April has begun and spring is in the air! As the days get longer and the weather becomes sunny and warm I thought I would share a few of my favorite local Valley hiking spots.
Hiking is a great physical activity to get your heart rate up, break a sweat and boost your mood. More so, you are outdoors enjoying the beauty California has to offer, it is FREE and you can enjoy it on your own or as a social outing!
Throughout the years I have hiked various trails throughout Los Angeles and I am pleased to say the Valley is full of quite a few gems. Below I will tell you about a few of my favorites and hopefully inspire you to get outside!
On the west end of the Valley there is Victory Trailhead. Located off of Valley Circle Blvd. and Victory Blvd., this is one of my favorite low-key hiking spots. The total loop is 5.1 miles but do not feel the need to go the whole way. I often just go for as long as I feel and then turn around and go back the same way.
This is an easy hike, with wide trails and it stays mostly flat. I love that this hike is never crowded, which is a nice change of pace from the more popular LA hiking spots such as Runyon. If you like to take your dogs this is a great mild trail for them to enjoy with you!
If you are heading into the Sherman Oaks/Studio City Area there is Fryman Canyon. Located off of Laurel Canyon, just look for a small parking lot with a sign saying Wilacre Park. While the parking lot is small, it is newly renovated with public restrooms, water fountains for both pups and hikers and nature signs.
The total loop is three miles but there are various sub trails that will loop you back to the parking lot should you not want to go the entire way. If you do hike the whole three miles you come out in the beautiful neighborhoods behind. It is so peaceful that for a moment you forget you are just south of Ventura Blvd. The trail itself is easy, wide and open and has quite a bit of shade. I love Fryman because you get the feeling of Runyon Canyon but without the overload of people.
If you are looking for more of a challenge then definitely check out Wisdom Tree in Griffith Park. Be sure to not just jump into this one because it is a difficult hike. The trail up to Wisdom Tree is only three miles, however, it is at a rather steep incline.
Further, the path is narrow and you have hikers going both up and down the path, making it a bit harder to navigate. It is worth the challenge if you are up for it though. Once at the top you are greeted with the Wisdom Tree itself and can take in the panoramic views of our beautiful city. If you have had enough at this point you can turn back and begin the descent back down the trail. Otherwise, you can continue on a little further until you reach your final destination behind the Hollywood Sign; a unique way to view the sign from a different perspective. Due to the tricky nature of this part of the trail, be sure you feel comfortable before embarking on this journey. Whether you are a hiking novice or are ready to take on a challenge, the Valley has a trail for you.
These are just a few of the many options available and we must not take it for granted. Go and try something new, get outside and embark on an outdoor adventure this spring. Get those endorphins going, enjoy some vitamin D and take in all the beauty the Valley has to offer. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Allie Priore is a certified Pilates instructor based in the Los Angeles area. She completed a comprehensive 500 hour course and has been a professional in the fitness industry for five years.