Catching a beautiful sunset is so Southern California. But catching a beautiful sunset after a hike – whether it’s a mini hike, strenuous hike, or somewhere in between – is oh so epic. Here are 7 hikes in SoCal that make for the perfect sunset viewing experience. If you really want to make the excursion even more magical, pack a tasty picnic and take it with you so you can enjoy a light dinner as the sun goes down.
1. Torrey Pines State Reserve
No matter what time of day you hike Torrey Pines State Reserve you're in for a scenic view. But time your hike just right and you will enjoy a dazzling sunset bursting with vibrant colors. Head to 12600 N. Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla to experience this magnificent setting.
2. Griffith Park in Los Angeles
The hiking trails within Griffith Park in Los Angeles offer city views that will take your breath away. Choose from a multitude of hikes within the park trail system and perch yourself at an overlook as the sun goes down while you enjoy the peace and quiet of the city from way up above.
3. Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, San Diego
Offering one of the most stunning sunset views in all of San Diego, it's no wonder they call this spot Sunset Cliffs! Some may call this more of a walk than a hike, but the end result is the same -- breathtaking scenery with a view right out of a magazine cover. Starting at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street, you'll make a 3.7-mile trek across steep cliffs for the payoff of a lifetime.
4. Corona Del Mar -- Orange County
A hike at the beach is my kind of SoCal sunset. To enjoy this magnificent sunset view head to Marguerite and Ocean Ave in Corona Del Mar. For this evening hike, I suggest you experience the sunset first as you devour that delicious picnic you packed and then head down the small paved trail toward the sand for an evening beach walk that will wash your cares away.
5. Forrestal Reserve in Palos Verdes
This is a perfect early evening hike if you're looking for something that's easy and quite scenic. At only 2.5 miles this is a short hike that can be completed in only a few hours. Catch the sunset first and then head out on the trail for a fun night hike, or head out early afternoon and take in the sunset along the trail. You can reach the trail by starting at Ladera Linda Community Center.
6. Cowles Mountain -- San Diego
The sun hasn't set yet in this photo at Cowles Mountain so you'll have to head there and experience it in person. A popular spot for both day hikes and night hikes, Cowles Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park is a great choice for a memorable sunset.
7. Limber Pines -- San Bernardino
If you're looking for a challenging hike that requires a lot of stamina, this 12-mile roundtrip hike will get your blood pumping. Once you reach the top, there's nothing like experiencing a sunset in a remote setting surrounded by nothing but woods. Since it will be dark once the sun goes down, this is the only spot on this list where you'll need to set up camp as a night hike in a remote forest is probably not the kind of adventure you're seeking. So make sure to pack a tent along with your picnic. You can find this trail at San Bernardino Peak Divide trail head.
Looks like the perfect way to mark the end of the day in Southern California. Any secret spots you know about in SoCal where you love to watch a sunset? C’mon, we promise we won’t tell anyone…