The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Will Rogers State Park (Horseback Riding)

Located in the hills between Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, Will Rogers State Park has various activities available like hiking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, and riding lessons. Will Rogers polo club and the Will Rogers Ranch, a historical landmark of California, offer tours where visitors can take lessons and go out for a ride. The 186-acre ranch with its huge home of 31 rooms was the retreat and home of Will Rogers and his family, where they raised their horses.

Temescal Canyon Trails

A popular hiking spot with ocean views, thickly wooded canyon, and a seasonal waterfall, makes Temescal Canyon loops one of the favorites, which begins on Temescal Ridge trail, ascending to 1,000 feet in the first mile, which are part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. At the intersection with Temescal Canyon Trail, you can stay on the ridge and take a half-mile side trip to Skull Rock, or head towards Temescal Canyon, cross a bridge and witness a beautiful waterfall.

Runyon Canyon

The 160-acre Runyon Canyon Park, located at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains promises pleasant time and views of the San Fernando Valley, Griffith Observatory and the Pacific, which nature lovers find irresistible. Venture on small hiking trails though the park or the Indian Rock, the highest point in the park of 1,320 ft, which being in Hollywood, offers an opportunity to see celebrities. The park has a liberal dog policy that allows them to move around off-leash.

Eaton Canyon Trail

The Eaton Canyon Trail, starting at the Eaton Canyon Nature Area, is an easy 4-mile hike up a canyon in the lower San Gabriel’s, to a beautiful 40-foot waterfall. The famous trail involves crossing few streams and hopping on boulders in the last half-mile stretch, is spectacular with wild flowers during springtime. The trail has options of easy or difficult, attains maximum height of 400 feet, is clearly marked throughout, and though crowded on weekends, yet gives peace and tranquility.

Griffith Park

Griffith Park, California’s second-largest city park, in eastern Santa Monica Mountain range, is host to Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, merry-go-round, Autry National Center’s Museum of the American West, and the Hollywood Sign located on Mount Lee. It offers activities like studying stars at the Griffith Observatory, attending concerts at the Greek Theatre, riding on a miniature railroad at the Travel Town Museum, playing golf at the two 18-hole golf courses, besides taking many hiking and equestrian trails.

Malibu State Creek Park

Malibu State Creek Park spread over 4,000 acres, boasts of bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and fishing. It has 15 miles of streamside trail via oak and sycamore forests and bush-covered slopes, as well as restrooms, picnic areas for the visitors. The park has served as the filming site for many movies including the classic Planet of the Apes, and the television M*A*S*H series. The long distance trail that spans the Santa Monica Mountains goes through the park.

Beaches (Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu)

Los Angeles Beaches are well known, including Malibu Beach that has mountains behind the beach, a lovely setting to the rolling surf, has private and public beaches with the Malibu Pier located here. Venice Beach is the place to see colorful characters like Speedo-wearing bodybuilder, chainsaw juggler, rubber-snake wrangler, palm readers, and folk artists. Santa Monica Beach, just two miles long is ideal for volleyball or bike rides, with the Santa Monica Pier that has arcades, amusement parks and old-fashioned carousel. To read more, check out our top beaches list.

Sunset Ranch

Sunset Ranch, right beneath the Hollywood sign, near Griffith Park, covering over 50 miles of trails, offers activities like guided trail rides, lessons, boarding, to the Sunset Dinner Rides. Choose from the many options including one and two hours rides during the day for anyone over 8years, or the Friday night moonlight ride, culminating with dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Visitors are required to don specific riding attire, and pay fees that vary with duration and time of the rides.

Mt. Baldy Hiking

The highest peak in Los Angeles County, Mount Baldy, at 10,064 feet, named because of the large, treeless, and flat area has some of the best hiking trails in Southern California. Hiking trails to the top are accessible from three sides of the mountain, with one route assisted on summer weekends via the functioning ski-area chair lift. Hikers take the service road from the Ski Area parking lot to the Top of the Notch restaurant, though the easiest way to the peak is along Devil’s Backbone.

Westlake Village Lake (Paddle Boats)

Westlake Village has a 150-acre lake, though it is a private lake for guests and residents only, it is stocked with blue gill, catfish, and bass. Special attractions are the family-friendly rented paddleboats, powered by foot, giving a unique and healthy experience of exploring the lake. Enjoy the the docking privileges, fishing licenses, sailboats, electric and rowboats, and kayaks on the water, or sit out and enjoy the view with a meal and drink at the various surrounding restaurants.

Joshua Tree State Park

Located in southeastern California, Joshua Tree National Park has major areas designated to wilderness, along with a rich cultural history, variety of plants and animals, and surreal geological features. Visitors can opt for camping at the nine established campgrounds in the park, nature walks to Hidden Valley, Indian Cove or take the longer trails to Lost Horse Mine or Lost Palms Oasis. Popular with rock climbers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, the park is also home to mover 250 species of birds.

Pt. Dume ( Malibu)

Point Dume Malibu area is off the Pacific Coast Highway, a breathtaking area to explore around Malibu, also known as Malibu Riviera, with hiking trails, a great beach, tide pool area at the base of the sandstone cliff. A paved trail takes you to the point for stunning views of the Channel Islands and whales, an ideal filming location, with several volleyball courts along the sand, ample space to sunbathe; it is also home to a few single pitch rock-climbing routes.