Santa Monica, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Santa Monica, California offer a variety of top outdoor adventures. The Temescal Canyon Loop is a must-visit with its 2.6-mile trail that offers stunning ocean views and a scenic waterfall. For a more challenging hike, the Los Liones Trail is a 7.3-mile trail that takes you through lush greenery and offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The Santa Monica Beach bike path is a 22-mile long flat trail perfect for cycling, running, and walking. If you're into bird watching, the Ballona Wetlands is a great spot. For rock climbing, head to Point Dume in nearby Malibu. Remember to respect the outdoors and leave no trace behind. Enjoy your outdoor adventures in Santa Monica!

Top Spots in and near Santa Monica

  • Los Angeles, California

    West Trail Loop

    4.3
    1.85 mi / 463 ft gain
    The trail starts near Dell Picnic area, near the Trails Cafe. On this wide fire road, you can choose to run or hike, but don't expect to have the trail to yourself, especially if you're heading out on the weekend. With that said, you can time your run or hike around sunset and get amazing views b...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Bronson Bat Caves

    3.3
    0.61 mi / 66 ft gain
    Who doesn't enjoy a short hike to a scenic/remote location? I know I sure do! After hearing about this spot through word of mouth and the internet, and seemingly never having the time to check it out, I honestly have to say it was a worthwhile trip. This short 0.6 out and back hike/walk to the f...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Hollywood Sign via Brush Canyon Trail

    4.6
    5.04 mi / 1155 ft gain
    Getting to the parking lot near the trailhead and finding an open space can seem like the most daunting part of this whole excursion. There are free parking lots along the road to the trailhead, so keep an eye out. There are also several ways to get to the trailhead from other parking areas; I ad...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Hollyridge Trail to the Hollywood Sign [Closed]

    4.1
    3.5 mi / 383 ft gain
    This trail is closed as is the Beachwood Gate which is used to access the Hollyridge Trail will be permanently closed on April 18th, 2017 due to a court order. Check out Hollywood Sign via Brush Canyon Trail for an available option.  There are three ways to get to the Hollywood Sign. This route ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Mount Hollywood Trail

    5.0
    2.49 mi / 505 ft gain
    Mount Hollywood Trail is a loop with scenic views of Griffith Park located in Los Angeles, California. There are multiple ways to reach the summit of Mount Hollywood, including via Mount Hollywood via Fern Canyon Trail (5-mile loop) starting near the merry-go-round. This route is one of the most ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Music Box Steps

    5.0
    0.08 mi / 20 ft gain
    Climb a historical landmark in LA. This is where the famous, Academy Award winning short, Laurel and Hardy made called "The Music Box”. Filmed back in the 1930's the story is about two movers trying to deliver a piano, up these steps. There is a plaque is dedicated at the bottom to this film. It’...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Descanso Steps

    4.0
    0.1 mi / 20 ft gain
    The steps are a series of stairways you will find throughout Silver Lake and neighboring areas. They facilitated people from the neighborhood in getting to the “red” streetcars, that used to run throughout the city. Cool relics of a mostly-forgotten past. These particular steps take you down from...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Hoover Walk

    4.0
    In 2009, the people that lived in the neighborhood, close to the stairs, wanted to find a way to fight the graffiti that was being put on the structures and stairs themselves. Artist Ricardo Mendoza was commissioned to paint a giant mural that would cover most of the concrete walls that surround ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Micheltorena Stairs

    3.0
    0.19 mi / 75 ft gain
    I preferred the steps, before anything was painted on them. Whoever thought it would be a great idea to do that was wrong. No upkeep and these stairs have been heavily vandalized. The steps are a series of stairways you will find throughout Silver Lake and neighboring areas. They facilitated peo...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Piano Mural Staircase aka “Murray Staircase”

    5.0
    0.08 mi / 69 ft gain
    The “Piano Stairs” is a stair mural in Silver Lake neighborhood section of LA. Not to be confused with the “Music Box” staircase that is close by. These 90 steps were painted to look like the piano keyboard by the artist Carrey. Great for a cardio workout and not as creepy as some of the stairs h...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Landa St Stairs (Esther's Steps)

    5.0
    0.18 mi / 138 ft gain
    One of the hidden gems of the neighborhood, a beloved local named Esther Aagaard Tapebland walked these steps everyday, for 50 years in Silver Lake. Fountain Ave becomes Landa St. Park on Griffith Park Ave and hike your way up the steep driveway. Amazing views of Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign, th...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Glendale Peak via Henry's Trail

    4.0
    2.07 mi / 915 ft gain
    Glendale Peak is often passed over by people hiking to Mt. Hollywood, and while it is not as high as its neighbor summit, it boasts arguably better views that you will enjoy all to yourself. While not really a full hiking trail and more of a small detour, Henry's Trail is worth the small uphill c...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Vista Hermosa Natural Park

    4.2
    0.58 mi / 36 ft gain
    Vista Hermosa Natural Park is part of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Located in the western gateway to Downtown Los Angeles, it’s very easy to drive by this hidden gem if you’re not looking for it. This park is the perfect mix of ur...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Echo Park Lake

    3.0
    0.98 mi / 0 ft gain
    Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles has a loop that is about 1 mile around. It’s a pretty busy park, that has ducks and geese everywhere. Beautiful lotus blossoms and iris flowers in the lake. Generally flat and one tiny incline that can easily be avoided. You can also rent swan paddleboats that light ...
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  • Agoura Hills, California

    Camp at Malibu Creek State Park

    5.0
    Malibu Creek State Park boasts over 8,000 acres of oak woodlands, grassy hills, dramatic peaks and serene meadows. It's an outdoor lover's paradise and only a short drive north from most of Los Angeles. Before it was a park, the land was owned by 20th Century Fox Studios and used in productions...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Silver Lake Reservoir Trail

    3.0
    2.18 mi / 79 ft gain
    Silver Lake Reservoir Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. This urban escape is used by people running, walking, and birding. The trail is stroller-friendly, so you may see parents along the trail with their younger fam...
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