Health + Fitness

13 Hikes Every LA Girl Should Do At Least Once

Healthy Hikes: Wisdom Tree

You should know by now that I love to hike! If you don’t, well now you do. I started hiking last year in April and decided to train for the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim hike. To prepare for this hike, I decided to hike all around LA and nearby mountain ranges. I also met my fiance, Luke, through a common hiking friend and we just launched a hiking blog, Our blog focuses on hiking, health, fitness, and outdoor adventures. I wanted to share my  favorite healthy hikes in LA and hope to inspire you to get hiking and get healthy.

If you need more detailed information on a hike, click on the links and you’ll get directed to trip reports and guides from the best hikers and trail sites in the world including SoCal Hiker, Modern Hiker, and more!

Here are 13 healthy hikes every LA girl should do at least once (or twice)!

1. Wisdom Tree

Distance: 3 miles
Vertical Gain: 872 ft
Time: ~2 hrs

There’s several ways of doing this hike, you can start from Griffith Park, Bronson Canyon or through the Hollywood Hills. When you get there, there are boxes of notebooks that people write in and you can even climb the tree to get even more fantastic views. This is a perfect routine hike that will give you a fun workout!

2. Mt. Hollywood

Distance: 3.8 miles
Vertical Gain: 807 ft
Time: ~2 hrs

This is a hike I’ve done a million times but never gets old. I start from the Greek Theater, hiking up to the Griffith Observatory then up to Mt. Hollywood. There are different trail levels – easy, medium and hard, so even if you’re just starting out this is a good one to do! Try to incorporate it into your fitness routine at least once a week and you’ll notive the difference right away.

Healthy Hikes: Sandstone Peak

3. Sandstone Peak

Distance: 6.1 miles
Vertical Gain: 1656 ft
Time: ~3 hrs

This is the highest point in the Santa Mountains and gives you great views of the canyons and the ocean. A perfect hike to watch the sunrise or sunset, there’s also some fun scrambling at the top. You can take the shortcut that goes straight to the summit, but I prefer the Mishe Mokwa trail. This is also a little longer than the last two hikes listed, so it will give you a real good workout.

4. Echo Mountain

Distance: 5.8 miles
Vertical Gain: 1503 ft
Time: ~2.5 hrs

This is a good training hike for a lot of the harder hikes in the LA area with good elevation gain. There are also ruins of an old railway and you can see where there used to be a hotel. You can also see great views of the city up here and it’s a great way to introduce your body to elevation. You can extend the hike up to Inspiration Point to add another 4-5 miles to your workout.

5. Bridge to Nowhere

Distance: 11 miles
Vertical Gain: 809 ft
Time: ~4.5 hrs

This awesome hike lives up to its name and leads you right to a bridge where people bungee jump off of regularly. It’ll have you crossing streams and the river, so get ready to get a bit wet! It’s a good length for a hike and is excellent training for distance and the next hikes listed.

6. Mt. Baden Powell

Distance: 8.7 miles
Elevation: 9399 ft
Vertical Gain: 2900 ft
Time: ~4 hrs

This is such a pretty and enjoyable hike! I recommend doing this one in the winter time to get an awesome snow hike! With gorgeous views of Mt. Baldy and a tree over a thousand years old, this hike will help get you into shape in no time.

Healthy Hikes: Cucamonga Peak

7. Cucamonga Peak

Distance: 11.6 miles
Elevation: 8859 ft
Vertical Gain: 4300 ft
Time: ~7 hrs

One of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever done, Cucamonga Peak is also Insta-famous. With a protruding ledge by the summit, you can get a pretty cool (yoga) photo here.his hike is also part of the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks, created by Jeff Hester, who created a hiking challenge to conquer the six highest mountains in Southern California. This challenge is a great way to train for more intense hikes like Mt. Whitney and Cactus to Clouds.

8. Mt. Wilson

Distance: 14 miles
Elevation: 5710 ft
Vertical Gain: 4200 ft
Time: ~7 hrs

The most special hike in LA to me because this is how I met my fiance, Luke. Another hiking friend I met a few weeks ago while hiking Mt. Baldy told me about Luke’s group and the rest is history. This is also part of the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks and will challenge you with its elevation gain and distance.

 Healthy Hikes: Mt. Baldy

9. Mt. Baldy

Distance: 10.2 miles
Elevation: 10068 ft
Vertical Gain: 3900 ft
Time: ~8 hrs

The highest point in Los Angeles County, Mt. Baldy is definitely a must-do hike! There are several routes to choose from, but I usually start from Manker Flats. If you are just starting out, there’s also the option to take the ski lift up or down to shorten the distance. I always recommend not pushing yourself too hard and too fast, because the elevation can cause altitude sickness. Always make sure you are keeping track of your hydration and nutrition when hiking.

10. San Bernardino Peak

Distance: 16.5 miles
Elevation: 10649 ft
Vertical Gain: 4702 ft
Time: ~9 hrs

Another gorgeous hike that should be on your list, this one has beautiful views of Big Bear and you’ll also get to see Washington’s Monument, a point of reference used for surveys. Be sure you’re prepared to do this hike by completing all the other ones I’ve listed.

11. Mt. San Jacinto

Distance: 11.4 miles
Elevation: 10834 ft
Vertical Gain: 4689 ft
Time:~9 hrs

This hike is one of my absolute favorite hikes ever. You take the tram up (unless you don’t want to, then see #13) and start from the Mountain Station. This is a 12-mile hike with lots of gorgeous scenery and a rocky summit for some fun scrambling. This is a high elevation hike so make sure you are hiking safely.

Healthy Hikes: San Gorgonio

12. Mt. San Gorgonio

Distance: 17.3 miles
Elevation: 11503 ft
Vertical Gain: 5840 ft
Time: ~10 hrs

This mountain’s summit is the highest point in Southern California and one of the most challenging hikes I’ve ever done! You must start very early if you want to complete it by nightfall. You’ll see amazing views of Mt. San Jacinto on a clear day and just when you think you’re at the top, it turns out you have still have more to go! A lot of people have gotten lost on this hike, so make sure you stay with your group and pay close attention to the trail signs.

13. Cactus to Clouds

Distance: 23 miles
Elevation: 10834 ft
Vertical Gain: 10614 ft
Time: ~15 hrs

Known as one of the deadliest hikes in America, Cactus to Clouds is an epic hike of 23 miles with an enormous elevation gain. You start in the desert and instead of taking the tram up, you just hike on up to the top of a mountain! The weather is a huge factor in this hike so make sure you plan it well or you can be hiking in scorching heat. Also, there is no water until you get to the tram or ranger station. This hike can take from 12-18 hours depending on your pace. There are a lot of factors involved with this hike, so make sure you are prepared and in good shape!

If you’re just getting started and looking to get healthy through hiking, visit my other blog See our posts on the health benefits of hiking, the difference between hiking and walking, and more on its way.

If you’re looking to get motivated, you can sign up for the 52 Hike Challenge to inspire you to hike at least once a week! And if you’re looking to meet others to go hiking with in LA check out the many hiking groups on Meetup, LA Trail Hikers, and Facebook.