5 Best Fall Walking Trails Near LA

As temperatures cool and the leaves start to change color, you may experience a growing yearning to get outside. Thankfully, there are abundant options to enjoy the fall weather in and around LA. View the list below to find the perfect spot to spend your next weekend outdoors enjoying the change of season.

  1. Berlin Forest Trail, Griffith Park

If you’d like a walk but don’t have much time, Griffith Park is the place to go. It averages only 10-15 minutes from the center of LA.

For a short, relaxed walk, visit the Berlin Forest Trail within the park. At only 0.3 miles long, it’s one of the shortest trails in the area. However, it’s lined with towering pine trees, offers elevated views, and connects with nearby trails for longer nature treks. If you have a full day free, pack some food and spend more time exploring this natural area!

  1. Palos Verdes Hike

This beautiful peninsula is the perfect place to go if you want to experience the beach in autumn. A 40-minute drive from the heart of LA, the area is known for its fall foliage. It can be enjoyed much longer in the fall since many of the trails run along an exposed ridgeline.

Explore all 3-5 miles of the Portuguese Bend Reserve Loop Trail for stunning views of the water, or hike out one of the many shorter trails in the area. Research suggests that taking walks improves your mood, so expect to return refreshed and excited for the next day.

  1. Monrovia Canyon Falls

Many waterfall hikes are located near LA, but most of them dry up during the fall weather. If you have your heart set on seeing a waterfall, consider driving 35 minutes north from LA to Monrovia Canyon Falls. The trail here is about 1.5 miles total in length, and you can view the 30-foot falls all year ‘round.

Most of this trail runs through the shade, so it’s the perfect opportunity to wear warmer fall clothes as the weather cools down. Do be careful with children here, as there are some steep parts and drop-offs along the trail. Take these and other important safety precautions to ensure your trip remains an exciting, enjoyable experience.

  1. Oak Glen Preserve Trail

For many, fall is their favorite season. If you want to go all-out and really celebrate, plan a longer outing to Oak Glen Preserve. Located about one and a half hours east of LA, this area has apple picking, hiking trails, a petting zoo, and striking fall colors.

Admission is free, and the botanical garden has an interconnected trail system with varied scenery to explore, including giant sequoias. Make sure you plan ahead and grab a map of the trails so you can make the most of your time here!

  1. Pine Knot Trail, Big Bear Lake

Consider driving to Big Bear Lake if you’re looking for a good trail a little farther outside the city. Located two hours east of LA in San Bernardino National Forest, this area has beautiful fall scenery. Pine Knot Trail is 6.9 miles long total, out and back, and offers gorgeous views of the lake. This highly rated trail does require a Forest Service Adventure Pass to park in the area, which you can purchase at the Big Bear Discovery Center or in many shops along Route 18.

Take care to plan adequate time for your hike, and let someone know where you are going. It’s easy to underestimate how much time you need to get out and back. Remember that this trail is two hours from LA minimum, and make sure you’re out before dark!

Fall Weather Beckons

There’s something about fall weather that makes it difficult to stay inside. After reading this guide, you no longer have an excuse to stare wistfully out the window at the falling leaves. Go hike something! Whether you’re looking for a 30-minute walk or access to a three-hour hike, LA offers trails that will lift your spirits and help you celebrate the cool weather.

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