Hiking is SO L.A, you guys. But when I first moved here, I was hesitant. Would I have to wear weird boots and carry those dorky sticks? I should have known better - because it's L.A., it's not real hiking. It's actually quite a civilised way to work out - think dirt trails that wind through the hills above the city - and it's become my favourite way to see a different side of the city. Here are my go-to trails... what are yours?
When you're... short on time
Trek... Griffith Observatory
Short but steep, this trail through L.A.'s biggest park (it's five times the size of NYC's Central Park, FYI) pays off - both in sweat and in views from the top. It's right above my old neighbourhood, Los Feliz, and winds its way all the way up to Griffith Observatory, a gorgeous Art Deco landmark with insta-worthy views of the Hollywood sign, downtown and even, on a clear day, the Pacific.
When you're... keen for a side of people watching with your walk
Trek... Runyon Canyon
Probably the most popular of L.A. hikes, this beast is known for its celeb fans, steep descent and, most importantly, L.A. scenesters. When you're not gasping your breath, you'll be smirking at the parade of Los Angeles cliches who use the trail as a gym, pick up joint and networking ground zero. Don't be too surprised if you're handed a headshot.
When you're... looking for a quintessential Hollywood moment
Trek... the Mt. Lee Trail
Hordes of tourist tootle up to vantage points above Beachwood Canyon - the original Hollywoodland village - to snap the Hollywood sign from their open-top bus, but not so many are willing to walk the nearly two-hour roundtrip to get up close and personal with the icon. This trail is controversial - residents who resent tourists blocking the narrow streets have tried to have it shut down - but for now it's still accessible from Linforth Drive, which is right below the Beachwood entrance. Walk through the dead end, make a right on Deondra Drive and make your way up to a side of the sign most people never see (literally).
P.S. Check out my other LA adventures