Beyond Runyon: 4 LA Hikes to Check Out This Fall

September 25, 2019

We know it might not feel like it yet, but it is officially pumpkin spice latte season. While summer may be the perfect time to hit the beaches in Los Angeles, the cooler fall weather makes it the perfect time for LA hikes. Most Angelenos and tourists know all about the scenic hikes through Runyon Canyon Park, but if you’re looking to switch things up, here are four other LA hikes worth checking out this fall. 

Franklin Canyon Lake. Photo courtesy of Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Franklin Canyon Park

There are trails for hikers of all levels at Franklin Canyon Park. Located right in the center of Los Angeles, just north of Beverly Hills, you might find your surroundings familiar as you hike through Franklin Canyon. Film and television makers have shot countless scenes throughout the park and the 3-acre lake is the lagoon from the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon. There are ample opportunities for birdwatching too, with great-horned owls, eagles and seven different species of hawks frequenting the park. 

The view from Mount Hollywood. Photo courtesy of Arpa Aghajani via All Trails.

Griffith Park

Like Runyon, Griffith Park is another one of the most popular LA hikes. However, Griffith Park boasts over 4,000 acres of space and 53 miles of trails, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. Go for a quick hike to the Bronson Cave, once the site of the Batcave in the 1960s Batman series, or hike up to the Griffith Park Observatory. You can also climb Mount Hollywood for a perfect view of the Hollywood sign or bring a picnic and have lunch in the ruins of the Old LA Zoo. 

Eaton Canyon Falls. Photo courtesy of Modern Hiker.

Eaton Canyon Falls

Who doesn't love a waterfall? Just east of Altadena, the Eaton Canyon Falls hike is about three and a half miles long round trip and it ends with a 44-foot waterfall. The first mile or so is a flat dirt trail and suitable for hikers of all levels. To get to the actual falls, you'll hike just over half a mile more. Climb up a single-track trail crossing the banks of a narrow stream bed until you get to the falls. Pro tip: visit on a weekday for smaller crowds. 

Topanga State Park

Spanning over 11,000 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park offers fantastic options for LA hikes. Two of the most popular hikes are up to Eagle Rock for panoramic views of the Santa Monica Bay and San Fernando Valley, and to the Parker Mesa Overlook for an unbeatable ocean view. During rainy seasons, you can even see a waterfall at Santa Ynez Falls

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