To many outsiders, Los Angeles is often regarded as a concrete jungle that is nearly as unwalkable as the Sahara desert. Yes, it’s true that LA is a sprawling metropolis and to live there without a car is tantamount to masochism. What might come as a shock to many of those not from the Southland is that this giant city offers quite a bit of nature and outdoor activities, such as hiking. And one area that is a great home base in which to strike out and hit the trails just happens to be West Hollywood.
Yes, “WeHo” may be known primarily as the playground for LA’s elite, but that doesn’t mean the only way to get some exercise is by heading to one of the neighborhood’s Equinox gyms. Those who do have a hunger for outdoor hiking activity will find many prime options mere minutes away. Here are just a few of the best options:
Hiking the Hollywood Sign
One of the most popular hikes for both locals and tourists, this is a good moderate option that offers a decent workout with a nice payoff. The hike itself starts in LA’s famed Griffith Park, famous for being the largest urban park with wilderness area in the whole country (it sprawls over some 4,210 acres of land). The total excursion covers about four miles and takes an average of 1-2 hours to complete. There are a few ideal spots to stop and take a rest along the way, but the real prize is the panoramic views hikers are treated to once they make it to the base of the sign.
Inspiration Loop Trail
Nestled in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, this family-friendly trail was a favorite of iconic celebrity Will Rogers (he even had a ranch in these hills). Visitors who hike this 4.3-mile trail will get to experience not just picturesque rambling mountains, but postcard-perfect views of the LA basin. On a clear day, hikers can see all the way to Catalina Island.
Los Liones Trail
Another option starting in the Santa Monica Mountains, this hike is for those who enjoy a bit of a challenge. This seven-mile trail begins in the Pacific Palisades and ends at an overlook in Topanga State Park with stunning views. The trail is a popular one, so there are bound to be crowds on weekends. Having said that, those that experience the Los Liones Trail rave about the gentle grades and lush canyons. The views of the Santa Monica Bay aren’t too shabby either.
Those in the heart of West Hollywood will find this easy option close and convenient. In fact, the start of the trail begins just where the swank Hollywood apartment buildings end. These trails twist and turn through 2.9 miles of the famous Hollywood Hills and can be completed in an afternoon.
In the end, those spending time in West Hollywood will not be hurting for outside excursions. And while the area may not offer hikes as challenging as Half Dome at Yosemite, the trails on offer here make for a perfect and healthy way to pass a weekend afternoon.
Ivy Harriss writes for VisitWestHollywood.com, the official guide to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval. Learn everything you need to know about the event, parking, entertainment and more.