted. Physical activity releases endorphins, improving mood and reducing stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Regular activity also enhances the immune system, which is vital during winter when colds and flu are prevalent. Energy levels improve too. Keeping active helps combat winter fatigue, boosting energy levels and preventing lethargy.
Social interaction is increasingly important for our digital world – especially online learning students. Participating in group or outdoor activities provides social engagement, reducing feelings of isolation that can be more common during the colder months. Spending time outdoors, even in winter, allows for exposure to sunlight, aiding in vitamin D synthesis and supporting bone health. Maintaining physical activity also helps manage weight by burning calories, especially important when holiday indulgences are common.
Los Angeles Hikes for Families
Bolsa Chica Hiking Trail
- Enjoy a coastal hike at Bolsa Chica, with scenic views and diverse wildlife.
- Check tide conditions for optimal beach exploration.
Photo of this SoCal Hike used with permission for iQ Academy.
Gum Grove Park Seal Beach Hiking Trail
- Explore the beauty of Gum Grove Park with its serene surroundings.
- Ideal for a leisurely stroll or a family-friendly outing.
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hiking Trail
- Immerse yourself in nature with miles of trails in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.
- Varied difficulty levels, offering something for every hiker.
The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail
- Leashed dogs allowed, providing a pet-friendly hiking experience.
Griffith Park Trails
- Reach the 1,625-foot peak from Griffith Observatory (1.4 miles) or Western Canyon (4.2 miles).
- Panoramic views make this hike a must for nature enthusiasts.
White Point Preserve
- Trails suitable for all levels, offering ocean views and restored native plants.
Runyon Canyon Park Trail
- Explore the 2.7-mile loop, a moderately challenging route popular for hiking and running.
Franklin Canyon Reservoir Hiking Trail
- Iconic one-mile loop around Franklin Canyon Reservoir, extending to 1.5 miles.
- Discover the park’s diverse landscapes, including lakes, ponds, and wooded areas.
Solstice Canyon Loop
- Located in Solstice Canyon Park, part of the Santa Monica Mountains.
- A three-mile trail with moderate difficulty, featuring a waterfall, ruins, and hidden statues.
Remember to check trail conditions, bring water, and adhere to any posted guidelines for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.
iQ Academy California – Los Angeles, an online public school in California, recommends incorporating outdoor activities into your student’s week whether they’re learning online or in a brick and mortar school because it fosters discipline and consistency in overall health habits. While iQLA offers a variety of monthly in-person student outings, they also created a list of fan favorite hiking destinations spanning across Los Angeles and Orange Counties for you and your child to enjoy. They’re perfectly suited for families and school meetups alike.
Thank you to iQ Academy of California Los Angeles for providing content for this article. iQ Academy of California – Los Angeles (IQLA) is a full-time online public charter school authorized by the Rowland Unified School District. IQLA is available to students in kindergarten through 12th grade who reside in Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.