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A guide to hiking in L.A.

Text that says "Go hiking in L.A."
(Photograph by Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times; typography by Mat Voyce / For The Times)
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Why hike in Los Angeles? There are as many answers as there are Angelenos who lace up boots and hit trails. Southern California’s mountains and forests can serve as an outdoor gym, a sanctuary from the urban buzz, a spiritual space to heal and reflect, a place to pose and be seen (especially on Instagram), an entry to the natural world of tarantulas and newts, and a place to scale an unthinkably high peak. For the devout, it’s a lifestyle choice that in nonpandemic times brings us closer as a community.

Consider the stories below as an invitation to explore your wild backyard.

Sign up for The Wild, a newsletter about the great outdoors.

Buy the print special section of our guide to hiking in Southern California.

Let these Southern California hikes to inspire you to do more.

This city has no shortage of doggie-centric outdoor spaces. Try one of these routes to make you — and your pup — happy hikers.

Let the darkness amplify your senses on these epic yet accessible trails from Malibu to Signal Hill.

The best time to hike is in spring, late fall and winter when temperatures are cool and wildflowers may be abundant.

The Golden State is one of the best places in the world to rockhound.

This is the best way to complete the trail through the Santa Monica Mountains from Malibu to Pacific Palisades.

Few trails are completely sun-free, but these offer you a shot at that rare SoCal commodity: shade.

Influencers, celebrities, dog walkers. These are the types of people you might see on an L.A. hike.

Hiking in Southern California means knowing how to plan and dress for high temperatures.

From footwear to sun hats and socks to sun-proof shirts, these are some fresh styles for five hiking must-haves.

Here are some of our favorite creatures you may encounter on a local hike and what we think makes them special.

Someone hiking too slowly? Is someone else’s music driving you nuts? How to handle yourself during trail time.

Los Angeles is a great hiking city. Here’s what Angelenos said inspires them.

A sandwich improves every hike, and in Los Angeles, you can almost always find one not far from the other.

Take a hike, and then grab a pint. There’s a perfect craft beverage waiting near each of these trailheads.

This trail is sturdy enough to have lasted 85 years, strange enough to draw crowds and start arguments.

Inspiration Points abound and we have more than a handful of such named destinations.

These hikes are easy enough for the whole family and showcase some of the best ocean views around Southern California.

It’s no wonder that trails here sometimes get overlooked. With mountains to the north and east, it’s easy to miss the hidden gems.

This hike is sturdy enough to have lasted 85 years and strange enough to draw large crowds.

For six short years, visitors came to Echo Mountain to vacation like kings. Hike there and imagine its charm.

Longtime oppression and historical barriers have kept many people of color from feeling comfortable in the American outdoors.

Love your puffy? You can thank Eddie Bauer, who created a down jacket in 1936 after the cold almost killed him.

We’ll help you find the best places to hike, bike and run, as well as the perfect silent spots for meditation and yoga.

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