Sustainable and Affordable Lifestyle in LA

6 Outdoor Hikes in LA to help you slow down and de-stress.

Life in a big city gets busy, stressful and expensive. Spending time in nature can help you get away from the hustle-and-bustle of LA.

I have to be honest, my personal finances are in a rut right now. I live in LA – a very fun city yet a very expensive one as well. This year I decided to focus on increasing my income and being mindful of my spending. Therefore, in 2020 I will focus on inexpensive and sustainable outdoor activities I (and you too) can do in LA. I think that hiking trails and going out to nature perfectly check off the parameters above. Therefore, I came up with a list of 6 trails I like in LA that you should explore in your free time.

1. Switzer Falls in the San Gabriel Mountains

This hike is in east LA. Most of the trail is followed by a creek and in some parts, you even have to cross the creek stepping on the rocks and logs in the water. I really love crossing the creek because it feels a little more challenging but just enough to make the trail fun and interesting. Then, you reach the dry part of the rail and the view from the hills is not that exciting or like nothing you have not seen before. However, it is challenging because this part is narrow and hilly and you will definitely feel like your lower extremities are being exercised and fatigued. The trail ends when you get to a small waterfall and a chili pond. It might not be the most impressive trail you have been on, but you really feel like you are in the woods surrounded by tall trees and a cold creek. I think this trail is perfect (and definitely my favorite on this list) if you want to get out of the city and get a good dose of nature but not get too far away from it either.

2. Westridge trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

This trail is quite easy and short. Yet, it can get hilly and in some parts, the trail splits into two trails; a flat trail and a hillier one. If you are into getting your glutes (butt) exercised you would enjoy the more challenging mounds. The view from the surrounding hills is a celebration of green and you can see a big portion of LA county from east to west till the ocean. It is a great hike if you are visiting LA’s west side and want to have a little taste of nature. If you go on the trail on a Sunday morning, you should check out Brentwood and/or Santa Monica’s Farmers Markets. You can treat yourself with organic fruit and veggies, refreshing smoothies, really good street food and explore the goods made by local artisans.

3. Will Rogers Park

This Park is not far from Westridge trail and you may even consider going on both on the same day. This trail takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. I love this park because on the right side from the entrance there is an impressive Polo field and stables on the left side a vibrantly green lawn that just looks like it was taken out of a postcard. The only downside of this park is that it has a paid parking area that costs about $12 per car.  But do not feel discouraged because there is plenty of parking right outside of the entrance. The rest of the trail resembles Westridge’s but the scene that welcomes you into trail really makes the difference. You can spend a good amount of time here by having a picnic on the lawn either after of before the trail. It is genuinely a beautiful, serene and clean piece of land that fills you in with peacefulness and joy and refreshes your mind from the busy city.

 4. Griffith Park

This park is located in Los Feliz; a hip neighborhood in East LA. It is a short hike (about an hour to complete) that culminates at the Griffith Observatory. From this mound, you have a good view of the rest of LA and the Hollywood sign. If you feel like making your hike longer you can even hike to the sign. The trail to the Observatory is pretty easy. Towards the end of the trail, there are stairs that take you to the last loop before the Observatory. Although the stairs are a shortcut to the top of the hill, they are challenging and will fatigue your entire lower extremity. Since you are already in the area, I recommend exploring Hollywood either after or before the trail. Some of the places you should visit are the wax museum, “Madame Tussauds”, The Chinese theater and the Walk of Fame. If you go on a Sunday, you can visit Hollywood’s farmers market which is considered the first and largest one in LA.

5. Runyon Canyon

This trail is close to Griffith Park and resembles it in its landscape and challenge. However, there is no tourist attraction site on top of the hill. Still, the trail attracts a lot of West Hollywood’s residents that love running, biking and hiking with their pets and friends. What is cool about this trail is that is it literally in a residential area and there are apartment buildings right before the trail’s entrance. Therefore, it makes it easy to find an exit. It is also close to some restaurants and other commercial establishments that you can check out after or before your hike. To conclude, if you live close-by and wish to workout outdoors or refresh your mind this trail is perfect for it. 

6. The Culver City Stairs

The finalist on this list takes us back to West LA and is located, as the name suggests, in the city of Culver City. This hike is purely a work out; the trail is short and not so challenging but it is the stairs that make it a HARD one. The view is pretty cool and you can see a good portion of LA as far as the east side and the downtown area. However, the trail itself is not that impressive in its vegetation. A short drive from the trail can take you to Washington Blvd and Culver Blvd. There you can find nice restaurants, antique stores, thrift stores, and cool concept stores. A seven-minute walk from Culver Blvd gets you to Venice Blvd where you can visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology for $10 per person.