Los Angeles is filled with tons of tourist attractions, shops and more. The downside is that it can get pretty hectic with the crowds. If you’re looking to spend some time out in nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we have 3 super fun, kid-friendly hikes for you to try..
Let’s get right into it!
Millard Canyon Falls
Distance: 1.2 Miles
Best Season to Visit: Spring/after heavy rain
Millard Canyon Falls is one of the easiest and most fun hikes to do near Pasadena, California along with Eaton Canyon Falls. It’s a beautiful hike through a canyon to a 50-foot waterfall. One of the most unique aspects of the waterfall is that there is a large boulder lodged at the top of the falls. It gives the illusion that it’ll slip right through, but it has yet to do that.
The hike takes you through a narrow canyon scattered with white alder trees. These trees look very nice during the spring and fall months with their leaves varying in colors of yellows, oranges, and greens. The trail requires some fun and easy creek crossings that aren’t deemed too difficult for most kids.
It’s a perfect hike to do if you’re looking to escape the warmer weather as the trail offers lots of shade. Not to mention, the waterfall offers a nice, misty splash of cool water. I highly recommend visiting Millard Canyon Falls after heavy rainfall or during the spring months after snowmelt.
Other than that, the waterfall won’t have much water throughout most of the year but is still a fun place to get your kids into the outdoor adventure space.
Distance: 2.2 Miles
Best time to visit: Year-round/evenings during hot summer months
Topanga Lookout in the Santa Monica Mountains is another great spot to hike with kids in LA due to the flat and wide trail. This lookout sits at the edge of the mountain overlooking spectacular aerial views of the area.
The sunsets here are amazing with cotton candy skies. During certain times of the day or depending on the weather, you’ll be able to catch the clouds roll in at eye-level or even below the lookout, making it appear like you’re above the clouds.
Since there is no shade on this hike, I suggest hiking this trail in the evenings during the hot summer months. It’s a great place to hike during any time of the year, really.
Distance: 0.6 Miles
Best time to visit: Year-Round
The Bronson Cave is the most unique attraction of the three. It is definitely not your average hike and your kids are sure to love it! This place is located inside of Griffith Park with views of the famous Hollywood Sign as well.
This man made tunnel or cave was built in the early 1900’s. But the coolest part is that the 1960’s Batman series was filmed here! It’s not nicknamed the “batcave” for no reason. Other movies have also been shot here.
It’s short, easy, and offers a very interesting background history to it. On top of that, you’ll get to see the Hollywood sign through a unique perspective without a swarm of people.
Tips for Hiking With Kids
Tip #1: Do your research online before hitting the trail. There are tons of ways to check trail conditions and difficulty. One of the best apps to use is AllTrails for this.
Tip #2: Make sure they are wearing the proper shoes. Trust me when I say that shoes with grip and traction make hiking 10x easier! It helps with balance and keeps their small feet from easily slipping over rocks and loose gravel.
Tip #3: Prepare them beforehand by going on daily walks or short hikes. It’s a great idea to warm your kids up for a hike by taking them on daily walks around the neighborhood, park, or very short hike. It prepares them for the slightly lengthier trails.
Tip #4: Go at their pace. Remember, they are not the size of adults. Children tend to tire out faster and might not be able to keep up with your strides.
Tip #5: Head to the trail early. You might not want to head out later in the day because the sun does seem to set faster in the mountains. By this I mean that the sun tends to hide behind the peaks and ranges a lot sooner than you might expect.