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

  • Agoura Hills, California

    Malibu Creek Rock Pool

    3.9
    2.04 mi / 105 ft gain
    The trail starts out from the main parking lot past the ranger station at Malibu Creek State Park. Begin hiking west on Crags Road, a well maintained trail that meanders along the creek. As you walk, you'll pass under large oak trees and enjoy expansive views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Aft...
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  • Agoura Hills, California

    Rock Climbing in Malibu Creek

    A great day trip! Referred to by many as the "Yosemite of Southern California," Malibu Creek offers a huge selection of bolted sport routes on generously pocketed volcanic rock. This is the perfect place to bring a first time climber or even your most seasoned climbing buddies. Routes range from ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Mount Hollywood via the Fern Canyon Trail

    5.0
    5.02 mi / 1581 ft gain
    At 1,625 feet Mt Hollywood is the second highest point in Griffith Park and provides picturesque views of the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park Observatory, Downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains. The hike to the Mt Hollywood Summit begins on the northeast side of Griffith Park near the ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Mattachine Steps

    5.0
    0.09 mi / 52 ft gain
    The Mattachine Steps, also known as the Cove Avenue stairway, is dedicated to the Mattachine Society (The name was taken from a medieval French secret society that set out to right wrongs.) in 2012 in memory of Harry Hay, who cofounded the gay rights group. Right along this stairway is a small ho...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop

    4.0
    2.52 mi / 666 ft gain
    The Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop is a 2.52-mile moderately trafficked loop trail located in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Due to its length and minimal elevation gain of ~670 feet, the hike is open to all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, hiking, and trail running, The Griffith P...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Beacon Hill via Coolidge Trail

    5.0
    2.84 mi / 587 ft gain
    The starting point for your run is at the Griffith Park Southern Railroad. From the parking lot walk east crossing Crystal Springs Drive and find the Coolidge Hiking Trail. Begin running up Coolidge Trail toward Upper Beacon Trail making sure to stay straight at the first intersection (0.2 miles)...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Three Stooges Stairs

    4.0
    0.07 mi / 43 ft gain
    The stairs are about 147 steps. Located at Fair Oak View Terrace and Edendale Place in the Silver Lake, a district of Los Angeles. They are famous for where the Three Stooges short "An Ache In Every Stake" was filmed in 1941. It is a classic scene of where they have to deliver a block of ice all ...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Secret Stairs Astro Loop

    2.3
    4.21 mi / 600 ft gain
    I learned about these remnants of Los Angeles history, just a few months ago. When I found myself in L.A. this past month, I decided to find some of these stairs, and find out what they’re all about. Back in the 1920’s these stairs were created for pedestrians to have direct routes to the trans...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Elysian Park

    4.0
    1.88 mi / 282 ft gain
    The trail at Elysian Park in Los Angeles, California, is a moderate difficulty hike that spans approximately 1.88 miles. The trail is well-marked and offers a variety of terrain, including dirt paths and paved roads. The trail is known for its panoramic views of the city, including the iconic Dod...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Ord & Yale Street Park

    4.0
    Recently opened in 2021, right behind the LA Library in Chinatown, you’ll find this secret gem, tucked away in the corner. Covered picnic tables, with checkerboard game boards in place, and all gender bathrooms with changing tables for the little ones. Two play areas as well as a small climbing w...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Los Angeles River: West Bank Trail

    5.0
    14.4 mi / 331 ft gain
    Los Angeles River: West Bank Trail is an out-and-back trail that is good for all skill levels located near Los Angeles, California.
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Baxter Steps

    4.5
    0.16 mi / 108 ft gain
    This set of stairs near Dodger Stadium is Los Angeles is a great way to get a workout and stretch your legs. Unfortunately it is not dog-friendly. Keep in mind the best time to go here is during the week, so you can avoid crowds.  Be sure to bring extra water with you as it can get very hot!
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  • Agoura Hills, California

    Malibu Lake Overlook

    5.0
    4.12 mi / 741 ft gain
    To get to the trail, use the address 27800 Mulholland Highway, Agoura Hills, CA 91301. This will take you to a dirt pull off right off the Mulholland Highway. At the southern part of the pull off, you'll see a dirt path leading up and away from the road. This is the Cistern Trail Trailhead. You'l...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Watts Towers

    3.0
    Watts Towers are a quick 15-20 minute ride from Downtown Los Angeles on the Metro. Since I love weird, interesting things, plus the towers are in my backyard, I had to take a trip to check them out! When getting off the train, I half expected to see the towers spiraling off in the distance. After...
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  • Ventura County, California

    Hike the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve Trail

    8.6 mi / 1851 ft gain
    The most popular point of entry is through the Victory Trailhead, which has ample parking. You can park on the street or you can pay $3 to park at the trailhead parking lot. You can also enter at the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Trailhead at the northern end of Las Virgenes Canyon Road in Calabasas....
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Secret Swing in Elysian Park

    4.2
    0.16 mi / 360 ft gain
    For the most direct directions to the swing, plug in "Swing on top of Elysian Park" into google maps, which will take you directly to the trailhead. If you want to do it the more old fashion way, the swing is on top of a hill at the intersection of Angels Point Drive and Park Row Drive in Elysian...
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