San Jacinto Peak
The San Jacinto Summit Trail leads you to the highest peak in the San Jacinto Mountains. The higher the peak, the better the view! Not only does this trail offer incredible scenic views, it also features a river and beautiful wildflowers all around. At an elevation of 10,834 feet, the 10.5 mile forested trek is easy to navigate but strenuous to climb. It takes about 8-10 hours to complete so make sure you pack plenty of water. The route from Idyllwild is a favorite, as it's not as steep as others and the views are spectacular!
Search Deer Springs Trailhead in Idyllwild, CA 92549.
Ice House Canyon Trail
Ready to hike one of the highest peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains? The Icehouse Canyon Trail is an 11.6 mile-trek that leads to Cucamonga Peak. At an elevation of 8,862 feet, a spectacular view of SoCal is a guarantee. You'll also find beautiful rock formations, wildflowers and a waterfall. But be ready to work hard because this rocky trail, with a constant incline, is quite a challenge and takes about 7 hours to complete. The Icehouse Canyon Trailhead is 7698 Ice House Canyon Road, Angeles National Forest, Mount Baldy, CA 91759. And yes, dog are welcome.
Pumpkin Rock Trail
The Pumpkin Rock in Norco is a fun and easy 1.7 mile trek surrounded by wildflowers that peaks with an awesome view of Corona. It features a giant boulder painted orange with a face a la Jack Skellington that you'll just have to see for yourself, and is a good one for kids and dogs. You can find the trailhead near the Norco Animal Control Shelter, off Crestview Drive south of the George Ingalls Equestrian Event Center in Norco, CA 92860. And there are plenty of trails that intertwine in case you're feeling adventurous!
Henninger Flats in Altadena is close to many other trails, like the popular Eaton Canyon Falls, and is a good one if you're looking for a full day of adventure! The hike is about 12 miles with an elevation of 3,198 feet and is rated as moderate. Henninger Flats is dog-friendly, and has a nature center, a picnic area and public campgrounds, not to mention a killer when you reach the top! You can find the trailhead at 2260 Pinecrest Drive in Altadena, 91001.
White Point Natural Preserve Trail
If you like long walks overlooking the beach, this trail at White Point Natural Preserve is for you! It is a relaxing and easy 1.4 mile hike which you can access at 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731. There aren't many trees for shade at this dog-friendly park so make sure to pack sunscreen and plenty of water.
Mystic Canyon Trail
The Mystic Canyon Trail is one of the many trails in the San Gabriel Mountains. It offers a great workout and a beautiful scenic view above the city of Glendora. To get to Summit 3397, good hiking shoes will be a must to navigate the trail's steep pitches. The hike itself is about 9 miles altogether to and from the summit, and it also connects with other trails such as the Monroe Trail, the Poop Out Trail and the Punk Out Trail. The Mystic Canyon Trail can be challenging so make sure to pack plenty of water to stay hydrated in this SoCal heat! The gates are open from sunrise to sunset and you can find the trailhead just southwest of 2324 Big Dalton Canyon Road, Glendora, CA 91741.
Devil's Postpile National Monument
Put a hike to the Devil's Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Mountains on your bucket list! The columnar basalts create 60-foot tall cliffs and were caused by a lava eruption around 100,000 years ago. You can thank the glaciers for exposing the natural hexagonal shapes of the columns. The 1.35 mile hike is relatively easy, leads the way to other trails, is wheelchair accessible and dog friendly. You can find the trailhead near the ranger station on Minaret Summit Road in Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.
You'll find this beautiful hike on Potato Mountain Trail, a 4.4 mile trek, surrounded with blooming wildflowers. Located above the city of Claremont at an elevation of 1148 feet, this trail is rated moderate to difficult so make sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes. For all you pet parents out there, this is a dog friendly trail so grab a leash, some baggies and plenty of water. It should take you about 2 hours. The trailhead is at Mount Baldy Road and S. Palmer Evey Mountainway in Evey Canyon, Claremont, CA 91711.
Big Pine Lakes
How beautiful is this view of Big Pine Lake? Big Pines is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains inside the Inyo National Forest in the Eastern Sierra. The hike to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork of Big Pine Creek is rated strenuous at 9.2 miles roundtrip with a 3000-foot gain, and should take about five hours. Along with an incredible lake, the forested trail also features a waterfall and wildflowers, and is a wonderful location to set-up camp. The trailhead is adjacent to Glacier Lodge at the end of Glacier Lodge Road in Big Pine off of Highway 395.
Whether a tourist or a local, a hike up to L.A.'s most famous landmark is a must-do. There are many trails that lead to the Hollywood sign, some more challenging than others but all equally rewarding. The Brush Canyon Trail is 6.4 miles round trip making it the longest trail and yet the easiest one. It goes through Griffith Park and summits Mount Lee directly behind the iconic letters, and starts at the north end of Canyon Drive. Then there is the Burbank Peak Trail which is the shortest, at only 3 miles, but it's also the most challenging. It's also home to the famous Wisdom Tree, and it's usually the least crowded and parking isn't available at the start of the trail, so you'll also need to walk up Wonder View Drive. The other two trails are Hollyridge Trail which is about 4 miles long from the end of Canyon Drive in Brush Canyon (aka Bronson Canyon), and Innsdale Drive which is 4.6 miles. Both offer the greatest head-on views of the Hollywood sign but watch out for rattlesnakes!