Over 180 hiking trails in LA? Get out.

Whether you’re looking for natural coastline or the scent of pine, you can find it minutes from anywhere in Greater Los Angeles. Recently, the opening of the 67-mile Backbone Trail atop the Santa Monica Mountains added the crowning touch, marking the first time hikers could trek from Will Rogers Park to Point Mugu on all-public lands.

That spectacular trail may be LA’s longest, but it’s just one of many —some starting just blocks from the urban grid. They range from the San Gabriel Valley’s Santa Anita Canyon Trail (which LA Hiker calls “probably the most beautiful river canyon in Southern California”) to Community Trail near LAX, delivering panoramic views from the Pacific across Hollywood to Downtown. On Los Angeles trails, wild delights are around every bend, from sparkling lakes, ponds, brooks and waterfalls to shady forests, sun-washed meadows and secluded canyons. Wildflowers and wildlife are all around you. And then there are those views.

How did such a metro area get so many well-laid trails? Well, beauty had nothing to do with it. Early miners, ranchers, foresters, and trappers had to travel far with pack animals carrying heavy loads. That led them to construct trails at low to moderate grades. More mountainous routes followed the contours of the slopes to minimize erosion. It was only as towns emerged that city dwellers seeking the solitude and beauty of nature built “pleasure trails.”

If you’re ready to get out, you can track down every trail in the county at the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Trails website: https://trails.lacounty.gov/

And if you’re extra-concerned about getting lost, the LA County GIS Data Portal has all the positioning details you need. http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/2015/12/30/department-of-parks-and-recreation-trails-2015/

Read more at LA County Trails
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