Full coverage: L.A. Walks
By Charles Fleming
Nobody walks in L.A.? Ridiculous! This is a series of articles exploring the many opportunities for walking in (and around) a city of 3.8 million.
5:30 PM PST, February 21, 2014
This is a very pleasant urban oasis in the midst of what is, for many Angelenos, a freeway flyover zone in South El Monte. This section of Whittier Narrows Recreation Area features several lakes, abundant waterfowl, picnic tables, public restrooms and well-tended walking and jogging trails.
7:30 PM PST, January 24, 2014
This unexpectedly pleasant waterfall destination will seem a little off the map for some Angelenos, but I found it well worth the drive to Thousand Oaks and very much worth the walk. Note: It includes a short water crossing that in damp weather could involve some slippery stepping stones.
4:30 PM PST, January 10, 2014
I was having a period of bad health — quite a long period. I had a hip replacement, and another, and a hand surgery. Then a broken leg. Then a spinal surgery. Then another spinal surgery. I was falling apart faster than the doctors could put me back together.
11:00 AM PST, December 27, 2013
This Studio City walking area is popular with hikers, joggers, runners, dog owners and families. Go early to get a space in the parking lot and to heighten that get-away feeling.
3:00 PM PST, November 29, 2013
One hundred years ago, water that had traveled from Central California began cascading into the thirsty San Fernando Valley. Today, this unexpected walk is one of the few L.A. hikes that features a close-up view of the great Los Angeles Aqueduct, near those historic cascades.
3:00 PM PDT, October 18, 2013
Wattles Garden Park is a bucolic, verdant garden in the heart of Hollywood. It's loaded with history, and a delightful place to have a picnic, watch a sunset or just hang out. This easy walk will introduce you to the many charms of this recently restored Los Angles landmark, closed for many years and opened to the public only this week.
3:05 PM PDT, September 20, 2013
This delightful oasis, a beloved destination for my wife when she was a young girl and our daughters when she was a young mother, is one of the few local walks that can be done at midday, no matter the season, entirely in the shade. Even in September, this Griffith Park canyon is a cool, quiet retreat.
12:30 PM PDT, August 16, 2013
This walk is easy on the legs but full of wonders for the eyes and mind — beautiful buildings, weird history and more — through the lesser-known side of Old Town Pasadena.
3:36 PM PDT, July 19, 2013
For the last two years, Echo Park Lake has been hidden behind chain link and plastic tarp. Now, after a makeover, the fountains are flowing, the water is clear, the lotuses are back and people are using the park. The space is the urban gem its designers imagined more than a century ago, when nearby Angelino Heights was one of the city's premier addresses.
June 22, 2013
This walk in the Angeles National Forest is a great chance to get some real mountain hiking experience without driving too far or breaking too much of a sweat. It gets a little crowded on weekends, so go early for the best parking spaces. Wear boots or shoes that will tolerate a dunking, because this walk requires a couple of easy water crossings. Before you go, pick up an Adventure Pass ($5 for a day, $30 for the year) at a Sport Chalet or Big 5 sporting goods store. If it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can also park near the trail head and buy your Adventure Pass from the charming Adams' Pack Station store at Chantry Flat.
May 25, 2013
High in the hills, perched between Hollywood and Vine and the Hollywood sign, sits scenic Lake Hollywood, a reservoir held back by a dam designed by the great water wrangler William Mulholland. Flanked by a classic California mix of oak, pine, eucalyptus, agave and sage, and circled by a pedestrian trail reopened in April after being off-limits for seven years, this is one of the city's great mountain walking spots, and it's less than 10 minutes from the 101 Freeway.
April 20, 2013
This beach-and-bluffs walk in Santa Monica is a great way to soak up some scenery, take in some salty air and learn a little local history. It can be a gentle walk or a generous workout — depending on whether you use any (or all!) of the four massive staircases that connect the top of the walk to the bottom.
March 23, 2013
Elysian Park near downtown L.A. is a huge space containing great networks of trails and commanding broad city and mountain views. This introductory walk might make you a regular visitor.
February 23, 2013
Near the junction of the 405 and 101 freeways, in the green space below the Sepulveda Dam, is a haven for many species of winged wildlife. Nearby are a hidden Japanese garden, an archery range and a string of cricket pitches.
January 19, 2013
Here is a lovely country-in-the-city walk, with delightful views, varied greenery and an unlikely hilltop lake — all within 15 minutes of downtown Los Angeles.
December 22, 2012
Griffith Park is L.A.'s largest city park, but at 4,200 hilly acres it's so large, and so mountainous, that hikers unfamiliar with the area may not know where to start. Here's a beginner's guide to a mellow, uncrowded walk with great views.
November 24, 2012
Most folks probably don't look to Culver City for hiking trails with majestic city views. But the 57-acre Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park has them, plus a set of stairs massive enough to be visible, like the Great Wall of China, from outer space. The huge workout is matched by the heavenly scenery.
October 27, 2012
Silver Lake has recently been named the hipster capital of cool. Its reservoir and meadow provide great walking and a green urban outpost right in town.
September 22, 2012
UPDATE: There have been developments at the King Gillette Ranch since our last visit. The park now offers a new interagency visitor center and two hours of free parking, in addition to its $7 paid parking lot.
6:01 PM PDT, August 23, 2012
This is an unexpectedly verdant walk surrounded by urban sprawl, where the Los Angeles River, gradually being allowed to return to its natural state, is home to an amazing array of native fish, fowl, joggers and cyclists.
July 21, 2012
This is a short, steep hike that begins on a trail amid the mansions of La Cañada-Flintridge, with massive mountain and city views — a real workout with a real payoff.
June 23, 2012
Spend a hot summer day on a cool summer walk around the Naples district of Long Beach. It's flat and breezy and makes a sweet sunset stroll too.
May 26, 2012
I only recently discovered this hidden country-in-the-city hiking spot, set below Mulholland Drive, west of Coldwater Canyon, and just minutes from Beverly Hills or Studio City. Although less well known than nearby Runyon or Fryman canyons, it may look familiar on your first visit: Bits of TV shows, such as Bonanza," and movies, such as "It Happened One Night," were shot here.
April 28, 2012
You don't have to fight the crowds in Santa Monica Canyon to get a great stairway workout. You can hike the historic wooden Eldred stairs in Highland Park and get great city and mountain views in the bargain.
March 24, 2012
A gentle, flat walk in an urban setting, this is an East L.A. oasis in the midst of historic Boyle Heights, filled with old city history and fine downtown views. It's a popular weekend destination for local families for Saturday strolling or Sunday picnicking.
January 2, 2012
This is an unexpectedly bucolic walk through city-center neighborhoods unknown even to most Los Angeles natives. It offers great downtown views and unlikely encounters with nature and history.
December 5, 2011
If you're up for a long walk in the Malibu hills that features ocean and city views and varying terrain, head for the Sandstone Peak trail head.
November 7, 2011
Along the way are fantastic views of the Hollywood Reservoir, some famous homes and a visit to some of the area's secret public staircases.
October 3, 2011
This is a casual, low-impact mountain hike that begins and ends in a scenic, historic spot ideal for weekend picnics and perfect for wowing out-of-town guests.
2:25 PM PDT, September 6, 2011
Sure, it's a little tough, but the rewards are worth the sweat: classic coastal chaparral, views all the way to Santa Catalina Island and a sweet breeze.
11:32 AM PDT, August 22, 2011
This is a lovely country-in-the-city walk, flat and undemanding, offering rare views of the untamed river -- less than five minutes from Old Town Pasadena.
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