Some of the best hikes in Southern California are within minutes driving from LA

Top 5 Hiking Trails in Los Angeles on Mountain Terrain

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States of America. Famous for its Mediterranean climate, so it’ll come as no big surprise that some of the best hiking in Southern California can be found in this fantastic city. With its varied geology, close wilderness, and a vast variety of climates, hiking is really one of the best activities to do in LA.

I wanted to share a little bit of what I love with you so without further ado here are some of my favorite hiking trails in LA – at least mountain ones! 😉

1. Echo Mountain (via Sam Merrill Trail)

MODERATE, 3302 Lake Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001
Distance: 5.4 mi – Elevation: 1,335 ft – Time: 3 hr

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, Echo Mountain is a dog-friendly hiking trail offering a good elevation gain and numerous opportunities to extend the hike. If features the ruins of “White City” – an old resort along the scenic Mount Lowe Railway – of a funicular railroad, an observatory, and a powerhouse.

2. Santa Anita Canyon Loop

MODERATE, Chantry Flat Road, Arcadia, CA 91006
Distance: 4.8 mi – Elevation: 1,059 ft – Time: 2.5 hr

Open from January until September, the Santa Anita Canyon Loop is a 4.8 mile dog-friendly LA hike located near Sierra Madre, CA. It features the 50-foot tall Sturtevant Falls, well-shaded, cool canyons, and historic cabins and campgrounds.

3. Bridge to Nowhere (East Fork Trail)

HARD, Camp Bonta Prairie Forks Road, La Verne, CA 91750
Distance: 9.0 mi – Elevation: 1,179 ft – Time: 5 hr

Accessible year-round, the Bridge to Nowhere (East Fork Trail) is a 9 mile dog-friendly LA hike located near Azusa, CA. It features a 120-ft high concrete arch bridge (that goes nowhere), a beautiful riverside hike, multiple stream crossings and swimming holes perfect for summer days, and Southern California’s only bungee jumping.

4. Mount Baldy Loop Trail

HARD, 8401 Mount Baldy Road, Mount Baldy, CA 91759
Distance: 9.5 mi – Elevation: 3,769 ft – Time: 6 hr

Accessible from March to November, the Mount Baldy Loop Trail is a 9.5 mile dog-friendly LA hike located near Mt Baldy, CA. It features the highest peak in Los Angeles County (10,065 ft), breathtaking 360-degree views, and a challenging hike along the Devil’s Backbone Trail.

5. Mount Baden Powell Trail

HARD, Pacific Crest Trail, Azusa, CA 91702
Distance: 8.9 mi – Elevation: 2,769 ft – Time: 5.5 hr

Accessible from March to October, the Mount Baden Powell Trail is a 8.9 mile dog-friendly (on leash) LA hike located near Valyermo, CA. It features an Alpine landscape with a scenic ridge trail near the summit, a small monument to the founder of the Boy Scouts (Lord Robert Baden-Powell), and an ancient tree that is over 1,500 years old.

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