No one would argue if you called it a walk.
Malibu Creek State Park
An old swimming hole is the sweet reward for finding your way through the gorgeous rock gorge, so pack your suit. You may also want to take long sleeves and pants, as you’ll likely encounter poison ivy along the way. (Remember leaves of three, let them be; leaves of four, fear no more?) Take the Las Virgenes Road exit off the 101, and then turn left at the park sign.
Runyon Canyon Park
With easy access from Fuller or Mulholland, 360-degree views of the city, and dependably good people-watching, this hike lands at the top of many outdoorsy types’ lists, including locals, fitness trainers, and A-listers whose dogs need to go out to play. Thanks to several route choices, it can be as challenging as you make it.
Temescal Gateway Park
Pack a lunch and follow the PCH to Temescal Canyon Road, where you’ll pay a few bucks to park near the picnic spots. After your snacks, hike under tree canopies until reaching trails that lead to hilltops with views of the azure ocean. Leave Rocky at home — this park doesn’t allow four-legged friends beyond the trail signs.
Park your ride on Los Angeles Zoo Drive and access the main trails for an only slightly creepy historic adventure across the grounds of the original zoo site, abandoned in 1965. (Perhaps you recognize it from the 1971 film Escape from the Planet of the Apes?) Afterward, rest on the rolling green grass, tuning in (or out) the vintage carousel nearby.
North of Franklin Avenue, the twisting trees make for a perfect cool morning and afternoon hike. Watch the sun rise in the east or warm up to a glowing sunset over the Hollywood Hills. Hit the trails midday and be glad you slathered on the SPF in advance. Share the road with the equestrian center’s trails and an ambling Mr. Ed or two.
Photo: Clinton Steeds / Flickr
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