This is a guest post from Yvonne Condes, a blogger in Los Angeles who specializes in gluten-free baking. She and her husband and two young boys look for moderate to easy hikes to enjoy together on the weekends. Note the many places where you can get a spectacular view of the ocean.
One of the great things about visiting Los Angeles is access to hiking, biking, and walking trails. Here are a few fun, easy to moderate hikes to do with your kids.
Solstice Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains: This hike works well with both younger and older kids. There’s a nice paved trail that will take you to the ruins of the beautiful Roberts House, which was destroyed in a 1982 wildfire. If you’re feeling adventurous, the family can climb over a few rocks and see some lovely little waterfalls. Or if you feel like a workout, you can head to Upper Solstice Canyon and enjoy a 3 hour hike with spectacular ocean views.
Malibu Creek State Park: This area has picnic tables, a big grassy area for kids to play and a wide, well maintained trail. You can push a jog stroller all the way to the area where they filmed the television series M*A*S*H* or you can hike to a reservoir and have a picnic. It’s a combination of shady and sunny, hilly and flat. Watch out for bike riders and riders on horseback.
Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park: There are great hikes in Topanga Canyon and many of them start at Trippet Ranch. You can park at the ranch and take a look around or go on a short nature walk. Hikers with older kids can stop and get a map at the entrance to the park and hike any of the 45 miles of trails and fireroads. The Backbone Trail has incredible views and you can catch part of the roughly 70 miles of trail here (it starts at Point Magu State Park and ends at Will Rogers State Historic Park) and hike as much of it as you’d like.
Franklin Canyon: This is a nice urban hike in the mountains above Beverly Hills. There are bathrooms, picnic tables and the option to do a short nature walk or a strenuous hike with views from the Valley to the Ocean.
Temescal Canyon: This is a very popular hiking spot and I chose it because if you’re new to experiencing nature with your children, this is a great place to start. There’s convenient parking, a large, well maintained trail, and a big grassy area to picnic. It’s in Pacific Palisades and close to restaurants and coffee shops if picnicking isn’t your thing.
Tip: The Children’s Nature Institute offers family hikes, toddler education programs, and trail and beach cleanups in the Los Angeles area. The non-profit’s classes and walks offer a friendly introduction to the outdoors.
[photo by Jonathan Isaac via sxc.hu]