Southern California is rich in beautiful scenery and the perfect landscape for single or multi-day hiking trips.
Whether it is 10,000-foot peaks, lone bridges, slot canyons, or waterfalls, there are some great sights to explore in Southern California.
Here are five of the best hiking trips for beginners in SoCal:
Franklin Canyon (Hastain Trail)
Franklin Canyon is a stunning and uncrowned park located in the Santa Monica Mountains. There are several options for hiking in the region with Hastain Trail one of the more adventurous.
It stretches about 2.3 miles (round trip) and is rated moderate to advance. The trail does rise steadily as you progress on the path. This allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the scene below include the Pacific Ocean, west Los Angeles, and the lower canyon.
Other worthwhile trails in the region include Discovery Trail and Berman Trail.
Fryman Canyon is situated on the northern side of Mulholland Drive in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains and gives access to the Betty B. Dearing Trail.
This trail makes it possible to traverse the parkland and is one of the best hiking trips for beginners in the region. It has both dirt tracks and paved paths and isn’t too crowded and quieter than the Runyon Canyon. Fryman Canyon is rich in deep wooded canyons, year-round springs, and native chaparral.
Hiking the park will also give access to Coldwater Canyon Park, Franklin Canyon, and Wilacre Park. Plus, the park is dog-friendly (provided the dogs are kept on a leash).
A visit to Topanga State Park gives access to one of the longest hiking trips for beginners and access to Temescal Peak and Eagle Rock.
The entire length of the hike is in the region of 7.4 miles and because the path is mostly flat fire roads; the path is rated low to moderate. Temescal Peak gives a perfect introduction to hiking before progressing to the more difficult terrain in the Santa Monica Mountains with its rugged terrain.
Plus, it isn’t necessary to complete the entire length of the hike, with an option to shorten the trail to match the personal abilities.
A hike to Mount Hollywood is perfect for the beginners and stretches some 3.8 miles to give a quiet and peaceful trip, which is able to introduce several other hiking paths within close proximity to Griffin Park.
Mount Hollywood trail is rated at a moderate difficulty and you can expect to complete it within 2 hours.
Switzer falls takes the hiker into the San Gabriel Mountains that includes a hiking path that lasts about 3 miles (round trip) and gives a perfect opportunity to admire to local sights including historic ruins.
Plus, this hike makes it possible to reach the outer edge of Bear Canyon. On the warmer days, the waterfall is a perfect destination to relax and cool off.
The difficulty rating for this beginner’s hiking trail is moderate but is certain to provide one of the most popular trails in the entire region.
Southern California has more than its fair share of stunning scenery. The good news is that much of it is within the range of even the newest hiker. Allied to California’s enviable climate, it makes it a great place to go…just make sure you stay hydrated in that warm California sun!
Matt Green, is an avid hiker and lover of the great outdoors. He is always planning his next big trip or hitting the trails for a solo hike.
He’s traveled extensively to many remote regions and has plenty of experience exploring various terrains, and stories to tell.