Spending time in nature works wonders for your health. An article published by Yale’s School of Environment highlighted the many benefits of being in nature, which include lowered blood pressure, lower stress hormone levels, and reduced anxiety. It’s clear that getting to a mountain is worth the effort. Luckily for those of us residing in the 818, there are tons of really cool hikes in the San Fernando Valley.
Whether you’re trying to be at one with nature or attempting to sweat out last night’s hangover, here’s a list of the 16 best hikes in the San Fernando Valley.
The best 16 hikes in the San Fernando Valley
1. Stoney Point Park
Stoney Point Park has two trails available to hikers and rock climbers. One trail is approximately two miles, while the other is about a mile long. Both trails showcase scenery littered with large, picturesque stones stacked on each other—making for great Instagram and Snapchat posts.
2. Victory Trailhead
Located near West Hills, this hike offers a variety of trails to choose from. The Victory Trail is my personal favorite because it’s both scenic and challenging. The 11.7-mile hike ends with an elevation gain of 2,004 feet and a breathtaking view of Simi Valley.
3. Aliso Canyon
Located in Granada Hills, this 3.5-mile trail offers greenery that is both therapeutic and charming. The average time to complete the trail is an hour and a half. On AllTrails, a fitness and travel app used for outdoor recreational activities, one reviewer called this hike an “easy and pretty neighborhood trail.”
4. Limeklin Canyon Park
This 3.8-mile trail has a creek that is next to the hiking path, adding a great soundtrack to your hike. The trail takes an average of one hour and 38 minutes to complete. It’s nestled in Northridge, though, so it may not be your best bet if you’re somewhere in the southeast Valley.
5. Fryman Canyon Loop Trailhead
This 2.6-mile trail is located in Studio City and has an average hike time of one hour and 13 minutes. From the top of the mountain, you can see the Valley’s different trees and shrubbery, as well as Studio City and the surrounding suburbs.
6. La Tuna Canyon Park
Partially paved, this 5.9-mile hike snakes its way through the Verdugo mountains, which borders Valley ‘hoods like Lake View Terrace, Sun Valley, and Glendale. From the top, you can see the old collapsed graphite mine—which is pretty cool if you ask me.
7. O’Melveny Park
O’Melveny Park has five individual trails available ranging from 1.6 to 5.6 miles, all equally scenic. The shorter trails will likely take at least two hours to complete, and the longest trail will take upwards of three. This is definitely a more difficult hike, though, so keep that in mind when you go.
Navigate to O’Melveny Park on Google Maps
8. Dixie Canyon Park
Dixie Canyon is probably the least challenging hike on this list. It’s an easy two-mile hike, which takes most people about 45 minutes to complete. Located in the Santa Monica Mountains in Sherman Oaks, the trail has less foot traffic than others.
9. Deervale-Stone Canyon Park
This Sherman Oaks trail is just under two miles long, but it takes an average of an hour to complete. The trail has kind of an odd arrangement of stone and figurines that are reminiscent of modern art.
10. Wisdom Tree
This is a hard 3.9-mile trail. It’s actually more like scaling the side of a mountain than it is walking a trail. That said, the hike is definitely worth it for the stunning views. On average, people complete the trail in about 2 and a half hours.
11. Corbin Canyon Park
Considering that this trail is only two miles long, it’s great for leisurely strolls and for jogging or running. The hike has large pastures adjacent to the trail that could easily accommodate a picnic, too. It’s a dope Valley spot, to be honest.
12. Wilson Canyon Park
This looping 2.8-mile trail near Sylmar has sublime views of the Valley. You’ll also catch a glimpse of the street art scattered on the concrete below. One AllTrails reviewer says they “saw lizards, bees, four or more different types of birds who all sung beautiful melodies, wild bunnies, and black beetles” on their trek.
13. Veterans Park Trail
If you spend a lot of time in the east Valley, you know how poppin’ this trail is. The 2.2-mile hike is popular and usually filled with other San Fernando Valley hikers. Rattlesnakes might also greet you on the trail, so make sure to be careful. I’d say this is quite a challenging hike, which is why it’d be best to bring water.
14. Wildwood Canyon Trailhead
This 2.3-mile hike near Burbank is a tough one. It has an average completion time of an hour and 9 minutes. It’s an out-and-back trail instead of a loop trail, meaning you’re hiking to the top and coming back down. It’s a good idea to exercise caution considering this trail is home to rattlesnakes and mountain lions.
15. Henry Cook Lookout Point
With a 1.6-mile trail length, this hike is ideal for a challenge due to its incline. All Trails user Jill described the trail as “well maintained with a spectacular view from the peak.” She adds that the view is “well worth the climb” and cautions against the “loose rocks, steps, and steep incline.”
16. Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway
The Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway trail is 2.2 miles long and takes about one hour and 32 minutes to complete. Since there are some uphill battles (literally), I’d categorize this trail as a medium level of difficulty. You can see the Encino reservoir from this trail.