So you're stuck in the city, all the indoor malls and movie theaters are closed, outdoor dining is limited, and the CDC finally acknowledged that COVID spreads through the air.
You need to de-stress, but you don't have enough time or money for a weekend getaway...
Here's a suggestion: Why not get in a couple hours of local hiking in, in the midst of some of the prettiest locations in LA?
The exercise and the feeling of being in nature might do you some good!
With that in mind, I'd like to introduce a few hiking spots within 1~2 hours driving distance of LA, which are good spots for beginners and casual hikers:
MALIBU CREEK STATE PARK
Located just about 45 minutes from DTLA, Malibu Creek State Park offers a multitude of trails and a few small bodies of water. The only restrooms I saw were located near the visitor center. There are several parking lots, so you'll never have to worry about not being able to park after driving all the way out.
PARKING LOT: Malibu Creek State Park, 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
MISHE MOKWA TRAIL TO SANDSTONE PEAK (Santa Monica Mountains)
Just about an hour and some change from DTLA, this trail offers an incredible view of Santa Monica and Malibu. The drawbacks -- the parking lot is hard to find, GPS signal is weak, and it can run a little long for beginners. Still, if you feel that your physical stamina can rise to meet the challenge, you might see some of the most beautiful wildflowers and panoramas that LA has to offer. As a warning -- parking is first come first serve, and the restrooms are not great!
PARKING LOT: Yerba Buena Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361
LOS LEONES TRAIL (Santa Monica Mountains)
Yet another cute hiking spot in the Santa Monica Mountains, this location is a little less intense than the Mishe Mokwa trail, and yet still offers a great view of the gorgeous Malibu coastline. Another big plus -- it's only about 35 minutes away from DTLA! Flowers aren't as plentiful, but you won't get as lost when trying to find the parking lot. Restrooms are a little nicer, and you're a little closer to civilization. The Getty Villa (currently closed due to COVID) is just a stone's throw away!
PARKING: 510 Los Liones Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK
Aaand finally, my own personal favorite -- I would like to take this moment to introduce to you all -- the prime hiking location for all native Angelenos too lazy to drive more than 15-20 minutes and too lazy to do anything too physically intense --
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook!!!
You're not even leaving the city!
Located in our very own Culver City, this is where you take your socially distanced Tinder date, since you claimed that you liked hiking on your profile but that was just a lie to seem more "active" and "outdoorsy." Why not have dinner or lunch in one of the cute cafes in Culver City afterwards?
Just be careful of parking regulations -- you can park along the entire street, but some spots have meters and others have rules about how long you can stay parked there. Another warning -- it is an extremely short hike, but restrooms are only located at the TOP of the trail. If all else fails, dash up the stairs OR run down the street you parked on and look for/drive to a local business with public restrooms.
PARKING: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
Aaand that's our list. Know of any other great hiking spots in Los Angeles? Send us a message and let us know!
'Til next time!