Many of Los Angeles’ well maintained trails offer young kids an easy way to experience the sights and sounds of Mother Nature right from the comfy seat of their stroller, yummy snack in hand. So, slather on the sunscreen, top off the water bottles, and enjoy discovering the adventurous side of the City of Angels with a bit of kid-friendly hiking in Los Angeles.
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1. Ernest E. Debs Hike
Ernest E. Debs Regional Park is the fourth largest park in the city of Los Angeles, and truly a hidden gem just north of downtown Los Angeles! Set on 300 acres, this park has a wide variety of terrain to explore with the kids. All of the trails are well maintained which makes it the perfect place to hike with kids!
Trailhead address: 4235 Monterey Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90032
2. Peter Strauss Ranch Hike
This 64-acre park full of of ancient live oaks and chaparral was once home to the Chumash Indians, later it was the perfect backdrop for pre-WW II dances under the light of the moon, and rumor has it even some of Charles Manson’s gang hung out there! Now, as luck would have it, Mother Nature has reclaimed it as her own and it is the perfect spot for an easy hike with kids, a lazy picnic or a game of hide and seek!
Trailhead address: 30000 Mulholland Hwy, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
3. Fryman Canyon Hike
Officially, called the Betty B. Dearing Trail, Fryman Canyon begins in Wilacre Park. This is a simple and very popular stroller-friendly 3-mile loop on a fire road. The sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley are well worth the trek. There is a free parking lot, which fills up quickly, and ample street parking.
Trailhead address: 8401 Mulholland Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
4. Solstice Canyon Hike
Between Pepperdine University and Point Dume just a quick jaunt from the Pacific Coast Highway, Solstice Canyon is a scenic kid-friendly hike along a babbling brook that deposits you at a small waterfall. There are two public parking lots, but you must arrive early to get a spot. There is also tons of street parking available.
Trailhead address: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
5. Topanga State Park Hike
Topanga State Park spans 11,000 acres with 36 miles of trails that wind through a wide variety of terrain, from canyons and cliffs to hills and meadows and some of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean that Los Angeles hiking has to offer. You can park at the main entrance for $10 or you can park for free on any of the numerous side streets, if you want to add a bit more mileage onto your hike.
Trailhead address: 20828 Entrada Rd, Topanga, CA 90290
6. Charlie Turner Hike
Griffith Park is a treasure to behold. Smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles and spanning over 4000 acres, it’s one of the largest urban parks in North America. Getting to the Charlie Turner Trail is really easy. Drive up to the Griffith Park Observatory and as soon as you enter its parking lot take a left and park. The trail head starts at the north end of the lot. This hike is 100% stroller friendly, well maintained, and if you make it all the way, you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular 360 degree views of Los Angeles.
Trailhead address: 2840 W Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
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7. Bronson Caves Hike
This hike is technically part of Griffith Park’s vast trail system. The Bronson Caves are a very quick, stroller-friendly .5 mile hike up an easy trail. When you reach the caves, a popular LA filming location, spend some time playing hide and seek, or just set your junior explorer free in the large grassy field.
Trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
8. Lake Hollywood Hike
Lake Hollywood is an easy, stroller-friendly trail surrounded by trees and deer, turtle, ducks, and other amazing discoveries! A 3.5 mile loop with only a total elevation gain of 100 feet, makes it the perfect stroller friendly hike.
Trailhead address: 6398 Weidlake Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
9. Malibu Creek Hike
A quick 30 minute journey north of Los Angeles is Malibu Creek State Park, considered the crown jewel of the Santa Monica Mountains and full of kid-friendly hikes. Much of the area is oak savannah, complete with gently sloping grassland, valley oak trees, and wildflowers. There is a $12 fee for parking at the lot, but there are also two designated state park parking lots available for free .2 miles away from the Park’s entrance, on Mulholland Drive.
Trailhead address: 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302
10. Franklin Canyon Hike
Franklin Canyon Park is nestled on 605 acres right in the heart of the city. Here you can choose from three different stroller-friendly trails of varying difficulty, a nature center, a gorgeous picnic area, and a secluded pond where you can sit under the trees and watch the turtles, ducks and birds frolic in the water!
Trailhead address: 2600 Franklin Canyon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
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11. Ferndell Hike
The Ferndell Nature Walk is a perfect hike for beginners and new walkers. This short ¼ mile, stroller-friendly hike offers tons, a brook, a waterfall, and a little grotto, to stimulate young minds and little explorer hands. The trail is a shady tropical garden with a variety of ferns, succulents, and other plants growing lushly along a man-made brook shaded by a canopy of trees.
Trailhead address: Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
12. Silver Lake Reservoir Hike
Silver Lake Reservoir Trail is an easily accessible hike right smack dab in the center of LA’s urban sprawl. This 2.2 mile loop offers gorgeous lakes views, a grassy knoll, and is accessible year-round.
Trailhead address: 1850 W. Silver Lake Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90026
13. Gabrielino Hike
This mostly flat kid-friendly hike begins along a paved service road with industrial views of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and morphs into stunning countryside views as it follows a meandering stream. Hikers past several shady picnic areas, thick groves of towering sycamores and maple trees. An an Adventure Day Pass is required to park at the trailhead in the Chantry Flats parking lot. There is also ample street parking.
Trailhead address: (Chantry Flats Recreation Area) Santa Anita Canyon Rd Sierra Madre, CA 91025
14. Brush Canyon Hike to the Hollywood Sign
Ever dreamed of hiking right up to the Hollywood Sign? This 6.4-mile kid-friendly hike through Griffith Park offers a perspective most Angelenos have never seen, a chance to look down on the iconic sign and the city below. Although this is a fairly moderate hike, it is comprised entirely of well maintained fire roads, and even an entirely paved portion making it a glut-burning, stroller-friendly hike.
Trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Drive, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90068
15. Arroyo Seco Hike
A quick 5 minute drive from Old Town Pasadena and hidden in plain view, next to the CA-134, this kid-friendly trail is a relaxing sanctuary perfect for bird-watching. The relatively flat 1.5 mile trail runs along the Arroyo Seco River delivering a serene and peaceful experience right in the heart of the city.
Trailhead address: Arroyo Blvd At Norwood St., Pasadena, CA 91105
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Jennifer Fontaine is the founder of Outdoor Families Magazine, publisher of MommyHiker.com, a blog to encourage outdoor activities with children, and an activist filmmaker inspiring dynamic change in the world. She lives in Southern California with her family.