Hikes Only a Day’s Trip from Long Beach

Long Beach is a place like no other because it’s sandwiched in between forest, desert, and beach ecosystems. If you’re looking for a close-by hike, there are plenty. Whether you want to stroll along the coast or chase waterfalls, this list has it all. Here are eight hikes Long Beach locals can do in a day’s trip:

Trail Canyon Falls

19600 North Trail Canyon Road, Angeles National Forest, Tujunga, CA 91042

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Free Parking: Yes

This stunning, 30-foot waterfall, located in the Angeles National Forest, is one of the few waterfalls in the Los Angeles area. It’s a four-mile hike, round-trip, through a canyon surrounded by mountains. Don’t forget to stop and appreciate the view as you tackle 700 feet of elevation.

Once you reach this breathtaking waterfall, your hard work will be rewarded. The waterfall plunges into a shallow pool where you can dip your feet and relax by its banks.

For more info: https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/trail-canyon-falls/

Joshua Tree

74485 National Park Drive, Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Dog-Friendly: No

Free Parking: No

It’s no wonder why millions of people travel across the world to visit Joshua Tree National Park. This park, nestled amidst Southern California, is a shining example of a desert ecosystem. The vast collection of rock formations and Yucca trees are a gorgeous sight to see. In fact, Joshua trees are the largest species of yuccas and can only be found in the Mojave Desert.

There are about 30 hikes in the park ranging from short walks to challenging hikes. It costs $30 for the seven-day vehicle permit, but they also offer an annual pass for $55! In the summer, it can be very hot, so be prepared and wear your hiking gear, pack a lunch, and bring lots of water.

For more info: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm

Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowl Trails

10000 Ojai Road, Santa Paula, CA

Dog-Friendly: No

Free Parking: Yes

This is a six-mile round-trip hike that takes you along shady banks of a creek bed and across streams to reach several natural swimming holes (the punch bowls). At the first and largest punch bowl, you can take a swim near a 25-foot waterfall!

It’s free to park on the side of Route 150 near the outskirts of St. Thomas Aquinas College. It’s a one-mile hike around the pavement of the college and through several ranch properties to reach the trailhead. Make sure to pay attention to trail markers because the path can be misleading at times.

For more info: https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/santa-paula-canyon-trail-punchbowls/

Ocean Trails Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes

La Rotonda Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Free Parking: Yes

To reach this hike, it’s an easy drive across the Vincent Thomas Bridge to Palos Verdes. This hike is about five miles and offers serene ocean views the whole way. A small trail leads you down to tide pools that are beautiful and fun to explore.

At the trailhead, you can find a bathroom and drinking fountain. There’s also a picnic bench on the hike looking out over the ocean, perfect for lunch with a view.

For more info: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/rancho-palos-verdes-coastal-trail

Echo Mountain

Sam Merrill Trailhead, Lake Ave, Altadena, California 91001

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Free Parking: Yes

This hike is about five-miles long and follows the Sam Merrill Trail to the top of a mountain where Thaddeus Lowe’s resort, known as White City, once stood. The resort was built in the 1890s and used to shuttle people to the top in tramcars. Since then, fires have destroyed the resort leaving interesting artifacts from the past for people to explore.

You’ll be able to skip leg day after this hike because the trail takes you along 1,400 feet of elevation. But the top has expansive views of Los Angeles making it a worthy destination.

For more info: https://socalhiker.net/echo-mountain-via-the-sam-merrill-trail/

Murphy’s Ranch

Capri Drive & Casale Road, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Dog-Friendly: No

Free Parking: Yes

Explore what was once a Nazi sympathizers camp in the 1930s. Murphy Ranch was designed as a hold out for fans of the Third Reich waiting for America to fall to the Nazis. U.S. authorities shut down the ranch in 1941, then it was transformed into artists’ safe haven in the ‘60s and ‘70s but was abandoned after a fire in 1978.

Today, the remains of the ranch are covered in graffiti. The hike is about four miles round-trip and takes you along different cement staircases to reach Murphy Ranch.

For more info: https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/rustic-canyon-murphy-ranch-nazi-ruins/

Malibu Creek Traverse in Malibu Creek State Park

1925 Las Virgenes Road, Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas, CA 91302

Dog-Friendly: No

Free Parking: No

It’s a four-mile hike with 200 feet of elevation. It ends at the picturesque Rock Pool where many hikers have a relaxing picnic near its reflective waters. There is the possibility to make this hike longer, because many rock climb the gorge between Rock Pool and Century Lake. After passing the gorge at the Rock Pool, you reach the dam and at the top of the traverse is Century Lake.

There is a $12 fee to enter the Malibu Creek State Park. The park has many other hikes including one that takes you to a site where the television show "M*A*S*H" was filmed.

For more info: https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/malibu-creek-gorge-rock-pool/

Aliso Summit Trail

Ridgeview Dr & Highlands Ave, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Dog-Friendly: Yes

Free Parking: Yes

Stroll through roughly seven miles along the Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. It’s great for families because it’s a relatively flat trail. At the end, there is a panoramic view of the ocean. It’s a casual day hike perfect for those who want to exercise in a great outdoor atmosphere.

For more info: http://www.cityoflagunaniguel.org/119/Aliso-Summit-Trail

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