Top 7 Easy Hikes in Los Angeles [2024 Guide]

Reviewed by Elina Ansary
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The best easy hikes in Los Angeles for nature lovers seeking wildlife and stunning views without difficult terrain holding you back.

Los Angeles offers all kinds of hiking. 

From gorgeous mountain summits to cliff-side walks along the coast, forest trails, and everything in between, there is endless diversity in Southern California for hikers.

There are hikes for every difficulty level, but many routes require quite a lengthy excursion and a hefty endurance level. 

We may not always have the time or energy to commit to a six-hour uphill adventure when we want to get into nature. 

If you want to get moving and see some of LA’s famous views but aren’t trying to be sore tomorrow, this article is for you. 

Whatever the case, I’ve found many options for easy hikes in Los Angeles that allow you to get out into nature without all the strenuous work.

This list offers breathtaking yet easy hike options throughout the LA area. Get out and enjoy!

Two women in exercise clothes walking side-by-side along a wide, easy trail with a dim, cloudless sky behind them.

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Hollywood: Griffith Observatory Trail

A view of Griffith Observatory on the top of a green hill, with the sprawl of Los Angeles and a hazy sky in the background.

Length: 2.5 miles loop trail
Elevation Gain: 500ft

You’ll cut through the parking lot at the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park to access the trailhead where this 2.5-mile loop trail starts. 

It will take you up to the top of Mount Hollywood and back. You can take a few different routes, but the beginner-level hike is a well-trodden, wide path. 

There’s still a fair bit of elevation gain, so you’ll most likely break a sweat on a hot day. But for the best views in LA, it’s more than worth it. 

You’ll get wonderful views of the downtown LA skyline, the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory, the Greek Theater, the Hollywood Hills, and the Pacific Ocean. 

The entire trail has little shade, so remember to wear sunscreen. You’ll want photos with the Hollywood Sign in the distance.

Heads up: there’s also very little street parking.

Malibu: Solstice Canyon

A flat trail winding through green hills, with a bright blue ocean visible beyond them on a bright sunny day.

Length: 2-mile loop trail
Elevation Gain: 200ft

This trail is an easy waterfall hike.

This two-mile out-and-back trail in the Malibu Hills offers some unique features, such as ruins and a waterfall, plus stunning views of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean. 

There are many different trails of various difficulty levels in Solstice Canyon.

Beginner hikers should take The Solstice Canyon Trail to the ruins, waterfall, and back. 

There will be options to take The Rising Run Trail back, but this one does gain quite a bit of elevation to offer panoramic views of the surrounding Malibu Hills.

Runyon Canyon

A view from the top of a hill, looking out at Runyon Canyon and a Los Angeles cityscape at early sunset.

Length: 1.6 out-and-back trail that takes you to a scenic viewpoint and a 3.5-mile loop trail around the park’s edge.
Elevation Gain: 500ft

Runyon Canyon is home to some of the most popular trails in Los Angeles. Once you get there, you’ll find several options for hikes of different lengths and difficulties. 

To keep it light, you’ll want either the 1.6-mile easy trail that takes you up to the scenic viewpoint or the 3.5-mile loop trail to extend the adventure. 

You’ll get views of downtown Los Angeles, downtown Culver City, the Santa Monica Mountains, Studio City, Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and even Santa Monica Bay and Catalina Island in the distance. 

It’s more of a city-view option than a rugged landscape, but it’s very LA. 

You can check out the nearby Fryman Canyon for a less crowded option.

Elysian Park: Grace Simons Lodge Trail

Golden hills dotted with everygreen trees, with Downtown LA visible beyond against a blue and yellow sunset.

Length: 2.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 194ft

This is an easy, pet-friendly hike with awesome views of Los Angeles from the city’s oldest and second-largest park.  

The trailhead is accessible at the west corner of Elysian Park Drive and Stadium Way, where you can park along the road. There are also some parking lots a bit further away.

You’ll get views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains, the LA River, and lots of greenery along the trail.  

Picnic tables in the picnic area and many other outdoor activities happening throughout the park year-round.

Ascot Hills Trail

Green hills covered with residential neighborhoods, with bright green grass in the foreground and an overcast sky in the background.

Length: 2-mile loop
Elevation Gain: 575ft

This short hike is one of LA’s hidden gems, but it’s a popular hiking and running area for locals in the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Ascot Hills is one of the easy trails in LA that still feels like a quiet local spot.  

The park is abundant with natural beauty, wildflowers, hilltop views, and great trails for young kids and hikers of all levels. It’s one of the few hiking places in LA where you won’t ever be in crowds. 

There’s a parking lot on one side of the park. 

You’ll probably want proper hiking shoes, as one part of the path is relatively steep. Other than the one hill, it’s a leisurely stroll.

The Red Rock Creek Trail in Topanga Canyon

The Red Rock Creek Trail in Topanga Canyon, a sandy flat trail lined by low bushes and oak trees.

Length: 2-mile loop
Elevation Gain: 388ft

This loop in Topanga State Park is a popular hike for birding, hiking, and running. You may even see some mountain bikers where the course starts. 

You’ll want proper shoes, as this hike is not as well-maintained as others are, but this little gem offers stunning views of the surrounding Topanga Mountains from where the hike starts to where it ends. 

I prefer this one to some other canyon hiking trails closer to the city for the solitude. There are always fewer crowds on this hike.

Eaton Canyon Falls Trail

A small waterfall coming through a crack in a tan-colored rock-face, draining into a small pool of greenish water.

Length: 3.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 592ft

This accessible scenic trail up a canyon in the San Gabriel Valley offers creek crossings, wildflowers, and a 40-foot waterfall. 

If you’re looking for easy hikes in LA for beginners with stunning natural features, bring a day pack and check this one out. 

This hike is accessible all year round, though spring is when you’ll get the best wildflowers. You may be able to see the Pacific Palisades on clear days. 

If you want to extend your trip, Inspiration Point is nearby, as is the Angeles National Forest, where there are many easy hiking trails to choose from. 

You can check out the nature center while you’re up there for more information.  

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Taylor Neal

Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, yoga instructor and frontline worker who spends most of her time in her van (Vannigan) winding through the coastal and mountain roads of California where she feels most at home. From navigating the realities of van-life to the fluctuations in diverse climates and landscapes, Taylor is excited to bring everything she’s learned about California to fellow wanderers seeking beauty and adventure.

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A view of Griffith Observatory on the top of a green hill, with the sprawl of Los Angeles and a hazy sky in the background, and the text overlay, "Easy Hikes in Los Angeles."

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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