When tourists plan their trips to Los Angeles I think one of the last things they think about is hiking. I mean living in Los Angeles I rarely thought much about hiking. It’s easy to let the Pacific Ocean overshadow some of the other incredible beauty LA has to offer. Constantly being in traffic and surrounded by shops, restaurants and things to see is awesome. At the same time I love me some nature. What pairs great with hiking in LA? Brunch. Here is Where to Hike and Brunch in LA.
For me, there is not much a walk outside in nature can’t cure. Feeling anxious? Get outside. Feeling uninspired? Take a hike. Now to clarify, I am not talking extreme, all day, you better pack snacks kind of hikes. I get why people like that, but being in LA I have a feeling you need to keep it efficient. Brian and I love to start our morning off with an iced Reishi Cappuchino from Earth Bar and a morning hike with our dog Scout. This is an awesome way to start the day, and after our hike we refuel with brunch. After that we are ready to tackle the LA hustle. Here is Where to Hike and Eat Brunch in LA.
If you live in LA you’ve most likely hiked Runyon Canyon. But if you are visiting or have never been in, it’s a must do. Nestled directly above Hollywood, this hike has it all. I love hiking Runyon Canyon because you can get a great workout in an hour. But you also have the option to take a harder trail which last closer to two. Maybe less if you’re super in shape, but I needed to take some breaks (lol). Runyon Canyon also serves as an off leash dog park so you are bound to see some cute pups. You also can get incredible views of Hollywood, Downtown LA and even the beach on a clear day. Keep in mind it gets crowded on weekends, so get there early and observe the parking signs.
After hiking Runyon Canyon, our favorite place to brunch is Kitchen 24 in West Hollywood. It’s a short drive from Runyon Canyon, has outdoor seating and prime people watching from their patio on Santa Monica Blvd. They have an amazing all day breakfast menu and great drinks if you need a little mimosa action after your hike!
I like to think of Fryman Canyon (Officially known as Wilacre Park) as Runyon’s little brother. A quick pop “over the hill” via Laurel Canyon you will find yourself in Studio City. This hike is an entrance to Coldwater Canyon. I love this hike because different from Runyon, it is a bit more chill. You won’t find many tourists on this trail and it doesn’t get insanely crowded. This hike offers great views of the valley and some gorgeous houses in the hills. You will make a loop and the way down takes you through a neighborhood back to the lot which is a nice change also. There is a parking lot that can fill up in early mornings but there is usually someone always leaving so you can nab a spot. If you are walking and not jogging, this hike will take you an hour or less. Be warned, the first hill up is a zinger. After that it’s pretty smooth sailing.
For brunch after hiking Fryman pop over to Comoncy on Ventura blvd. I love grabbing breakfast here because it’s delicious, healthy and easy. It is counter service so food doesn’t take too long. Their lattes are awesome and so is the avocado toast!
It’s easy to take LA’s beauty for granted. I feel like it can also be overlooked by some of the not so pretty things about it too. That being said visiting the ocean in LA is so special and a definite must. Driving out to Malibu is one of my absolute favorite things to do. It feels like you are really far away from the madness that is Los Angeles proper.
Solstice Canyon is an beginner’s level two mile hike in the Santa Monica Mountains that really packs a punch. Not only do you get views of the mountains, the ocean, ruins of a 100 year old hunting cabin, you get to see a waterfall as well! There is a parking lot but it is small, so I would avoid weekends or take an uber.
After finishing your Malibu hike in the morning, you’re going to be hungry. If you’ve made the trek out this far already, I recommend spending brunch at Malibu Farm. Located at the end of the pier in Malibu, you can eat your breakfast watching the waves roll in. You would think a restaurant on the end of a pier would be fried tourist food but it is actually the opposite. This local favorite offers fresh, organic farm-to-table bites and great coffee. Not sure what more you could want in a morning than this!
Mt Hollywood Trail
Last but not least is a hike every Angeleno or visitor must do. Make the journey to see The Hollywood Sign! The Mt. Hollywood Trail starting in Griffith Park is an easy ascent that offers you a really beautiful and unique view of the Hollywood Sign. There is a different hike that is more difficult that gets you really close up to the sign. But for safety reasons and security it is fenced off and would put you behind the sign. This is a great option because you will be a bit down from the sign and off to the side so you can get a great photo.
Since you are going to be on the East Side for this hike, I recommend heading to Los Feliz for brunch. Alcove Cafe is an amazing choice for brunch. Located on Hillhurst Ave, their breakfast menu is huge and is served until 5:00 PM.
Important things to remember about hiking in LA:
- Get there early. A lot of these hikes get pretty hot with the sun, so going in the morning will help keep you cool.
- Bring water. While all of the hikes I have mentioned are not overly strenuous, they are hikes. Make sure you have water for yourself incase you need it.
- Watch for snakes. I personally have never seen a rattle snake on a hike in LA, but many people have. Make sure if you are on a trail to watch your step and especially if you have your pup with you.
Hiking in LA has easily become one of my favorite things to do and is something I try to do everyday there. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the madness that ensures in tinsel town, get outside and get moving. Your mind and body will thank you.
Have you hiked in LA? If there’s a trail you love let me know in the comments below. I am always looking for new ones to try!
P.S. If you like to keep it healthy when you travel, check out my post on how to eat healthy while traveling.