Sometimes after a long day, the perfect solution to unwind is a night hike through one of Los Angeles’ numerous trails. And while we don’t recommend attempting these hikes alone, the evening breeze and glitzy views of the Los Angeles basin is well worth it if you’re up for the adventure. Just bring a flashlight, some extra batteries for good measure and a buddy.
Palos Verdes Evening Hike
32201 Forrestal Drive,
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
If you want to take it easy, the Palos Verdes Evening Hike is a brief, 2.5-mile loop through the Forrestal Reserve in Palos Verdes. It’s the perfect trek for a romantic evening. You can catch the sunset over the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean plus there’s a lot of wildflowers flowers and sage scrub on the trail. The main gate starts at the parking lot of the Ladera Linda Community Center.
Full Moon Hike at Stough Canyon
2300 Walnut Ave.
Burbank, CA 91504
Located just east of downtown Burbank, the Stough Canyon hike is a great after-work option during a full moon. You’ll get sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley and the Verdugo Hills. The trail starts at the Stough Canyon Nature Center and will take you on a 2.4-mile hike with an elevation gain of 900 feet. Expect the adventure to take one to two hours.
Echo Mountain Night Hike
3302 Lake Avenue,
Altadena, CA 91001
The trailhead is on Lake and Loma Alta. It’s a relatively difficult hike for beginners but the view at the vista point is absolutely priceless. Start from the Cobb Estate Gate and hike east on a paved trail, following the sign for the Sam Merril Trail. From here, it’s 2.5 miles all the way up with a 1,400-foot climb. Depending on your pace, it’s a two to three-hour hike but at the top, there’s a vantage point overlooking the San Gabriel Valley that used to be a resort complex known as the White City.
4668 Crystal Springs Dr.,
Los Angeles, CA 90027
With dozens of hiking options, Griffith Park is perhaps the most popular night hike in Los Angeles. Start around 7 p.m. and make your way up fire roads from the Merry-Go-Round parking lot. Mt. Hollywood seems to be the most popular destination for evening excursions but other routes (like Mt. Bell and Mt. Chapel) are great alternatives if you don’t want to be stuck in the crowd. And if you’re looking for buddies, the Los Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club leads weekly hikes with various difficulty levels.
3110 Beaudry Terrace
Glendale, CA 91208
Beaudry Loop is a fire road-only trail that covers 5.5 miles with a 1,500 feet elevation gain. Set aside three hours for this hike but on a clear day, you’ll get gorgeous views of Glendale, the San Gabriel Mountains, the LA basin and if you’re lucky, Catalina Island in the distance. It’s a loop route but navigation is fairly easy because of the wide roads.
Clarissa Wei is a travel and food writer based in Los Angeles. Check out her work at www.clarissawei.com.