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The 3 best hiking spots in LA

21 Apr 2014 1:50 PM
The 3 best hiking spots in LA

While many of Los Angeles' most affluent residents may spend their days shopping and dining alongside celebrities at different high-end boutiques and gourmet eateries, others can be found throughout the sprawling metropolitan area enjoying the great outdoors. Although the city may be considered a concrete jungle by some, there are a multitude of bucolic hiking trails that provide breathtaking views and create the feeling of being amid an urban oasis. 

If you appreciate spending time outside, and have the desire to explore all that the City of Angles has to offer, you might want to consider visiting any of the following three hiking trails. With spring weather finally here, and summertime right around the corner, the best time to take a hike may be right now, while the crowds are still small in size.

Runyon Canyon Loop
This may be one of the most popular nature walks within the city, as it includes a number of scenic vistas that offer glimpses of the Hollywood sign, upscale luxury real estate, the L.A. basin and the Sunset strip, according to the LA Tourism and Convention Board. Individuals who follow this winding path through the Hollywood hills can enjoy a three-mile round trip journey, which culminates at the trail summit known as Cloud's Rest. A gently-graded paved path is perfect for beginners, while a rugged outer loop gives accomplished hikers a good workout. 

Accessible from Fuller Avenue, just off of Hollywood Boulevard, this trail has served as the backdrop for countless television shows and movies, and sees a substantial number of visitors - including famous actors - each day. Thus, if you're looking for a more intimate experience, planning a trip outside of peak hours would be wise.

Bronson Canyon Trail
Located within the Griffith Park trail system, this loop is quick and simple to complete, but features a number of sights familiar to those who enjoyed watching the caped crusader on TV. While it is less than one mile round trip, this path leads visitors through many natural sets used by the film industry in the past few decades, the local organization reported. For instance, the trail's highlight - a 50-foot-long tunnel that was leftover from a quarry founded in 1903 - is best known as the entrance to the Batcave from the 1960s television action series "Batman". The area has also doubled as an extraterrestrial mountain range for the recent film "Star Trek VI."

Easily reached from Hollywood, this unpaved trail can be accessed from a parking lot off of Canyon Drive. Located in the southwest portion of Griffith Park, the area feels like a hidden treasure just outside of the city's structured layout. On any given day, the crowds tend to be light, so this is a perfect excursion if you're ever in the mood for a quick jaunt. 

Kenneth Hahn Community Loop
As one of the largest open spaces in the City of Angels, you'd think that this is also one of the most heavily trafficked hiking trails. However, this path generally sees few daily visitors. Boasting expansive meadows and dense woods, this 319-acre area of L.A. is rich in history and picturesque scenery, which is often the focus of accomplished and amateur photographers, Modern Hiker noted. This two-and-a-half mile trail includes viewpoints that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to downtown Los Angeles, framed perfectly by the San Gabriel Mountains. 

Starting on La Cienaga Boulevard, visitors can drive through Hahn Park to Janice's Green Valley, where they can begin their trek. The altitude change is very manageable, even for novice hikers, and  there are ample opportunities to take in the sights along the way. Now is a great time of year to experience this part of the city - just don't forget your camera.