If you’re looking for a meaningful vantage point from which to observe Los Angeles in all its glory, head for the hills. Literally. While up above our sprawling City of Angels, you can see for what seems like forever. You’ll be able to view all kinds of terrain, from the Pacific to the flats to the mountains on nearby ridges. The hike to get to these locations will be as enjoyable as the view. Get going and experience the sights from any of the following sensational spots.
(credit: Stephanie P./Yelp)

(credit: Stephanie P./Yelp)

Zuma Ridge
Zuma Ridge Motorway
Malibu, CA 90265
(805) 370-2301

Malibu’s Zuma Ridge trail, a minimally developed road made of dirt that hugs the western ridge of Zuma Canyon, can be a tough sell to those who aren’t used to steep and sometimes arduous physical efforts. But once you get to the starting spot, encourage these hikers to hang in there for a climb that gets more and more enchanting as you head to the top. To take breaks, stop along the way to uncharted territory at Upper Zuma Canyon to enjoy all kinds of vistas from overlooks of such picturesque places as Point Dune and Zuma Beach. Then, once you’ve reached your destination, realize that you are perched in this part of the Santa Monica Mountains for a view that will deliver a myriad of sight lines that can truly be called unforgettable.

(credit: shutterstock)

(credit: shutterstock)

Griffith Park Observatory
2800 E. Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

The focal point of the largest municipal park in the nation, Griffith Park Observatory is the perfect place to hike to on just about any day in Los Angeles. This Los Feliz-based icon, a 1930s monument to distinctive Art Deco architecture, is in a spot that doesn’t produce much of an uphill battle for hikers. Once you’ve reached your destination, even if you’re sweating, you’ll be thrilled at the panorama of the city and the ocean beyond you. You’ll also be amazed at the close presence of the legendary Hollywood Sign just to your right. That established, if you are keen to see beyond these sights, ;take advantage of this famous facility’s army of outdoor telescopes that allow you to zoom in on all kinds of nooks and crannies that the fairly unpredictable City of Angels has to offer.

(credit: Lenore B./yelp)

(credit: Lenore B./yelp)

Angels Point
Angels Point Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 485-5054

Only one route leads to Angels Point in Elysian Park, a 600-acre, centrally located city oasis that is within close proximity to Dodger Stadium. Know that this trail is not clearly marked, so make sure to take directions with you as you head to the top for the opportunity to get a clear shot of everything from Hollywood and Mount Washington to the San Gabriel Mountains. If you like a picnic with your hike, you’re in luck on this particular route because wooden tables and barbecue pits are located along the way up or on the way down for your dining pleasure.

(credit: MILA Zed/shutterstock)

(credit: MILA Zed/shutterstock)

Runyon Canyon
2000 N Fuller Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 666-5046

Expect your pick of many trails to hike at Runyon Canyon, a place where loads of locals enjoy spending quality time with their dogs and where diehard Angelenos take advantage of free yoga classes on a daily basis. Situated at the eastern part of the Santa Monica Mountains, this particular canyon is arguably the most popular place to meander in all of Los Angeles. That said, plan on a hike shared with many others who are looking to get away from the fray for a few hours. If you are looking for a path to the top that is a bit off of the beaten track of Runyon Canyon, seek out the trailhead in Wattles Garden, a super steep route that is not for beginners. You will have a straight shot up to the summit that includes the Prayer Box, a freestanding receptacle where wishes can be left and which will hopefully be granted. You’ll enjoy a powerful vista that takes in nearly the entire metropolis, including the high rises that designate LA’s downtown and the mighty towers that identify Century City, just south of Beverly Hills.


Article by Jane Lasky.


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