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Los Angeles

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Overview

Exploring one of Los Angeles' many parks, open spaces, or surrounding National Forests continues to be one of the best ways to escape the most populous county in the U.S. Ranging from the coastal trails above Malibu stretching out toward Point Mugu State Park, to the city vistas above the Hollywood Hills in Griffith Park and the Griffith Observatory, there are lots of opportunities for easy and moderate hikes.

For the more experienced hiker or exercise fiend, the Santa Monica Mountains to the west or San Gabriel Mountains to the northeast are home to many challenging hikes like up and around Mount Wilson, along the Verdugo Crest Trail, or to the summit of Sandstone Peak. There's no shortage of elevation to gain with expansive, rewarding views along the way.

For hikes with historical or cultural significance, the Hollywood Sign has become a rite of passage, but the M*A*S*H relics at Malibu Creek State Park or ruins at Murphy Ranch are also worth the visit.

Easy hikes:

  • Eaton Falls
  • Sturtevant Falls
  • Arroyo Seco
  • Peter's Canyon Loop
  • Intermediate hikes:

  • Bridge to Nowhere - East Fork Trail #8W13
  • Top of the World Loop
  • Hollywood Sign and Bronson Caves
  • Filiorum & Portuguese Bend Loop
  • Difficult hikes:

  • Mount Wilson
  • Parker Mesa Overlook
  • San Antonio Falls - Sierra Club Ski Hut - Devil's Backbone
  • Inspiration Point - Murphy Ranch Out-and-Back
  • Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon
  • Visiting Tips

    It should come as no surprise that riding in L.A. can be hot and dry. With that in mind, always bring some water and sun protection, but also consider the non-summer months, like Spring and Fall, for some of the best times to get out, with summer warmth lasting into October, especially on the Eastside. February-April can be a great time for nice temps, blooming wildflowers, and spotting gray whales as they return north from their calving grounds off Baja and coastal western Mexico.

    Camping & Lodging

    You'll find lots of hike-in camping options throughout the San Gabriel Mountains. The Forest Service maintains most of these first-come, first-served sites like the Gould Mesa Trail Camp off the Gabrielino Trail (NRT) 11W14 or the Bear Canyon Campsite on the Bear Canyon Trail Camp hike from the Switzer Picnic Area.

    For drive-up campgrounds, check out the Manker Flats Campground near San Antonio Falls or the Chilao Campground near Big Tujunga Canyon and the Silver Moccasin Trail.

    Along the Malibu coastline in the Santa Monica Mountains, you can find established camping in one of these four state parks:
    • Leo Carrillo State Park: Hike and Bike ($10/person), Canyon Family ($45/night), Group Walk-In ($225/night)
    • Point Mugu State Park: Big Sycamore Canyon Hike/Bike ($10/person), Big Sycamore Canyon Family Camp ($45/night), and much more.
    • Malibu Creek State Park: Malibu Creek Family Campground ($45/night), Malibu Creek Group Camp Walk-In ($200/night)
    • Topanga State Park: Musch Camp Backcountry Hike-In ($7/person/night and $10/night parking fee)

    Food & Drink

    After a hike at Griffith Park, like the lesser-known Beacon Hill Loop, check out Proof Bakery for all your pastry and coffee needs. Or just down Eisenhurst Ave is The Village Bakery and Cafe for a casual lunch option. On the Westside, near Will Rogers State Park, the post-hike go-to is a Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery.

    Other Activities

    Los Angeles is a cultural hub with endless arts, shopping, and food for the rare rainy day (February is the rainiest month) or, more likely, when the heat is just too much. After signing up with a TAP account, hop on a Metro Bike Share bike for a free 30-minute ride and find yourself in a new neighborhood with more to explore just around the corner.

    Recommended Routes in Los Angeles - 95

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    Favorite Big gaps on a hidden line. Respect their work and don't walk on the jumps please.
    Intermediate

    Fullerton Loop

    11.2 mi 18.1 km 669' Up 203.99 m Up 679' Down 206.81 m Down

    Fullerton, CA
    Favorite This is just midway through the beauty !!!! Mud and Smile say's it all  : )
    Intermediate

    Marshall Canyon

    10.4 mi 16.8 km 1,355' Up 413.03 m Up 1,356' Down 413.43 m Down

    La Verne, CA
    Favorite Jen keeping it rolling through dusty ruts. Great trail for the area!
    Difficult

    El Prieto Loop

    8.3 mi 13.4 km 1,262' Up 384.6 m Up 1,263' Down 384.89 m Down

    La Caña…, CA
    Favorite Down the Luge. Shot by DPCAero.com
    Difficult

    The Luge Loop

    7.7 mi 12.4 km 1,227' Up 373.89 m Up 1,203' Down 366.69 m Down

    Portola…, CA
    Favorite Lots of stream crossings on the way up Gabrielino Trail.  It's a challenge not to fall in at least once!
    Intermediate

    Gabrielino Trail: JPL to the USFS Dam

    8.8 mi 14.1 km 577' Up 175.77 m Up 578' Down 176.14 m Down

    La Caña…, CA
    Favorite Climbing up, about a mile north of Mystic Cyn.
    Intermediate

    Lower Monroe Truck Trail

    16.1 mi 25.9 km 2,319' Up 706.97 m Up 2,319' Down 706.93 m Down

    Glendora, CA
    Favorite A view from the San Juan Trail
    Difficult

    San Juan Lollipop

    21.8 mi 35.1 km 3,344' Up 1019.38 m Up 3,344' Down 1019.13 m Down

    Coto De…, CA
    Favorite The descent from Lawlor saddle to Red Box offers more epic views of the Angeles National Forest
    Difficult

    Strawberry Peak Loop

    15.6 mi 25.0 km 2,593' Up 790.29 m Up 2,603' Down 793.49 m Down

    Altadena, CA
    Favorite After climbing for a bit, there is a bike park!
    Intermediate

    Tapia Canyon Rd Singletrack

    19.0 mi 30.6 km 1,934' Up 589.37 m Up 1,934' Down 589.39 m Down

    Castaic, CA

    Los Angeles Biking

    • 2,436 Miles 3,921 Kilometers of Trail
    • 96 Recommended Routes
    • 199 Easy Trails Easy Trails
    • 408 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
    • 65 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
    MTB Project is built by riders like you. Share what you know about this area!

    Areas Within Los Angeles

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    Trails in Los Angeles - 574

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    1.2 mi 2.0 km #1Lizard Trail
    Intermediate/Difficult
    San Joaquin Hills, CA
    Intermediate/Difficult
    San Joaquin Hills, CA 61 
    1.8 mi 2.8 km #2El Prieto Trail
    Difficult
    La Cañada Flintridge, CA
    Difficult
    La Cañada Flintridge, CA 54 
    1.4 mi 2.2 km #3Rock-It Trail
    Difficult
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    Difficult
    Aliso Viejo, CA 51 
    1.7 mi 2.7 km #4Meadows Trail
    Intermediate
    Laguna Beach, CA
    Intermediate
    Laguna Beach, CA 42 
    0.6 mi 0.9 km #5Lynx
    Difficult
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    Difficult
    Aliso Viejo, CA 38 
    0.6 mi 1.0 km #6Chutes Ridgeline
    Difficult
    Villa Park, CA
    Difficult
    Villa Park, CA 33 
    1.4 mi 2.2 km #7The Luge
    Difficult
    Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Difficult
    Trabuco Canyon, CA 28 
    4.5 mi 7.2 km #8Sullivan Canyon
    Intermediate
    Topanga, CA
    Intermediate
    Topanga, CA 31 
    2.2 mi 3.5 km #9Rattlesnake Trail
    Difficult
    San Joaquin Hills, CA
    Difficult
    San Joaquin Hills, CA 32 
    2.4 mi 3.8 km #10Sunset Ridge Trail
    Difficult
    Altadena, CA
    Difficult
    Altadena, CA 26 

    Photos of Los Angeles - 1,463

    MTB Project is built by riders like you. Add Your Photos

    Total corner destruction. This kid has his cutties on lock!
    Sep 15, 2016 near Villa Park, CA
    Video of the Luge Down hill shot by DPCAero.com
    Feb 10, 2016 near Trabuco…, CA
    Full Trail Guide for Fullerton Loop.
    Sep 23, 2018 near Fullerton, CA
    Local ripper, Spencer Rathkamp, making the best of a recently torched zone on Los Pinetos.
    Dec 23, 2016 near San Fer…, CA
    Bluebird Canyon -Laguna Beach, CA 
<br>
Photo by Bill Freeman
    Jan 24, 2015 near Laguna…, CA
    For a moment, you really do ride on the rim of this ridge.
    Oct 7, 2019 near Sierra…, CA
    Erik hittin' switches just below the Ken Burton Memorial, a fine morning in the ANF.
    Sep 18, 2018 near La Caña…, CA
    Really fun huck-spot on Chutes Ridgeline!
    Dec 20, 2017 near Villa Park, CA