Trevor Morrow is a travel writer and blogger based in Los Angeles, California. With a specialty in adventure and luxury travel, Trevor’s travel insights are regularly published across the web and on his travel blog, Trevor Morrow Travel. When he’s not globetrotting, Trevor can be found day-tripping around Southern California.
I love living in Los Angeles.
It’s a melting pot of culture, cuisine and art where, for those with a sense of adventure, boredom doesn’t exist.
And of course, you can’t praise Los Angeles without mentioning our famously pleasant weather.
But what I love most about LA, is the city’s close proximity to nature. We not only have deserts, forests and snowy mountains all within a 2-hour drive, but we also have plenty of nature right in the middle of the city. The best example of which, is Griffith Park.At 4,218 acres, Griffith Park is five times the size of New York’s Central Park and it’s my favorite city hike on account of its beauty, accessibility and the incredible views it affords.
On a recent Sunday, my girlfriend and I began our day with a morning hike at Griffith Park — starting at The Trails Cafe.The Trails Cafe (known simply as “Trails”) is a true, locals-only kind of place. Seriously, I bet 9 out of 10 Angelenos have never even heard of it. In addition to tea and coffee drinks, the small shack of a building shaded by trees dishes out mouthwatering homemade scones, muffins, cookies, pies, quiches and sandwiches.
We ordered a bowl of granola and fruit with Trails’ homemade almond milk, a coconut and cardamom scone and an avocado sandwich — then took a lavender shortbread cookie and our coffees to go. Just a short walk up the road from Trails, you’ll find the trail-head that will lead you up the mountain (see map link at the end of the article for details).
As with any hike, it’s important to be prepared and comfortable — which is why I wore my Walk360 Trail Low hiking shoes. There can be some loose gravel and rocks along the way, and the traction and grip of the Walk360’s soles made conquering these segments of the trail a breeze. Plus, they’re super comfortable right out of the box, which is a hallmark of a good hiking shoe.After a short hike up from Trails, you’ll cross West Observatory Road and meet up with the Mt. Hollywood Hiking Trail. From here, as you get higher, the views get better and better.
Along the way, you’ll see the most incredible views of the city (from the downtown skyline to the Pacific Ocean), the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign. Trust me, you’ll never want to stop taking photos.
The Mt. Hollywood Hiking Trail is easy to follow, and if you start at Trails, should take you about one hour and 30 minutes to reach the summit of Mt. Hollywood (but there’s no rush — take your time). At the summit, you’ll find a few picnic tables to relax at and 360-degree views of the entire Los Angeles basin.
And of course, what goes up, must come down.
Click for a custom Google Map of this hike.
This is such a great hike, and there’s so much to see and learn about Griffith Park and the sights you can see from it that I actually started The Los Angeles Hiking Company and lead guided hikes here when I’m not traveling. So if you find yourself in LA, come hike with me!
There are so many hikes in the Los Angeles area that I can’t just tell you about one. For three more of my favorite hikes (that only hike-obsessed locals know about) check out the list below.
1. Charmlee Wilderness Park – Malibu
Want to really escape the city? Head to Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu. More of a walk than a hike, Charmlee’s trails meander over gently rolling hills high above the Pacific Ocean — and the views are breathtaking (here’s a photo I took there).
After hiking, visit Malibu Wines for an outdoor wine tasting. It’s about a 20-minute drive up twisting and turning mountain roads from Charmlee.
2. Paseo Miramar Trail – Pacific Palisades
Closer to the city but far enough away to feel like a little escape, Paseo Miramar Trail is a gorgeous, and moderately challenging, 5.5 mile out-and-back hike. At the end of the trail (the turn around point) you’ll get a commanding view of the entire city, the Pacific Ocean and Los Angeles coastline.
Afterwards, grab a beer and a burger at Gladstones, a beachfront restaurant just a stone’s through away.
3. Stough Canyon Nature Center – Burbank
Stough Canyon Nature Center is one of the most beautiful mountain areas near Los Angeles that no one seems to know about. Part of the towering San Gabriel Mountains, the trails at Stough Canyon seem to go on forever. Plus it’s never busy, even on weekends, so you can really find some peace a quiet (not to mention amazing views of the San Fernando Valley).
This Port71 guest blogger received compensation in exchange for his post. All opinions are the blogger’s own.