If you’ve ever wandered the palm-lined streets of LA, you’ll know it’s a world leading destination for the fit and fabulous. With juice bars lining every corner and always-sunny weather, it’s no wonder that Active Living comes naturally to the movers and shakers residing in the city of dreams.
As you know, an active way of life doesn’t always come in the form of a push-up or squat. With 329 days of sunshine per year, LA offers endless opportunities to get a move on outside, and hiking is one of our favorite ways to do it.
If you’re planning a trip to California, our sporty sisters in the states have done the legwork for you. Team MNB hit the trails to test the top 10 hikes in Los Angeles – perfect for when you want to shake up your gym routine. Grab your fellow sporty sisters, slap on some sunscreen, dig out your camera, and get exploring!
Why We Love it: The perfect place to bring your fellow sporty sister for an active catch up. Have a friendly and energetic pup? Bring them to roam free and socialize with other furry friends. Runyon Canyon also offers donation-based yoga classes in a grassy area at the bottom of the hill, so you can wind down with sun salutations after your trek.
Signature Sights: Hollywood Hills and sweeping views from Downtown LA to Venice beach. If you’re lucky, you may just spot a celebrity or two!
Where to Nourish Nearby: Head down to Sunset Boulevard for a mango avocado salad or gluten-free pizza at EVO Kitchen.
Why We Love it: Griffith Park impressively covers more than 56 miles of land (90km) across this sunny city, so you’ll never get bored exploring this gorgeous park. Take the West Observatory trail up to the splendid Griffith Observatory for some star-spotting of the astronomical variety. Hello, Milky Way!
Signature Sights: Hollywood Sign, Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, Silverlake hills. You may recognize a cinematic location at the Observatory, made famous in a scene with bad boy James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Grab a yummy grilled vegetable salad and relax in the outdoor patio of Alcove Cafe, a quaint spot in the heart of Los Feliz.
Why We Love it: Feeling starry-eyed? Snap your own picture of the famous Hollywood sign on the Hollyridge trail! This hike wraps along the Western part of Griffith Park behind the 30-foot tall Hollywood sign. Despite the proximity to the iconic landmark, this hike is surprisingly peaceful – perfect for nature lovers.
Signature Sights: The Hollywood sign up-close-and-personal, Lake Hollywood, and several TV and Film studios on the Burbank side, including Warner Brothers, NBC, and Walt Disney.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Head on down to Locali Conscious Convenience post-hike to sip on “The Lulu”, a sublime smoothie with coffee, dates, cinnamon and vanilla. Go ahead girl, you earned it!
Why We Love it: Topanga Canyon is a dazzling oasis featuring 36 miles (57km) of trails buried in the Santa Monica Mountains, just north up the Pacific Coast Highway. This longer (7 mile or 11km) trail is ideal for those days when you need to get centered and forget about your lengthy to-do list.
Signature Sights: Parker Mesa Overlook, with extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Stop at Topanga Fresh Organics to quench your thirst with a green juice.
Note: Dogs not allowed – remember to leave your furry friends at home this time.
Why We Love it: One of our favorite scenic hikes when we need to get outside. This scenic route winds through densely populated woods and offers glimpses of the ocean between the trees.
Signature Sights: Be sure to snap photos of your friends atop large boulders with gorgeous views of the Pacific coast in the background.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Stop in Pacific Palisades to cool off with an acai bowl at Juice Crafters.
Why We Love it: Just one mile into this oakwood tree-lined hike, you come to the base of a gorgeous 150ft. waterfall. If you need one good reason to break up your gym routine, this is it!
Signature Sights: Stunning Malibu mansions and the Escondido Falls waterfall.
Where to Nourish Nearby: After feasting your eyes on a brilliant waterfall, you’ll be in the mood for the “Fountain of Youth” smoothie at Sunlife Organics in Malibu.
Why We Love It: Spanning 190 acres, Eaton Canyon Trail has streams, a 40 ft. waterfall, wildlife, and plenty of spots to picnic at the base of the San Gabriel mountains.
Signature Sights: Boulders, wildflowers (in the spring) and a small shaded pool, great for hot summer days.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Pack a picnic! Stop at Real Food Daily in Pasadena for a raw and gluten-free “Pro Kale” salad before heading to the trail.
Why We Love It: This is a moderate 2-miler, named after the famous 1930’s actor who owned this 186-acre ranch where he came to relax and go riding. Be sure to follow signs to reach Inspiration Point and while taking in the sights, remind yourself that there are no limits when you choose to live active.
Signature Sights: Views of the Santa Monica Bay, San Gabriel Mountains, and Catalina Island.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Head down to Santa Monica and order a bunch of vegan tapas to share at Kreation Kafe.
Why We Love it: Just up the road from Beverly Hills, Franklin Canyon Park has been frequently used as a film location for many famous films and TV shows. One of the lesser-known hiking spots, this peaceful getaway is perfect for a quick and quiet stroll away from the hustle and bustle of Beverly Hills and Hollywood. The trail features miles of hiking trails, wildlife, and a 3-acre reservoir.
Signature Sights: Franklin Canyon Reservoir and Heavenly Pond. This shady trail has plenty of tall trees to keep you cool on a hot day.
Where to Nourish Nearby: M Café is a must in Beverly Hills, famous for its vegan Madras Tempeh Wrap.
Why We Love it: This sunny hike is unique because it houses the remains of an old burnt-down stone mansion. Be sure to take the stairs to head up the Rising Sun Trail for more of a challenge. When the trail gets tough, remind yourself to NEVER GIVE UP. Before you know it, you’ll be working your way down the shady descent toward waterfalls, shallow pools, and streams.
Signature Sights: “Tropical Terrace” and panoramic views of the Pacific.
Where to Nourish Nearby: Drive the scenic route down the Pacific Coast Highway and stop at Plate Restaurant for a Curry Papaya Salad.
So now that you know where to go, what are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes, fill your water bottle with H20, and head out on your active adventure! Oh and don’t forget to invite a sporty sister (or brother) to hit the trails with you… Below, our CEO and hiking enthusiast Bill Clarkson takes on Runyon with the LJ sisterhood, pictured in his limited-edition mens tee.
Have you conquered a new hill in your area? If you’ve got a favorite hike or mountain – we wanna know about it. Share your not-so secret trails in the comments section below… we promise to tread carefully!