Hiking is my personal favorite form of exercise, not just because it’s a great way to stay healthy and keep exploring, but because it can be a true bonding experience for you and your significant other.
Take my fiancee Luke and myself.
Almost a year dating, and more than hundred incredible hikes logged, we’re now engaged, have adopted a dog, and just launched a hiking blog called HikingHealthy.com.
Truly, if you want to get to know someone on a deeper level, try hiking with them!
Because of the hiking journey we’ve been on, Brian and Christina of We Like L.A. asked if we’d be willing to share some of our local favorites with the community, and of course we’re happy to offer our experiences so others may follow suit.
Below we’ve compiled a short list of amazing hikes in and around Los Angeles that will challenge you, inspire you, and hopefully bring you a bit closer together with your special someone.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
1. Mt. Hollywood via Griffith Park
Add some adventure to a routine date night with one of our favorite sunset hikes in the city! We usually park by the Greek Theater and hike our way up to the Griffith Observatory. From there, you can continue up to Mt. Hollywood with a choice of three different routes up – easy, medium or hard. Once you get to the top, you can enjoy the views of the DTLA skyline (this is a great place to watch the sunset) and then head back down. This is a great, easy hike for those just getting started or if you’re up for more, you can extend the hike by adding in the Hollywood Sign via Bronson Canyon, Cahuenga Peak, and the Wisdom Tree.
Distance: 3.8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 807 ft
Time: ~2 hours
2. Los Liones Trail to Parker Mesa
There’s nothing more romantic than a stroll along the coast, and this hike gives you that with a bit of incline! We love this lush canyon trail that features amazing ocean views on a clear day (the keyword here is clear, because it’s not so nice on a foggy or cloudy day). It’s best to go after a rainy day to get some spectacular views. Since this hike is inside of Topanga Canyon State Park, dogs are only allowed on the fire roads and not on the Los Liones Trail.
Elevation Gain: 1,292 ft
Time: ~4 hours
Not fully a dog-friendly hike
3. Bridge to Nowhere
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This is truly the case for this hike as your end point is a bridge that literally leads to nowhere. But since you’re hiking with the one you love (or really, really like), it shouldn’t matter where you’re going if you’re in good company! We love this trail because you hike along a river, crossing it in multiple areas, and even have the option to bungee-jump off the bridge (this has to be planned out beforehand, but you can also stay and watch)! This is a dog-friendly hike, but be warned that there are multiple water crossings and this can tire them out!
Distance: 10.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 801 ft
Time: ~6 hours
4. Mount Baden-Powell
Though we sometimes fight about who’s doing the dishes, we can’t argue about this one being one of our favorite hikes! This is such a fun one to do especially in the winter time when the trail is covered with snow. It’s very scenic, with a beautiful view of Mt. Baldy, and you will also pass an ancient tree that’s over a thousand years old! The peak stands at 9400 ft, so you might feel some lightheadedness with the altitude – be sure you’re hydrating, eating regularly, and keeping track of your electrolytes.
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,818 ft
Time: ~6 hours
5. Mt. Wilson
This hike is very special to us, because this hike is the one we did the first day we met. Be prepared as this hike is very long and it might even bother you knowing that you can drive to the top. But this is definitely worth the journey not only because of the great views of L.A. but there’s a cafe at the top where you can have some of their famous hot chili (when available). This is a popular trail for hikers and road for cyclists, so it can get packed there on the weekends. For a more romantic hike, try to go on weekdays or start very early to avoid the huge crowds.
Distance: 13.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,200 ft
Time: ~7 hours
6. San Gorgonio Mountain via Vivian Creek
If you’re looking to take your relationship and hiking goals to the next level, this hike will do just that! This is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503 ft and will challenge even the most experienced hiker. We enjoy the trail’s challenging terrain with gorgeous views of Mt. San Jacinto. This is an excellent training hike to do even more advanced hikes including Cactus to Clouds and Mt. Whitney.
Distance: 17.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,840 ft
Time: ~10 hours
7. Cucamonga Peak
There are some things you must experience together and completing this hike should be one of them. This hike is one of the prettiest ones we’ve ever done! Not only does it provide for a great Instagram shot at the summit, but the trail also features an array of landscapes and gorgeous views. There is a lot of elevation gain on this hike, so make sure that you are tracking your nutrition to avoid altitude sickness.
Elevation Gain: 4,300 ft
Time: ~8 hours
Whether you’re looking for a fun, casual hike or something more adventurous and challenging, always make sure that you’re prepared with the proper amount of water, food, electrolytes, and the right gear to ensure a safe journey.
And if you’re looking for more information on the health benefits of hiking, plus tips and guides for gear, make sure to check out our site HikingHealthy.com.