Southern California August 16, 2017
11 Amazing Southern California Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love
There are times when you want to get out in nature, but you don’t have an entire day or even just an afternoon to take a long hike. If you’re seeking a quick outing in Southern California that will make you feel refreshed and recharged, these scenic trails ranging from a half mile long all the way up to three miles will get you outside in the fresh air while you explore some of the most scenic spots in SoCal.
1. El Dorado Nature Center -- 7550 E. Spring Street in Long Beach.
You'll love the scenic setting and the lush green trails at this 105-acre nature center located in Long Beach. With short trails under three miles that showcase the beauty of this natural setting, you may just want to loop around a second time.
2. Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve -- 18000 Pacific Coast Hwy in Huntington Beach.
For a scenic 3-mile loop at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, take the Mesa Trail and the Pocket Loop Trail for a perfect hike out in nature that is short and sweet.
3. Redwood Grove Trail/Carbon Canyon Regional Park -- 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd in Brea.
Take a walk through the redwoods on this tree-lined trail tucked inside Carbon Canyon Regional Park. You'll be surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees in this Southern California grove of Redwoods.
4. The Bayside Trail/ Cabrillo National Monument -- 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive in San Diego.
When you head to San Diego there is one hike that should be on everyone's bucket list -- the Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument. Along this two-mile hike you'll experience intoxicating views of San Diego Bay that is the perfect sight to see on a breezy SoCal day.
5. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook -- 6300 Heztler Road in Culver City.
One of the shortest hikes on this list coming in at just one mile, you can get a great workout on this short but steep uphill incline that offers a breathtaking payoff at the top with a magnificent panoramic view.
6. Ferndell Trail/Griffith Park -- Fern Dell Drive & Black Oak Drive in Los Angeles.
Enjoy a quick burst of nature on this half-mile roundtrip trail located inside Griffith Park. The Ferndell Trail may not be a long trail, but it's definitely packed with tons of beautiful scenery including lush greenery, a pond, and even a fairy tale bridge that looks like it could be right out of a storybook.
7. Point Dume -- 27807 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu
For one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Point Mugu, you better head out on this two-mile trail in Malibu that offers both mountain and ocean views that will take your breath away.
8. Oak Oasis Open Space Reserve -- 12620 Wildcat Canyon Rd inLakeside.
Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing hike with lakeside views along this trail in San Diego County that offers a nice and refreshing 2.7 mile loop. The trail is fairly flat and easy to navigate which makes it a great option for the whole family to enjoy for a short hike out in nature.
9. The Way Up Trail/Elfin Forest -- 8833 Harmony Grove Rd in Escondido.
Although there are many trails to choose from within Elfin Forest, The Way Up Trail to Harmony Overlook is the trail you'll want to take when you're seeking a quick hike outdoors. This two-mile loop offers a variety of scenery and stunning nature views along the entire trail.
10. Oak Glen Preserve -- 39611 Oak Glen Rd in Oak Glen, CA
Located within Oak Glen Preserve you'll find a variety of nature trails to explore inside this sprawling natural oasis. When you only have time for a short hike, you'll want to take the Oak Glen Divide Trail which is just under 2.5 miles.
11. San Clemente Beach Trail in San Clemente, CA.
Take a walk along the trail at San Clemente Beach for ocean views and a relaxing vibe. The entire length of the trail from the metro stop is just under 2.5 miles. For a trail that's 3-miles round trip, just turn around at the 1.5 mile marker and you'll have yourself a perfect short hike for the day.
Doesn’t this list make you want to get outside and go on a hike right this second?! Any favorites on this list? A few of my favorites include Elfin Forest and El Dorado Nature Center.
For more hikes and outdoor activities in Southern California, make sure to head to our home page at
Only In Southern California where he have hundreds of spaces and places for you to explore right here in Southern California.