Los Angeles might be well-known for its celebrity mansions and Hollywood glamour, but it’s got plenty of amazing spots for the outdoor adventurist. Whether you enjoy hiking, cycling, climbing, running, or swimming, there’s no shortage of places to go to get your fill of the outdoors. Of course, L.A.’s beaches certainly offer locals and visitors plenty of sun, sand and surf, but this article will focus more on lesser-known spots that will peak your visual senses as well as drive your adrenal levels up.

Mishe Mokwa Trail

If you’re an avid hiker and love to incorporate some of the most stunning views along the way, then the Mishe Mokwa Trail is definitely something worth checking out. In particular, hiking along the trail to Sandstone Peak will lead you to some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Southern California. At some point along this trail, you’ll reach the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains where you’ll get spectacular views of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

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Temescal Canyon

You don’t necessarily have to travel too far inland to set your sights on majestic canyons. Case in point: Temescal Canyon. With unique rock formations, amazing views of the coast, a seasonal waterfall, and hiking trails, Temescal Canyon is a great place to spend the day enjoying the outdoors without having to travel too far from home.

Santa Anita Canyon

Another amazing canyon in the Los Angeles County area is the Santa Anita Canyon, which boasts winding waters, sprawling ivy, cabins and campsites, and the 50-foot Sturtevant Falls. It’s amazing to find such a rustic and majestic spot so close to the mansions of L.A.

Switzer Falls

 Aside from the plethora of pools or beaches, you can take in a good swim in one of the many swimming holes in and around L.A., including Switzer Falls. Here you’ll be able to spend the day hiking and taking breaks dipping in the water every so often in one of the many swimming holes along the way. There’s simply nothing like taking a refreshing swim in fresh mountain water, especially when it’s accompanied by a backdrop of gorgeous cascading waterfalls and stunning rock formations.

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 Point Dume

Rock climbers will love the idea of being able to climb right off the sands of Point Dume beach. The popular rock climbing spot is challenging enough for both novices and experienced climbers, and allows fabulous views of the waters when you need a break or two.

Vicente Flat Trail

For those who love to hike but aren’t exactly looking for a real heart-pounder, Vicente Flat Trail is perfect. While not as steep as hiking up the Sierra Mountains, this trail still requires the ability to hike some pretty steep sections. On a crystal clear day, you’ll be able to gaze upon the marvelous views of the ocean, which will likely take your breath away more than the hike itself.

Mount Palomar Observatory

Avid cyclists absolutely must venture to Mount Palomar Observatory for an amazing workout coupled with stellar views. The 13-mile climb up Mount Palomar will get even the most skilled cyclist’s quadriceps pumping. But with the incredible bird’s eye views you’ll get as you approach the clouds, the intense climb will certainly be worth it. The steep descent down will provide you with enough of a break before heading home.

There’s certainly plenty of spots in and around the Los Angeles area if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush along with incredible views.

To learn more about what L.A. has to offer, as well real estate opportunities in and around the area, get in touch with our local luxury real estate professionals. We have plenty of experience and expertise in high-end homes in exclusive enclaves of Southern California.


  1. 3 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 2,024 sq ft
    Lot size: 8,956 sqft
  2. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,989 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,549 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,588 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,197 sqft
  4. 5 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,617 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,250 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 5 baths
    Home size: 4,400 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,008 sqft

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(all data current as of 10/17/2017)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.