SoCal natives know all about Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park and hiking the Hollywood sign. But often these hiking hotspots can become overrun with people, unleashed dogs and traffic.
If you want to go hiking and become one with nature, not with the giant yoga group or the 20-something vegans wearing crop tops, head to Echo Park instead.
Little people know about all the great hiking in Echo Park. Simply drive about 10 minutes north of Downtown LA and you’ll be in a completely different neighborhood. The surrounding area is a little run-down, but head up in the hills, secure some of the ample street parking and just take off. You can hike throughout all of Echo Park and Elysian Park, and make your trek as easy/short or hard/long as you want. Head to the peak and you can look over Dodgers Stadium (especially cool when there’s a game going on and the blimp is overhead).
The views are pretty great – there’s tons of unplanned, un-touched nature around. You can see the skyscrapers of Downtown in the background. Climb high enough and you can look over Glendale, Burbank and the rest of the Valley. Best of all, only locals really know about this spot and the trails are never crowded.
Sure, it’ll be harder to get someone to take that “Success at the Top” photo of you here than at Runyon, but it’s still possible (scroll down to see my photos below). :)