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I Tried Almost Every Hiking Spot In LA—Here Are The Top 5

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

It’s finally spring—aka the best season for hiking! With crispy cold mornings, nice warm days and beautiful fresh flowers, you can get the most out of your hiking experience this season. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, I got you covered! This is my list of the five best hiking spots in LA this spring, ordered from beginner to advanced level:

Inspiration point trail

Level: Beginner 

Length: 2.2 miles 

Elevation gain: 377 ft 

Round trip time: 45 minutes 

This trail was the easiest hike I’ve done in LA! Trust me, even a 5-year old hiking with me was able to make it from the bottom to the top in half an hour. It felt more like a walk than a hike because it was breezy and the road was easy to walk on. I recommend this hike to anyone who is not looking forward to sweating a lot and just wants to hit a relaxing cardio session with a nice view!

Astral drive

Level: Beginner 

Length: 1.9 miles 

Elevation gain: 456 ft

Round trip time: 60 minutes 

This hike is located in the Santa Monica Mountains with amazing views of the city. It is known as “one of LA’s best kept secrets” because the trail leads to Trebek Open Space, 62 acres of beautiful land famously donated by game show Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Similar to Inspiration Point Trail, Astral Drive might also feel like more of a walk than a hike; in fact, a lot of people go there to walk their dogs or to jog!

Los Leones trail

Level: Intermediate

Length: 4.4 miles 

Elevation gain: 1190 ft 

Round trip time: 150 minutes 

This is hands-down one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve been on! Although the view is pretty throughout the trail, the view at the end of the trail that overlooks the city is the most breathtaking! You can even spot Catalina Island from the top on a clear day. I recommend starting your hike an hour before sunset to capture the end of the trail with gorgeous lighting.

Runyon Canyon trail

Level: Intermediate~Advanced 

Length: 2.7 miles 

Elevation gain: 748 ft 

Round trip time: 120 minutes

If you’re a fan of daisies, you’ll be a big fan of Runyon Canyon Trail! This trail was filled with exciting views of wildlife, the famous Hollywood sign and cute pet dogs. I think this trail is for more advanced hikers since it has more intense/slippery grounds that could be dangerous for beginners. Also, make sure you prepare yourself for the heat because this trail has almost no shade! 

Hollyridge trail

Level: Advanced

Length: 5.1 miles 

Elevation gain: 849 ft 

Round trip time: 150 minutes 

Yes, this is the famous trail up to the Hollywood sign. This was a fun hike, with some encounters with people horseback riding, a lot of tourists and pretty picnic spots! I recommend wearing your cutest hiking fit to this hike to take your own touristy photo. Similar to the Runyon Canyon Trail, this trail had little shade so make sure to wear sunscreen and bring a big water bottle! 

These were some hiking spots I recommend this spring in LA! Getting in touch with nature could give you a refreshing start to your Spring Quarter and may help you prevent burnout. Enjoy your hike and make sure to stay hydrated!

Rio is a third-year UCLA business economics student from Japan. In her free time, you can find her hiking, dancing away at concerts, or cafe-hopping!