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10 Hidden gems in LA (Hiking)

Certain prominent hiking points in LA are frequented and exaggeratedly adored. While there’s no doubt about the beauty of the views they offer, they also come accompanied by crowds and whatnot. We advise you to skip the popular hiking trails and opt for some hidden LA gems instead!

1. Topanga Canyon Trail.

This easy trek in the Santa Monica Mountains is a prudent choice if you have kids with you. The hike is easy, and the view is rewarding. Moreover, a bunch of graffiti artists make it a point to put their work up here, so you’ll have some insta-worthy backgrounds too.

090-P85542 Topanga State Park ©2014, California State Parks Photo by Brian Baer

Location: 23601 W Red Rock Rd, Topanga, CA 90290

More Info on Topange Canyon Trail

2. Big Horn Mine Trail.

The hike for this trail is a bit tough, but the view across the Angeles Forest is absolutely worth the work. The path will eventually lead you to an abandoned mind, the history of which you’ll have plenty of fun deciphering. 

Location: Pacific Crest Trail, Azusa, CA 91702

More Info on Big Horn Trail

Azusa, CA, 91702

3. Crystal Lake Trail.

If you enjoy scavenger hunts, this hidden LA gem will make you hike all the way to a secret swing! Not to mention that the lake water views as you glide along will already be more than stunning in their own might.

Location: Irwindale, CA 91702

4. Corral Canyon Loop Trail.

While this trail’s name is surely a mouthful and the two miles distance is no joke, you can enjoy a fuss-free path where you’ll have plenty of exciting views to see. The rock spirals and the entrance to the corral cave are the highlights.

Location: 25653 CA-1, Malibu, CA 90265

More Info Corral Canyon Loop Trail

5. Sycamore Canyon Trail.

This is an LA hike trail that very few people know about, so if privacy and a bit of peace are what you look for on your hikes, then you’re more than good here. The over-three miles hike will certainly take it out of you, though.

Location: 5040 Workman Mill Rd, Whittier, CA 90601

More Info Sycamore Canyon Trail

6. Innsdale Trail.

This trail is not known by many, but the end destination it takes you to is certainly known by all: the Hollywood sign! At the summit of the dusty trail, you’ll find yourself a couple of feet away from the LA wonder everyone travels miles by plane to see.

Location: Innsdale Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

More Info on Innsdale Trial

7. Murphy Ranch Trail. 

If you like even the more morbid parts of history and are more than ready to make a hike to pass through a Nazi compound, then this over three-mile hike is tailor-made for you. The only warning we’ll lay out is regarding a particularly nasty flight of stairs that seems unending.

Rustic Canyon’s Murphy Ranch Ruins

Location: 1599-1551 Casale Rd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

More Info on the Murphy Ranch Trial

8. Grotto Trail.

For all things relating to natural wonders and spectacular views, head over to this trail. You’ll also find the quiet of being in a hidden LA gem to be more than pleasing.

Location: Circle X Ranch, 12896 Yerba Buena Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

More Info on Grotto Trail

9. Sam Merrill Trail.

For those who have an inner Indiana Jones waiting to be let out, this trail will give them the adrenaline fix they need. A six-mile trip across this trek leads to the ruins of an old resort that you’ll be more than free to explore.

Location: Cobb Estate Trailhead, 3302 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

More Info on Sam Merrill Trail

10. Camp Bonita Road Trailhead.

If you’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere and are ready to make a ten-mile hike across a rough trek to go to it, then this is the hidden LA gem to be at. 

Location: Camp Bonita Rd, La Verne, CA 91750

More Info of Camp Bonita Road Trailhead


The author sbrbnla