The Best Los Angeles Spring Hikes

Sometimes you just need a break from the glitz and glam of Los Angeles. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of trails nearby to get all dusty and dirty on a good hike. 

Springtime is one of the best times to take a hike because we’ve not yet reached peak heat and you can still safely hike many of the local trails. Traverse some hidden gems and some trails that have been featured in a few of Hollywood’s greatest hits!

Charlie Turner Trail

Imagine being so dedicated to preserving your community’s natural resources that you get a whole park named after you. That’s exactly what happened to local garden enthusiast Charlie Turner in the 1970s. Named in his honor, this trail starts at the Griffith Park Observatory and leads down a dirt path until you traverse the top of the Vermont Canyon Road tunnel. Climb up the hillside and then make a 180-degree loop around it. From there, you can either keep going on another connecting trail or call it a day and go back down the same way.

Ferndell Nature Trail

The dense forests of the Ferndell Nature Trail are so lush and picturesque that you’ll think you stepped into a reboot of “Snow White.” The trail’s unique ability to stay green for much longer than other places in the park is thanks to the recycled water that flows into it from the Griffith Observatory. The trail winds through the Ferndell Nature Museum, although this isn’t your typical museum. Complete the quarter-mile trail and then grab a coffee at The Trails Cafe or keep the fun going by hiking to Western Canyon, a spot that gives you a slight elevation change and even more views of the park.

Bronson Canyon

The Bronson Canyon trail is under a mile round trip, so you’ll still be able to make it to brunch on time. And if you feel like you’ve seen Bronson Canyon before, it’s probably because you have. The canyon’s famed “Batcave” has been featured in several movies including “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “Star Trek VI.” You reach this destination by making your way down the canyon drive on a dirt road that leads to a junction. After snapping your new profile pic in front of the cave, continue back the way you came. One more thing about the Batcave: watch out for rattlesnakes!

Glendale Peak Trail

Visitors to the Glendale Peak Trail better have their boots made for walking. The 3.6-mile long trail is unforgivingly steep throughout the course and the noted lack of shade prompts many to save this hike for cooler days. Griffith Park boasts incredible views of the city, mountains, and ocean making it a triple threat on a clear day. In addition to the inclines, you’ll have to cross over a bridge at the top so be careful on this trail if heights aren’t your thing. And, head up to the observatory where you’ll see the Hollywood sign serving looks in the distance.

Mount Hollywood Trail

Mount Hollywood Trail is so deeply embedded in the secluded forest, that you’ll probably forget they’re filming your favorite TV show just a few miles away. The 5-mile loop treks around the east side of Mount Hollywood and offers up some excellent views, even though you won’t summit the peak on this trail. The poppies are also cropping up at this time of year for an even prettier sight. It’s mostly a chill hike, with some loose rocks and scramble sections to watch out for. Many have remarked that this trail isn’t very well-marked, so be advised to download a copy of the map before you head out.

Runyon Canyon Trail

Runyon Canyon Trail really takes home the award for being one of the best hikes in Los Angeles. The 2.7-mile West Hollywood loop comes with its fair share of challenges. You’ll also get the added test of having to climb up some rocks on select sections of the trail. But the views are worth the trouble once you’re looking down over the city from on high. Be aware that Runyon Canyon Trail is known to get slippery at times. A pro tip is to hike this trail counterclockwise to avoid the steep parts at the end. 


Burbank Peak Trail 

Burbank Peak Trail is an excellent place to take the kids if you’re looking for some family fun that doesn’t require breaking the bank. Enter through the gate a little ways from the trailhead and then trek up a short incline. You’ll hike pretty high, pretty fast on this trail that ascends the mountainside for just over a mile and scores you some breathtaking views of the city. The main attraction on the Burbank Peak Trail is the Wisdom Tree, a lone tree that watches over Los Angeles from above. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you on your hike.

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