The city of Angels is a mass of highways and buildings, interspersed with palm trees and white teeth. But if you’re after a green fix, luckily Los Angeles is also home to a bunch of great running trails too. So next time you’re stateside, lace up and head out one of these…
Mount Hollywood – Griffith Park
Griffith Park has a number of different trails that weave up into the hills. For a memorable off-road run, take the Hollyridge Trail that leads from the Observatory parking lot to the summit of Mount Hollywood in 40 minutes, the highest peak of the park, which rewards you with spectacular views of the entire Los Angeles Basin.
West Loop – Elysian Park
At 600 acres, Elysian Park is the second-largest park in L.A. and offers scenic views of Downtown L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. The trailhead for the 2.4-mile loop is located at Elysian Park Dive and Stadium Way. The West Loop is an easy, dog-friendly trail that offers good shade and several offshoot paths for exploring the area further.
Eaton Canyon is a nature reserve situated at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, which features its own 40-foot waterfall. The trail is less defined than others and much more rugged. There’s boulder hopping and depending on the season and rainfall, you could be creek crossing so be prepared.
Ocean Trails Reserve
Located in the Palos Verdes Peninsula at the southern end of the city, the Ocean Trails Reserve offers more than 8km of scenic running trails with varying degrees of difficulty. There are numerous trails to explore, including the Catalina Trail, Coastal Switchback, and Sagebrush Walk, along with breathtaking views and tidal pools by the beach.
Topanga State Park
Considered the world’s largest wild land within the boundaries of a major city, this park features 58km of trails filled with nature and ocean views, stretching from the Pacific Palisades to Mulholland Drive, and there are more than 60 entrances making it easy to enter the park.
Inspiration Point & Clouds Rest – Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon is a popular trail for celeb spotting. Give yourself anywhere from 30 minutes for a quick jog to 90 minutes to reach the top and take in the expansive viewpoints. Entering at Fuller Avenue, enjoy a gradual run up the back of the canyon, heading around the east ridge to Clouds Rest and then coming back down the steep slope and steps to Inspiration Point. Take in breathtaking views of the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory all the way to the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Even Catalina Island can be seen on a clear day!
Lake Balboa is the centre piece of the 80-acre Anthony C. Beilenson Park and is the site of the renowned Japanese Garden. Enjoy a 1.3-mile jog around the park taking in the lake’s 2,000 cherry blossom trees which offer a stunning backdrop! Be sure to head there in Feb or March for the blooming season.
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