Sometimes you just need a short hike to stretch your legs and get outside for some fresh air without having to scale an entire mountain or spend a whole day out on a trail. Here are 10 hikes in Southern California that will do the trick. They’re all under 5 miles and they all provide incredible access to nature that will completely refresh your spirit. Some are super easy and others will get you huffing and puffing in no time. Ready for some outdoor exercise? Let’s go on a hike!
1. Lake Calavera in Carlsbad
A fun and easy hike the whole family will love. On this 3.2 mile trail you'll enjoy wetlands, a charming wood bridge, a creek, a lake, and all sorts of wildlife. Who knew you could find all of this in a city park?
2. Paradise Falls at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks
A serene 5-mile roundtrip hike that will satisfy all of your senses. The waterfall on this hike is a nice treat, especially on a hot summer day.
3. El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach
Did you have any idea this natural oasis was tucked away in Long Beach? This hike will knock your socks off! Choose from a variety of trails ranging from 1 to 3 miles that provide the perfect hike and nature fix for every fitness level.
4. Hummingbird Trail in Simi Valley
You will see some stunning rock formations on this 5-mile round trip trek in Simi Valley. Wear your hiking boots, as the rocky terrain can be challenging to navigate. There isn't a lot of shade on this trail, so slather on the sunscreen and pack some extra water.
5. Carbon Canyon Regional Park Redwood Grove in Orange County
Redwoods galore can be enjoyed on this 2.5 mile hike in Carbon Canyon Regional Park. You don't have to head to Northern California to see the redwoods -- just head on over to Orange County!
6. Switzer Falls in Los Angeles County
Wanna escape the city? Only 20 minutes away from Los Angeles you can find this magnificent 4.5 mile hike that will get you out in nature and refresh your spirit. The trail is nice and shady with an awesome waterfall that makes for a nice reward.
7. Oak Oasis Open Space Reserve in Lakeside
An easy 2.5 mile loop that's perfect for a nice stroll with the whole family. The trail is fairly flat with only a few sections that have a bit of an incline. This hike is easily accessible from the city, but provides a nice secluded experience once you are on the trail.
8. Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla
Is this heaven or is this a hiking trail?! Quite honestly, it's a little bit of both. This 3 mile trail has ocean views that are awe-inspiring. It's a fairly easy hike with only a few spots that might present a moderate challenge. It's also the perfect place to bring out-of-town guests as it shows off the beauty of SoCal in only 3 miles.
9. Idyllwild Nature Center
Enjoy a variety of trails that range from easy to moderate at the Idyllwild Nature Center. You will be surrounded by towering trees, wildlife, and fresh mountain air.
10. Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego
Get ready for some stunning views on this nice and easy hike that's just shy of 3 miles. This is a perfect spot to experience stunning views of San Diego Harbor and Coronado Island.
Don’t these hikes in SoCal look gorgeous? I’m grabbing my backpack right now and heading out on the trail. How about you? Let me know which hike is your favorite.