My Favorite Hidden Hikes in LA

This is the best time of the year for hikes. Cool mornings and the chill evening air makes an idea time to get into our hills.

I always find hiking to be a nice way to get some peace and quiet from the city and the hustle and bustle of Real Estate. There are a bunch of great hike lists out there, Insidehook has one, Thrillist did one on Waterfalls.

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Echo Mountain

Echo is a popular mainstay trail for Pasadena and Altadena locals. This 10 plus mile hike will take about 5 hours round trip due to the serious climb it is on the way up. Major pay off comes in the form of old White City Hotel ruins to check out and the most epic view of any trail around. Yes, that’s Catalina out there. Beginners usually chip away at this mountain by going a little farther up each time. The downside is that the grueling up and then the fast down mixed with little to no shade makes for a bit of a boring hike IMO .

Finding it: Easy, top of Lake Avenue at Loma Alta, follow the crowds. MAP


Sturtevant Falls

Part of a network of Angeles National Forest trails, Sturtevant Falls trail starts at Chantry flats north of Sierra Madre. This 3.5 mile hike has a paced elevation gain that will take you through dense tree canopies, crossing streams and past rustic cabins (those are privately owned actually). This is one of my favorite hikes in SoCal.

Finding it: Take North Santa Anita Ave north through Sierra Madre. Follow Chantry Flat Rd to the trail head.


Fryman Canyon Trail at Wilacre Park

This hidden little gem of a trail has epic views and is great for the beginner hiker. Just over three miles and a mere 695 foot elevation gain there a few people that won’t enjoy this. Lots of wildlife, a duck pond, meadows and epic views of the valley.

Finding it: Point your GPS at: 3416 Fryman Road, North Hollywood, CA

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Jackson Lake to Jackson Flat

The serenity of hiking is is it’s true reward. Seclusion prevents the push notifications of daily life and this trail that you never heard of is sure to deliver solitude. One end of this trail is at Jackson Flat Campground in Angeles Forest off Hwy 2. The other end is Big Pines Hwy west of Wrightwood (yes the little ski area). The trail is maybe ten miles round trip and there is a climb, but it has a decent pace. Views are of the north side of the San Gabriels. The last quarter of the trail is shared with the legendary Pacific Crest Trail (the one that goes from Mexico to Canada). Sharing steps with the adventurers before you makes this trail extra special. Pines tres abound, this is real hiking.

Finding it: Point the GPS to Jackson Lake on Hwy N4 (by Mountain Oak Campground)


Turnbull Canyon

With Halloween right around the corner, I felt compelled to include the scariest hike in California. It is so creepy, I won’t do it. North of Whittier is a canyon trail that has a checkered past that dates back to the mid-1800’s. Stories range from slaughtered native American Indians to tortured ophans and electrocutions and mass death plan crashes. If you love to scare the piss out of you or your friends, take them here. If you do the hike and make it, let me know how it goes.

Finding it: Are you nuts? You don’t want to go there.

Michael Robleto

REALTOR®-Compass Real Estate


Michael Robleto is a Pasadena based REALTOR®. His analytical and open approach to sales and representation have served his clients well in his twenty years of sales experience. Michael is a staunch homeowner advocate that blends compassion with a highly advanced technology-driven approach to the buying and selling of real estate in and around Los Angeles.  His client accolades of insight, integrity and hard work support the fact that he is not your average agent. 

Michael is a committee member and frequent volunteer for the preservation efforts of Pasadena Heritage as well as a supporter of the Five Acres center for children.  


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