4 Los Angeles-area Hikes To Trek For Breathtaking Views

By the end of a trip to Los Angeles, you’ll most likely be testing your smartphone’s storage capacity, thanks to the endless picture-perfect photo opportunities in the area — after all, there’s no such thing as too many beach sunset snaps. But if you’re looking to combine your social media-worthy shots with some exercise, then you’ll want to head out into nature to experience one of LA’s many spectacular coastal hikes.

Whether you’re looking for a quad-burner that’ll have you winding your way to 360-degree views or a flat trek to a wild waterfall, here are four of our favorite trails for capturing that classic SoCal hiking moment, all accessible from the equally picturesque Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica.

Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa Overlook

Pacific Palisades

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ??????? ? (@ms_antonyay)

Many will say Los Liones is a pretty crowded trail, especially on weekends, and it is (thanks in part to its proximity to Santa Monica). But the good news is that the further you go, the emptier it gets. Lots of casual hikers drop out well before making it to the peak, many stopping their trek at the bench-dotted clearing about a mile up.

Stay the course and complete the 3.5-mile hike to the Parker Mesa Overlook within Topanga State Park (powering through an intense final stretch that you’ll definitely feel the next day), and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Santa Monica Bay, the Palos Verdes peninsula, and even Downtown LA on a clear day. The overlook, with an elevation of 1,500 feet, is the perfect place to refuel and relax before heading down the same way you came up. By the end, you’ll have completed a serious 7-miler, gotten a killer workout in, and have the photo proof to boot. Well done.

Start at the trailhead on Los Liones Drive. No dogs allowed.

trails.lacounty.gov

Temescal Canyon Loop

Pacific Palisades

At just 2.6 miles, this trail is the perfect bite-sized option if you don’t want to dedicate all day to a hike. A good chunk of the trail is shaded, and you’ll get gorgeous views at the top thanks to the 900-foot elevation gain. Make sure to stop and snap a few shots at Skull Rock, a sandstone formation that bears a resemblance to — you guessed it — a skull, which you’ll pass on the way up. Bonus: If you’re looking for a heartier hike, there are plenty of offshoots to make it longer.

Start at Temescal Gateway Park. Dogs on leash.

mrca.ca.gov

Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

Malibu

It’s a bit of a ride to get here as the peak is right on the border of Ventura County, but its location is part of the allure — you’ll get to follow the stunning shoreline up the Pacific Coast Highway to reach the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains at over 3,100 feet.

There are multiple ways to tackle it, but a favorite is the Mishe Mokwa Trail, a 6-mile moderate loop that begins at 2,000 feet and connects with Backbone trail, allowing you to slowly make your way to the top as you pass spiky yuccas, colorful wildflowers, and plenty of slithering lizards. At the peak, the surrounding mountains, jagged cliffs, and dramatic views will make it hard to turn around and head back to the trailhead (so feel free to stick around for a bit).

Start at the Sandstone Peak trailhead and pick up the Mishe Mokwa trail connector. Dogs allowed on leash.

nps.gov

Escondido Falls Trail

Many will say Los Liones is a pretty crowded trail, especially on weekends, and it is (thanks in part to its proximity to Santa Monica). But the good news is that the further you go, the emptier it gets. Lots of casual hikers drop out well before making it to the peak, many stopping their trek at the bench-dotted clearing about a mile up.

Stay the course and complete the 3.5-mile hike to the Parker Mesa Overlook within Topanga State Park (powering through an intense final stretch that you’ll definitely feel the next day), and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Santa Monica Bay, the Palos Verdes peninsula, and even Downtown LA on a clear day. The overlook, with an elevation of 1,500 feet, is the perfect place to refuel and relax before heading down the same way you came up. By the end, you’ll have completed a serious 7-miler, gotten a killer workout in, and have the photo proof to boot. Well done.

Start at the corner of Winding Road and the Pacific Coast Highway. Dogs allowed on leash.

mrca.ca.gov

Featured Image: Courtesy of Emily Calhoun, @itscalhountoyou

Other Stories You May Like

Wellness
group running along the beach

Sun, Sand, And Sweat: Working Out With The Fitness Communities Of Santa Monica Beach

From the deck of the Fairmont Miramar’s fitness center, the view of the beach is breathtaking — at least, if you have a breath to spare midway through a two-minute plank hold or a heart-pumping yoga flow. But it’s well worth it: Whether you’re viewing it from above or sweating on its sand, Santa Monica Beach has an undeniable fitness energy to it.
Wellness
outdoor group yoga

8 Hours Of Wellness: Inside Wanderlust At The Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica may be set in the heart of Southern California, but this spring, it’s the perfect place to “find your true north.” At least, that’s the driving force behind Wanderlust, a buzzy wellness triathlon that’s returning to the Santa Monica Pier on April 27 from 7:30am to 3:30pm.
Wellness
Fairmont Miramar - Beach

The Air We Breathe

Not long ago, unless you suffered from allergies or asthma, air quality was something that was taken for granted–especially indoors. Now that we’re all aware of how easy it is to breathe in particles, along with the damage they may cause, it’s clear that a quality air purifier can be a game-changer.
Wellness
hanging plants

Setting Sights on Sustainability

The world is inundated with plastic, especially in our oceans. Since we are so close to the beach, which is a constant reminder, we are always trying to up our game at Fairmont Miramar when it comes to sustainability.
Food & Spirits
bar area

A New Top Toque

Our new Executive Chef Damon Gordon is like a breath of fresh air on a windless day. Now overseeing the culinary outlets at Miramar, Gordon has big plans to “innovate and do new things”
Activities
Sign of activities in front of crowd at the Meet Me Under The FIG Tree event at Fairmont Miramar

Meet Me Under the FIG Tree

Our annual Meet Me Under the Fig Tree tradition will be returning this year on December 11, from 2 to 5 pm. We are preparing for a very special afternoon, and would like to invite you to share in a calendar of festive activities and food that is free and open to our guests, their families and the entire local community.