If you live in Los Angeles we are almost positive you have heard or been to Eaton Canyon in Pasadena or the infamous Runyon Canyon at Griffith Park. But here are some hidden gems that will take your breath away and will make you want to keep them a secret. They are scattered all over Los Angeles, all you have to do is find them and hike them! For all the guys out there, take that one girl you have been trying to make fall in love with you for the past year. Girls, take your fur baby and friends and enjoy the moment! We are talking about ones with secret waterfalls, abandoned Nazi compounds, and horror movie-style abandoned mansions.
1.) Corral Canyon’s Backbone Trail, Malibu – Take a drive out in the morning to at least finish 2 miles of this marvelous Malibu trail. Malibu is known for it’s beautiful scenery and the Santa Monica Mountains will never disappoint with it’s deep ocean views. You won’t feel like you are in California here. The entire Backbone trail is actually 12.2 miles out and back. One thousand acres of the Santa Monica Mountains make up the Corral Canyon Loop, but take the Backbone trail segment to find the Corral Canyon Cave; aka Morrison’s cave. Jim Morrison used to write up here! There is also a Zen rock spiral at the bottom of the cave formation left as a tribute to “The End” and Morrison.
2.) Sycamore Canyon Trail, Whittier – This 2.4 mile hike is still pretty much undiscovered. If you want some privacy on your urban hike this one is perfect for you because there is never a lot of people and dogs to crowd it. At the top you can see a Monk temple, Downtown Los Angeles buildings, and water towers with graffiti art, pretty cool stuff. Also, there is a stream here that runs year long that your doggies can take a dip in.
3.) The Wisdom Tree Hike, Griffith Park – When you hear Griffith Park I’m sure you think of the Runyon Hollywood sign hike. But continue up Beachwood Canyon past that trailhead to find The Wisdom Tree. Be cautious because this 3 mile trail is long and steep, but there is a huge reward at the top. You will find the tree itself, which looks just like the one from Six Feet Under. Also, you will find ammunition boxes full of love notebooks in which you can leave your own wisdom before you leave. To make it more insta-worthy for you social media devotees the tree has it’s own Instagram account! Talk about a modern wisdom tree. So feel free to take a selfie with the tree or a deep artistic picture at this one-of-a-kind spot.
4.) The Grotto Trail, Malibu – Drive up to Yerba Buena road (a scenic route) and scavenger on this 3-mile hike. You will trek through waterfalls, caves, crazy boulders, and well… grottos! To top that all off you can eat at the infamous Neptune’s Net which is nearby to talk about your adventure!
5.) Sunken City, San Pedro – This hike is only 0.8 miles but it is a crazy one, which will convince you Atlantis is real. There are No Trespassing signs that you shouldn’t ignore but enter at your own risk. You will find yourself in a real life lost city, with houses on a cliff that lost years ago in a landslide. But you can climb around the ruins in a graffiti playground.
6.) Mishe Mokwa Trail, Malibu – Behold, the mother of all high and hard peaks; this is the highest peak and hardest trail of the Santa Monica Mountains. To say the least, you will be blessed with the views of Mishe Mokwa.