Hiking Los Angeles and Vicinity

The map and table included below contain all the Los Angeles hikes and those in surrounding areas covered on this site.

Hiking Los Angeles IMG_4045

Since most of the hiking in Los Angeles, and certainly the best hiking in Los Angeles, is contained in two major mountain ranges, this site has a separate page dedicated to each of these mountain ranges. These are the magnificent San Gabriel Mountains and the wondrous Santa Monica Mountains. While the hikes from those ranges are included in the map and table on this page, the pages for those mountain ranges contain other information for hiking Los Angeles that you may find useful.

Los Angeles is a large and complex city and is geographically quite extensive and densely populated. Los Angeles County is larger still – its population of almost 10 million is greater than that of 42 individual states, and its area of 4,083 square miles is larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Because of this great size, the wonderful Southern California weather, and the diverse mountain and desert terrain, hiking Los Angeles and the surrounding areas is quite enjoyable and there are many wonderful hikes close to the city.

The diversity of the available hikes in Los Angeles is really quite extraordinary, and most people are surprised to discover the incredible natural beauty that exists in the mountain ranges here. Most associate Southern California with the ocean and beaches, and of course we are blessed in this regard. Note that you can of course also take some great beach hikes here as well. However in my opinion, the most spectacular natural areas of Los Angeles are in our glorious mountain ranges.

Additional Los Angeles hikes may be added moving forward in other areas, and at that time these Los Angeles hikes will be added to the map and table on this page. In the meantime, some of these other areas for hiking in Los Angeles can be found on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and in the Baldwin Hills area.

Note that in addition to this page for hiking Los Angeles this site contains pages for other Southern California hiking areas as well. In addition there are hiking lists that can help you to choose a hike by type. Also, Hikers U provides lots of great information that you may find helpful for your hiking adventures. So check out the maps and hike descriptions, pick a hike, and go for it!

Map of Los Angeles Hikes and Surrounding Areas

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Los Angeles Hikes & Surrounding Areas

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Los Angeles Hikes & Surrounding Areas: 34.164091, -118.270569

 

Table of Los Angeles Hikes & Surrounding Areas

Hike NameDifficultyTypeLocationLength (RT)TimeElevationSummary
Middle Fork Lytle Creek to Lower Fall SetStrenuousWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - Lytle Creek Area6.5 miles5 hrs1,500'Magnificent alpine canyon featuring perennial stream, old growth pines and cedars, and spectacular waterfalls - but rough ride to trail head.
Lower Holcomb Canyon HikeModerateAdventure HikeSan Gabriels - Devils Punchbowl Area5 miles3 hrs500'Beautiful secluded canyon with perennial stream
Runyon Canyon HikeEasy to ModerateBeginner/View hikeSanta Monicas-Hollywood Hills3 miles1.5 hrs800'A good cardio workout with great city and ocean views, and dog friendly. A bit crowded yes, but also close to the city.
Trail Canyon FallsModerateWaterfall HikeSan Gabriels - Big Tujunga Canyon Area4.2 miles3 hrs700'Well graded trail up a dramatic canyon to a lovely 40' waterfall
Upper Eaton CanyonStrenuousAdventure HikeSan Gabriels - Mt Wilson Area7 miles5 hrs1,500'Drop into the pristine alpine wilderness in the upper reaches of this famous canyon, miles from the crowds far below - and above.
Etiwanda FallsEasy to ModerateWaterfall HikeSan Gabriels - Rancho Cucamonga Area4 miles2 hrs700' Well graded though shadeless trail to lovely tree-lined stream with multi-tiered waterfall 100' total height
Devils Punchbowl Punchbowl Creek HikeModerate to StrenuousAdventure HikeSan Gabriels - Devils Punchbowl Area7 miles5 hrs1,200'Dramatic sculpted sandstone and spectacular geologic formations, with waterfalls and pools in season, all deep in the bowels of the Devil's Punchbowl far from the crowds on the defined trails
Temescal Canyon Hike – Los AngelesEasy to ModerateBeginner/Waterfall hikeSanta Monicas - Topanga State Park3 miles2 hrs900'Great beginner’s loop trail featuring expansive ocean, city, and canyon views, a lovely seasonal stream with waterfalls, and old growth oak and sycamore forest
Cooper Canyon Falls – Buckhorn Falls HikeModerateWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels- Buckhorn Campground Area5 Miles5 hrs1,000'The San Gabriel high country at its best - alpine scenery, old growth pines and cedars, lovely waterfalls.
Allison Gulch Falls HikeStrenuousWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - East Fork San Gabriel River Area10 miles6 hrs2000'Boulder hop up a rugged gorge from its confluence with the East Fork San Gabriel River to the rarely seen 80' tall Allison Gulch Falls.
Rubio Canyon Waterfalls HikeModerately StrenuousWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - Altadena Area3 miles4 hrs1,100'Easy hike to first fall, but then adventure hike on unmaintained trail with some hazardous scrambling to get to viewpoints of spectacular waterfalls.
Eaton Canyon FallsEasyBeginner/Waterfall hikeSan Gabriels- Altadena Area4 miles1.5 hrs650' Nice hike up easy to follow but sometimes crowded trail to mostly year round flowing 40' waterfall.
Sturtevant FallsEasyBeginner/Waterfall hikeSan Gabriels - Santa Anita Canyon3.5 miles1.5 hrs650'Easy hike, but very popular and often crowded, into gorgeous Santa Anita Canyon to lovely 40' waterfall.
Devils Punchbowl Devils Chair from BelowModerately StrenuousAdventure HikeSan Gabriels - Devils Punchbowl Area4.5 miles4 hrs800'View the dramatic Devils Chair formation from below, deep in the bowels of the spectacular geologic formations of the Devils Punchbowl, after entering the Punchbowl from the confluence of Punchbowl Creek with Big Rock Creek. All off trail with boulder hopping up stream and several areas of Class 3 and 4 scrambling.
Stoddard Canyon FallsModerately StrenuousWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - Mt Baldy Area4 miles4 hrs1,100'Relatively easy hike to first fall, but then adventure hike with no trail and some dangerous scrambling/climbing to access spectacular waterfalls.
Dawn Mine HikeModerateMine/Waterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - Altadena Area6 miles4 hrs1,500'This entertaining hike up wooded Millard Canyon in the San Gabriel front range features great waterfalls, a lovely seasonal stream, and a super cool abandoned gold mine.
Solstice Canyon HikeEasy to ModerateBeginner/Waterfall/View hikeSanta Monicas - Malibu Area3 miles3 hrs950'Hike into a wonderful sea side canyon featuring great ocean views, old growth oak trees, interesting historical ruins, and a lovely seasonal waterfall.
Switzer FallsEasy to ModerateBeginner/Waterfall/View hikeSan Gabriels - Arroyo Seco Area5 - 6 miles3 - 4 hrs750'Hike into a historic canyon to see a wonderful 50' tall waterfall in a beautiful wooded gorge with great views and numerous pools and cascades. Nice, popular trail with optional off trail segment up-stream to reach base of Switzer Falls.
Mt Waterman HikeEasy to ModerateBeginner/View hikeSan Gabriels - Mt Waterman Area6 miles4 hrs1,200'Hike on excellent trail to the summit of 8,041' Waterman Mountain (aka Mt Waterman), in the magnificent San Gabriel high country. Exposed granite, great views, and healthy alpine forest give this hike a flavor of the Sierras, but much closer to home.
Big Horn MineEasyMine/View HikeSan Gabriels - Vincent Gap Area4 miles2 hrs650'Hike to the surprisingly extensive remains of an abandoned gold mine high on the side of massive Mt Baden-Powell. The alpine scenery in this area of the San Gabriel Mountains is spectacular, and if you're adventurous you may be able to explore the mine as well.
Santa Ynez Canyon TrailEasyBeginner/Waterfall hikeSanta Monicas - Topanga State Park2.5 miles1.5 hrs250'Easy hike to a lovely sculpted sandstone gorge with a small seasonal 15′ waterfall.
Grizzly GulchModerately StrenuousWaterfall/Adventure HikeSan Gabriels - Lytle Creek Area6 miles5 hrs2,300'Hike, boulder hop, and climb short sections into a wild, pristine, and intensely unique gorge featuring stunning white cliffs.

 

 

 
    

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