There’s no doubt that Southern California has some of the best weather in the country. With comfortable, mild temperatures almost year-round close to the coast, for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s the best! Of course, SoCal also has deserts and mountains so hiking in these areas looks a bit different depending on the time of year. If you’re up for adventure in the great outdoors, here are 18 of the best hikes in Southern California!

Best Hikes in Southern California

While we all have different opinions on what’s best for just about anything, the following trails are ones that are highly rated by hikers. These are among the best-known and most popular trails for hiking in Southern California.


Best Short & Easy Hikes in Southern California

You don’t always have to trek too far to get some fresh air and exercise while taking in the scenery. And if you have children in tow, a short and easy hike is usually the best to get them outside to explore. Here are some of the best short and easy hikes in Southern California:

Hardest Hikes in Southern California

Some people really like a challenge, especially a physical one that may also test one’s mental strength. For those who can endure both a steep climb to a higher elevation and a lengthy trek, try one of the hardest hikes in Southern California.

Best Waterfront Hikes in Southern California

With hundreds of miles of coastline, it’s unsurprising that there are so many trails that run alongside the water. Just imagine hiking with a sea breeze and breathing in the salty air. Sounds perfect, right? Hiking by the water is what I miss the most from the time I lived in Los Angeles. Here are some of the best waterfront hikes in Southern California:

Best Winter Hikes in Southern California

While much of SoCal offers mild temperatures year-round, you can also head to the mountains and hit the slopes. Some people like to surf in the morning and snowboard in the afternoon because you can do that here in the winter. This season is also perfect for hiking. You may even find the trails to be a little less crowded as well. The following are some of the best hiking trails in Southern California in the winter:

Best Hikes Near Los Angeles

Los Angeles is SoCal’s largest city. This sprawling metropolis covers 502 square miles and you better believe there are tons of places to go hiking here! From the Santa Monica Mountains to the Pacific Coast, the Hollywood Hills, and over 180 parks, you can spend all day every day outside in and around the city proper. So, in case you were wondering, here are some of the best hikes in Los Angeles:

What other hikes do you believe are the best hikes in Southern California? Let us know in the comments. For information on all of these Southern California trails and more, be sure to download the AllTrails+ app!

Need help packing for your next hiking adventure? Check out our Ultimate Hiking Packing List.

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Best Hikes In Southern California

Does Southern California have good hiking trails?

With great weather in most parts of the region, yes, Southern California has good hiking trails that can be used year-round. Some of the best hiking trails include the following:


Of course, you can explore close to where you live in Southern California and find some amazing trails. You never have to go too far for a hike!

What are the best months to hike in Southern California?

Any month is a good month to hike in Southern California. But for optimal weather and temperatures, September, October, and November are ideal months to hit the trails. Spring is also a wonderful time especially if you wish to see spring flowers in bloom like the famous poppy super bloom at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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