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Santa Monica, California

Looking for the best photography in Santa Monica? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Santa Monica. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Photography Spots in and near Santa Monica

  • Altadena, California

    Thalehaha Falls

    1.71 mi / 679 ft gain
    The trails starts in a foothill neighborhood of Altadena CA at the corner of Pleasantridge Dr. and Rubio Vista Rd. This is one of the better entries into the Angeles National Forest because it is one of the lesser known. Find a place to park on the street and head out on the trail into Rubio Cany...
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  • Whittier, California

    Sycamore Canyon Trail in Turnbull Canyon

    2.0
    3.47 mi / 627 ft gain
    The Sycamore Canyon Park Trailhead can be found at the end of the dirt parking lot off Workman Mill Road. The entrance is off a small road which is pretty easy to miss, but there is a sign off the main road. Soon after you start on the trail, the path opens up onto a larger dirt road for vehicle ...
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  • Pasadena, California

    Eaton Canyon Falls via Eaton Canyon Trailhead

    4.2
    3.54 mi / 528 ft gain
    The hidden forty-foot-tall Eaton Canyon Falls fills an amphitheater at the top of Eaton Canyon Trail, tumbling into a wide pool that you can rest alongside or wade in. Normally the water is waist deep, but during this recent trip, we found the water only to stop at our ankles as it tends to fluct...
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  • Malibu, California

    Sandstone Peak

    4.8
    3.03 mi / 971 ft gain
    If you live in Los Angeles, Sandstone Peak is a must! The hike to the summit can be done on a 2 mile hike up and back on Sandstone Peak Trail, or a 6.5 mile hike up and back on Backbone Trail. The shorter trail is more popular, yet both are equally rewarding. You won't believe the views from the...
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  • Malibu, California

    Balanced Rock via Sandstone Trailhead

    5.0
    4.36 mi / 1125 ft gain
    ...From the PCH, make a left turn on Yerba Buena road (turn right if you're coming South) for about 6 miles until you get to the dirt parking area. If the lot is full, there's extra parking on the side of the road. FYI, Balanced Rock can also be accessed by starting at the Mishe Mokwa trailhead,...
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  • 12869 Yerba Buena Road, California

    Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

    5.0
    7.06 mi / 1755 ft gain
    Take Yerba Buena road to the trailhead. It is less zigzagged and shorter distance from PCH. Parking is easy provided that you start early in the morning. If the lot is full, you can always park on the side of the road. Bathroom is available at Sandstone Peak Trailhead parking lot, just 0.8 miles ...
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  • Malibu, California

    Grotto Trail

    2.64 mi / 492 ft gain
    Who doesn't enjoy a hike that offers water, scenic views, boulder hopping and a subterranean cave? I know I do! The Grotto Trail begins at Circle X Ranch, which looks a bit like a small cowboy western store, and is approximately 6 miles from the Highway 1 (PCH). The parking is a tad tight, fittin...
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  • Long Beach, California

    Red Car Greenbelt

    5.0
    0.63 mi / 0 ft gain
    The Greenbelt used to be the right-of-way for the long lost Pacific Electric Red Car, an amazing system of public transportation that connected Long Beach, LA, Orange Coutny, and even San Bernardino. The pathways are landscaped with plants typical of the area and plenty of native flowers for the...
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  • Long Beach, California

    Colorado Lagoon

    5.0
    0.95 mi / 30 ft gain
    The Colorado Lagoon is a wetland that is being restored. To make this 1 mile walk into a loop, you have to walk along sidewalks near the park. This is a very kid-friendly destination. This trail crosses over the lagoon on a boardwalk. It also accesses a sandy swimming beach with restrooms, picnic...
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  • Thousand Oaks, California

    Hiking Wildwood Regional Park

    3.8
    Wildwood Regional Park is open year-round, easily accessible, and offers great routes for hiking, running, biking, and even horseback riding. There are also two waterfalls inside the park—the larger of the two, Paradise Falls, cascades 40 feet into a large pool. To catch some beautiful views of t...
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  • Thousand Oaks, California

    Paradise Falls Loop

    4.3
    2.26 mi / 300 ft gain
    The hike to Paradise Falls is about 1.5 miles one way with around 300 feet elevation change. Take it easy starting the hike because the real challenge is the change in elevation going back to your car since you'll be going uphill. At the trailhead, follow the signs indicating the location of Para...
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  • Los Angeles County, California

    San Gabriel Peak

    4.0
    2.79 mi / 1040 ft gain
    At 6,000 feet, San Gabriel Peak gives you one of the best views of the Los Angeles basin on the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. As you pass through Muller Tunnel, the trail will be littered with rocks and boulders. A little over 100 feet in, the road will fork in thre...
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  • Los Angeles County, California

    Mt. Disappointment via Billy Riley Trail

    3.5 mi / 1132 ft gain
    From the 210 Freeway in La Cañada, take California Highway 2 north 14 miles up into the San Gabriel Mountains. Make sure you have your National Forest Pass (sold at REI or Ranger Station) or your Interagency Pass because they have started checking parked vehicles. At the Red Box Picnic area, make...
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  • Newbury Park, California

    Boney Peak

    4.0
    12.04 mi / 3025 ft gain
    The hike begins at the parking lot for Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park, CA just outside LA. Pull into the parking lot and walk on the dirt road until you see the trail for Boney Peak. It is easy to find because the peak can be seen from the beginning of the trail. The trail is generally an in...
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  • Ventura County, California

    Sycamore Canyon Falls

    3.3 mi / 545 ft gain
    ...When arriving in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, take the drive and park at Sycamore Canyon parking lot. Parking is free and also offers restrooms and some history about the park. Follow the trailhead South until you come to the Satwiwa Culture Center on your left and a dome-like...
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  • Seal Beach, California

    Seal Beach

    4.7
    Seal Beach is a small beach community between Long Beach and Huntington Beach. Right off PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), this sandy beach is a great place to chill on a hot summer day. The high winds coming off the water makes it an ideal place to kite board, surf, or simply fly a kite along the sho...
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