If you love being outdoors and exploring new hikes and old favorite trails, then Southern California is the place to be. Here’s a list of 12 of the most blissful places to explore in SoCal where you can get outside and wander along a beautiful and scenic trail with some of the most heavenly views imaginable.
1. Inspiration Point
What's not to love about a hiking trail named Inspiration Point? Located at the entrance of the historic Cobb Esate, this picturesque canyon trail will lead you to one of the coolest lookout points EVER where you can sneak a peak of various spots in SoCal including Venice, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, etc.
2. Hummingbird Trail - 2409-2435 Kuehner DrSimi Valley, CA 93063
When you want an incredible workout but your short on time, just head out on this 5-mile trail in Simi Valley for a blissful afternoon in nature. You'll be in awe of the many rock formations surrounding you along this stretch of land in SoCal.
3. Lake Calavera - Tamarack Ave and Strata Dr in Carlsbad, CA 92010
As you're hiking along the trail at Lake Calavera in Carlsbad, you may find yourself in awe that this tranquil hike is so close to the city. Not only is it easy to get to, but it's also easy to navigate at only 3.2 miles long. Along the way you'll be treated to wildlife, a wooden foot bridge, and some glorious wetlands. For those who love variety, this is definitely the trail for you.
4. Switzer Falls - 34-14 Angeles Crest HwyLa Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
There's nothing quite like a waterfall hike to refresh you...especially on a hot SoCal day. Switzer Falls is a local favorite where you can take a moderate hike along a 4.5 mile trail that leads to a picture-perfect waterfall.
5. Chantry Flat Recreation Area
Hiking through the Angeles National Forest may just be one of the most splendid things you do all year to escape from city life for an afternoon. And one of the most delightful hikes to explore is through the Chantry Flat Recreation Area. Just take a look at all of those trees. You can almost smell that fresh air from here.
6. Bridge to Nowhere - Sheep Mountain At East Fork Rd, Azusa, CA 91702
At 10 miles long, the Bridge to Nowhere is the longest hike on this list. If you love adventure and enjoy the thrill of navigating through rocks and streams and an old abandoned bridge, then this rugged hike in SoCal should be at the top of your list.
7. Idyllwild Nature Center - 25225 Hwy 243Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549
The Idyllwild Nature Center is definitely a hidden gem in SoCal for those who love hiking outside in the fresh mountain air. Whether you are a beginner or a little more advanced, this nature center offers a variety of trails to choose from for every fitness level.
8. Bluff Cove - Palos Verdes Peninsula
When you live in Southern California, it's pretty hard to resist a waterfront hike. One of our favorite trails to enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean is Bluff Cove in Palos Verdes. The hike is a short one -- under two miles -- but the views are grand and quite breathtaking.
9. Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve - 12115 Black Mountain Rd in San Diego
This hidden gem in San Diego County is a dreamy hike that will lead you over a charming footbridge, rugged stone stairs, a secret garden, and eventually a delightful little waterfall. This is the kind of place you go on a hot SoCal day as there is plenty of shade and lots of lush greenery to enjoy.
10. Mt. Waterman Trail - Angeles National Forest
Located near Mt. Wilson, the Waterman Trail is a moderate 5.5 mile hike that will lead you to the peak of Mt. Waterman where you will be treated to soaring views of one of the prettiest spots in SoCal.
11. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve - Huntington Beach
Not everyone enjoys hikes with lots of hills. If that's you, then you'll be drawn to the flat terrain at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve where you can hike along a variety of trails up to three miles long without ever having to huff and puff up a steep hill. In addition to the flat trails, you'll also find some spectacular wildlife and peaceful views along the way.
12. Carbon Canyon Regional Park
When you want to take a walk through the redwoods but a trip to Northern California isn't in the cards, you can just head to Carbon Canyon Regional Park for your redwood fix along a breathtaking 2.5 mile trail.
What a fantastic way to experience Southern California on foot. Do you have any favorite trails that showed up on this list?
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