Following a hectic work day, there’s nothing I look forward to more than being greeted at the door by my sweet little red nose pitty named Blue. Her light green eyes gaze up at me and pure love emanates from her puppy-soul… dog lovers, you get it. At this point in time our usual routine ensues; I sit down on the bed and change into my Supras, her ears perk up and she gets in that playful puppy stance – you know, the one that looks like downward dog. On this particular evening I was also greeted by a package from Wolfgang Man/Beast including a beautiful Latigo Leather Collar and Leash, just in time for our 5pm hike. Blue and I have tried and tested the majority of the hiking trails in Los Angeles, so we thought we would take care of the dirty work for you and compile a list of our all-time favorite routes for (wo)man and beast, right in time for summer.
As you have probably heard, Runyon Canyon is the place to go sweat while simultaneously spotting your favorite Hollywood Starlet. With three main routes for three different levels of desired activity, you can choose from a pleasant scenic walk to a heart-pumping sweat fest. Route A has a relaxed off-leash policy, a slight incline and breathtaking view. Route B is challenging yet fun, with a dusty uphill route coupled with incredible views of the sprawled out Los Angeles. On Route B, you can see the iconic Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory, along with all of downtown Los Angeles. Route C is for the incredibly athletic and brave hearted. Designed for the highest level workout enthusiasts, this trail offers intense cardiovascular training. This route is the hardest one in Runyon Canyon and risks injury to those who are not prepared to have their ass handed to them. The pay off is just as heavy as the workout, offering the best 360 degree view of Los Angeles. Try Route C on a clear day so you can see downtown, historical buildings and the ocean all at once.
Griffith Observatory West Trail Loop
The iconic Griffith Observatory, located on the east side of Los Angeles, boasts incredible views of the Hollywood sign and the LA basin, all while taking you along a magical trail that weaves throughout cardio inducing hills. The hike begins at the Fern Dell picnic area right by Los Feliz Blvd. You’re going to want to pick up the trail right past the restrooms at the creek. Keep right and head uphill towards Griffith Observatory. Once the trail flattens a bit, you’ll see the rest of the path leading up to the observatory. On your way back, keep right once again for the rest of your way down the hill. Follow the trail’s curves and you’ll end up back where you started at Fern Dell picnic area.
Temescal Canyon Park
The ocean and the canyons, two of LA’s most magical natural sanctuaries combined into this one hike. With a basic dimension of 2.6 miles that can be expanded to four or more miles, it’s a versatile workout that can be tailored to your needs. To reach the main trail head, cross through the parking lots at the base of Temescal Gateway Park. You’ll see the restrooms and a general store – take the mulch road to the left and follow the signs for Ridge Trail. Keep going for a few hundred feet and then turn up the stairs on the left by the sign for Ridge Trail and begin the loop. If you’d rather opt for a mellow hike, head over to Canyon Trail. Located at the bottom of the canyon, it is a leveled path that makes for an excellent leisurely stroll.
Franklin Canyon Park’s Discovery Trail
The perfect stroll for a breath of fresh air, a loop around the reservoir that offers plentiful views of birds and wildlife. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, keep an eye peeled for the Hastain Trail, a more difficult trail that offers views all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Indulge your inner nerd with Franklin Lake’s nostalgia and check out the 3-acre body of water. It will look pretty familiar, as it was the “fishing hole” in the 1960’s household staple The Andy Griffith Show and the lagoon in the classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.
This gorgeous hike is worth the drive if you have a little extra time on your hands. The path leads you to Tropical Terrace and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Located off the PCH in Central Malibu, you can access this trail by taking Solstice Canyon Rd. to the entrance that is located at Corral Canyon Rd. This hike is partially shaded, simple and easy. A peaceful babbling brook lines the trail to Tropical Terrace, providing a serene outdoor experience. If this doesn’t satisfy your wanderlust, keep trekking until you find the statue of the Virgin Mary in a nearby grotto. Looking to amp up your heart rate a bit more? Check out the switchbacks that will lead you to the Rising Sun Trail – they’ll gift you with a pulse pumping workout and some seriously breathtaking views. However, the Rising Sun Trail has absolutely no shade – bring an extra water bottle for you and your pup.