Thankfully LA hiking trails are open so if you could use some fresh air and a healthy dose of nature, we’ve rounded up the best places to go hiking with kids. From San Pedro to Pasadena, these family-friendly hikes are easy on the little ones but fun enough for us adults—don’t forget the sunscreen, comfy shoes and lots of water.
The Best Hikes for Babies & Toddlers in Los Angeles
Eaton Canyon Natural Area: Eaton Canyon is a popular spot no matter what day of the week and for good reason—this nature spot offers hiking trails of all levels, including some advanced hikes, but there are also three small nature trails that are flat and short—the Junior Nature trail was designed specifically for young kids—making it an ideal hike for toddlers. This is also a great place for a first hiking experience where you’re guaranteed to see some beautiful sights without having to work too hard, which will ultimately make for a fun experience for little ones.
1750 N. Altadena Dr.
Griffith Park: Home of the LA Zoo, Travel Town, and Shane’s Inspiration, Griffith Park has tons to offer, incuding over 53 miles of wonderful hiking trails overflowing with native California flora and fauna. We have two favorite hikes here, when you’ve got wheels:
By the Old Zoo—Park at the ranger’s station at 4730 Crystal Spring Drive, and get a trail map. The rangers will be happy to fill you in on current closures and which open trails will be safe for your wheeled chariot and tiny passenger. Then post-hike you can picnic and play at the Old Zoo or Shane’s.
To the Observatory—Park on Fern Dell Dr. (near The Trails Café). Follow Fern Dell up until it turns into Western Canyon Rd. This is the paved road that leads to the Observatory. You’ll share the road with some cars, so keep your eyes on the road, but it ends up at the same spot as the steeper dirt hiking paths – with stunning views at the Observatory. Don’t forget to indulge in pie at Trails after your hike—you’ve earned it.
4730 Crystal Springs Dr.
White Point Preserve and Nature Center: This preserve features 102 acres of restored coastal sage scrub habitat, hiking and handicap accessible trails overlooking the ocean and Catalina Island. Not only are the trails safe and easy for the stroller, but it is also one of the LA's best hikes for toddlers. With seagulls overhead and the smell of the ocean, this hike will inspire a love of nature sure to last a lifetime.
1600 W. Paseo del Mar
Lake Hollywood Reservoir: There are three entrances to the lake, but if you choose to park at the Tahoe Gate (Tahoe Dr. & Lake Hollywood Dr.), you can leave by taking Tahoe Dr. to Canyon Lake Dr. (bearing right), and stop in at the hidden Lake Hollywood Park, with a playground, lots of green grass and a spectacular view of the Hollywood sign. This spot is also one of our favorite spots to bike with kids in LA!
Tahoe Dr. & Lake Hollywood Dr.
Will Rogers Historic State Park: While the shady hike down to the brook is best for walkers, the hike to Inspiration Point (2.25 miles) is groomed for horses, which means it’s wide enough for your stroller. So while you may need to steer around a horse pie here or there, it’s worth it, as the path is nice and wide and not too steep and ends in sweeping views that live up to the name. You can begin or end the day with a tour of Will’s house (or the numerous and clean bathrooms by the gift shop).
1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd.
Franklin Canyon: Accessible from both the Valley and the Westside, this little hideaway offers a nice quiet spot to explore. There are five miles of hiking trails, including a nice short .3-mile loop through the shady trees along the canyon basin. For young, hiking newbies you can have even have plenty of fun just traversing the one-mile fire road that loops around the reservoir.
2600 Franklin Canyon Dr.
Other favorite parks in LA that have easy trails for babies that like to get in and out of their stroller:
The Best Places to Take Toddlers & Big Kids on a Hike in LA
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook: Part neighborhood secret, part workout circuit, this 58-acre park offers three options to get to the top for some of the most enviable views of Los Angeles you may find. If you and the kids are ready to keep that New Years resolution going, take the 282 stairs straight to the top. Got a stroller? Hit the road—just watch out for bikers, daredevil skateboards and the like careening down. At the top you can see DTLA to the ocean on a clear day. Look for seasonal displays of native wildflowers, bird and wildlife like lizards. There are also restrooms, water fountains, picnicking and fun activities at the visitor's center all located at the top. And if those little legs are up for the challenge, head east and cross over the newest pedestrian bridge that connects Kenneth Hahn Park and is part of the bigger, Park to Playa trail.
Insider Tip: If you just want to take in the view, you can park at the top of the hill near the visitor center for $2/hour or $6/day. This hill gets busier throughout the day so we recommend hitting this one early. There also isn't any shade so pack a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water.
6300 Hetzler Rd.
Dixie Canyon Park: If you're looking for a place to get lost in (without having to stray too far), Dixie Canyon fits the bill. The 0.4-mile trail can be overgrown, so don't worry so much about staying on it. Instead, wander and explore the shaded, woodsy fairyland with your kiddos. You'll discover bridges, a stream, shady oak trees and more.
Good to know: Look for street parking along Dixie Canyon Ave., as you make your way up to Dixie Canyon Place.
Dixie Canyon Place
Charmlee Wilderness Park: This once lush, popular park in Malibu was devastated by the Woolsey Fire in 2018 but after years of repair and rebuilding, it is open once again. There are over 8 miles of hiking trails here along with picnic areas but we love the 2.3-mile Ocean Overlook Trail Loop. Once you get to the halfway point, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Pacific.
2577 Encinal Canyon Rd.
Cave of Munits: Craving some adventure and a change of scenery? Head to El Escorpion Park in the western part of the San Fernando Valley. If you've got little ones, you can enjoy the relatively easy, just-under-a-mile trek from Vanowen St. to the magical and mysterious-looking Cave of Munits. If your kids are older (at least 8) and they're up for a little rock scrambling, you can make your way into the caves for some serious exploring. If you're going to venture into the caves, wear shoes with plenty of traction and go slow, as it can get slippery.
24501 W Vanowen St.
Fern Dell Nature Trail: If you've got little ones who are too big for a stroller, but not yet ready for a full-on hike, head to Griffith Park's Fern Dell Trail. While other hikers head further into the park towards the more popular trails, you'll start your trek right just beyond the Fern Dell Dr. entrance to the park (off Los Feliz Blvd.) The shady (and short) path takes you over bridges and under tunnels, pass more than 50 fern species and select tropical plants. The trek ends at the West Observatory Trail, near one of the best playgrounds in LA for kids. There's also a dry creek with plenty of large rocks and tree stumps where kids can climb and jump to their hearts' content.
Fern Dell Dr.
Solstice Canyon: This peaceful hike gives you a glimpse of some LA history as you stroll past a waterfall and the remains of the oldest stone structure in the city. A picturesque hike along a shaded trail is a great way to explore, especially during the less busy weekdays with young tots that aren’t quite school-aged yet. The ocean air off of PCH and shaded path make it a perfect spot to hike even on warmer days. The eponymous trail is a fairly easy and flat clocking in at 2.1-miles round trip.
Corral Canyon Rd. & Solstice Canyon Rd.