Trying to find a hiking trail in Los Angeles that isn’t dusty and brown is next to impossible. The drought hit us, and it hit us hard. Former waterfalls have now become dirt roads and anything that was once green and beautiful is now, well, not, but like everything in life, there are exceptions. Hidden gems that persevere in the face of global warming and water wasters. Los Leones Canyon is one of those places.
Yes, it’s in the Pacific Palisades, but before you access your inner lazy, realize that a hike is just a dirt road leading to more dirt roads, unless it has something exciting to offer or maybe a treat at the end of the constant incline. If the aesthetic quality of your hike isn’t important to you, then disregard everything I’m telling you. You’re probably fine with walking around in your neighborhood or booking it to the gym for the umpteenth time, but if you want to hike and hike with class, then driving out to the Pacific Palisades is definitely worth the trip!
Los Leones has looked the drought in the eyes and gracefully flicked it off. The road is green, which doesn’t sound impressive, but surprisingly coastal trails in Los Angeles have dried up the way your fingers prune under water! Not only is it green, but it also has neon moss coating the trees, big boulders perfect for photo ops and beautiful flowers that paint the air with a welcoming scent. It also helps that there aren’t any huge dust clouds rising into the air every step you take, driving us allergy folk strait to our stash of Zyrtec or desperately reaching into our cleavage for the emergency tissue we stashed before heading into pollen infested territories.
YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE OCEAN!
It’s surprisingly hard to find coastal trails that give you a crisp cardio workout, but at Los Leones you get more then just a glimpse before you head into a dry forest and a glimpse when you head out of it. While hiking up and down the mountain, you get frequent views of the coast and the beautiful green mountains that wrap around it. The further up you hike, the more intense your view becomes, but that’s not even the best part! Although you can hike further up, the bench that relaxes even the most stressed out individuals is happily nestled at the one-hour mark with a beautiful panoramic view of the skyline of the city, the coast and the surrounding ocean. Climb onto the bench, kickback, and take in the natural high, before you decide to hike back down the green wonderland hidden within the mountains of the Pacific Palisades.
Special thanks to Christine Mardikian!Taken during a rainy day.