A Local’s Guide to Outdoor Activities in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be a city of steel and glass, but locals know that it’s an otherworldly natural paradise as well. From the shining Pacific to the unique topography of the San Gabriel Mountains and beyond, the determined urban adventurer will never be without plenty of outdoor activities in Los Angeles.

So whether you’re breezing through town or a lifelong resident, here are a few of the dispensary crew’s favorite spots in and around Los Angeles. And of course: Don’t forget to stock up before you hit the trail!

Higher Path’s Favorite Outdoor Activities in Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory

Outdoor Activities in LA 1

2800 E Observatory Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

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We’ve written about the Observatory before, but this stunning hilltop observation point is still the perfect destination for those of us with our heads in the clouds! The Griffith offers stellar views of Los Angeles and the cosmos, and it’s a safe bet you’ll find your wonder rekindled here. Admission to the building and grounds is free, making this a great site for a picnic as well.

Eaton Canyon Falls Trail

Outdoor Activities in LA 2

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Located within easy striking distance of Pasadena, this bucolic, 40-foot waterfall nestles at the end of an easy hike. The trail tends to get a bit crowded on weekends, but if you make the time for a midweek dash you’ll be rewarded by the nearly unbelievable sound—in Los Angeles County, at least—of running water in the forest. Easiest access will be off Pinecrest Drive.

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens

Outdoor Activities in LA 3

1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 405-2100

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It might sound a bit cheeky to describe this expansive library complex as one of “LA’s outdoor activities.” But even though the Huntington contains one of the country’s most revered libraries and art collections, it’s the 120 acres of lush gardens—and a mind-boggling 15,000 plant varieties—that puts it on our list. Visit any (or all) of the 16 themed gardens and take a moment to reflect on the incredible natural bounty of the city we call “home.”

Temescal Gateway Park

Outdoor Activities in LA 4
Source: Outdoor Project

15601 Sunset Blvd
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

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Beloved by dog owners and hikers alike, this densely wooded trail allows a few panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean below and even a seasonal waterfall, provided the rainfall cooperates. Do bring money for parking ($7), but otherwise, the only requirement is that you come prepared to be awed by the scenic grandeur.

Outdoor Activities in Los Angeles: Charlie Turner Trailhead

Outdoor Activities in LA 5
Source: Trover

2840 W Observatory Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

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We’ll end this list where we began it. Much more than just being the home of the Observatory, Griffith Park is one of the nation’s largest urban parks, spanning some 4310 acres right in the middle of Los Angeles. The Charlie Turner Trail brings you to the Park’s highest peak, Mount Hollywood. After a brisk hike of about 45 minutes, you’ll be rewarded by stunning views of Los Angeles geography, the Verdugo Mountains to the north, and—depending on smog—even the Pacific Ocean out to the west. Stunning, and well worth the effort!

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