Beginners Guide To The Best Hikes in Southern California

Do you want to start your adventure with a hiking activity? There are a lot of hikes offered in Southern California with easy access parking lots for RVs and cars.

​In the best hikes in Southern California, you will have the chance to enjoy the scenic view of the mountains and nature. You can also use the easy to hard terrains to test your hiking capabilities.

Take note that Southern California has one of the best terrains. So, you can fulfill a challenging yet exciting hiking trip to improve yourself.

​Another perfect feature in this area is that you can choose to trek in the snow during the winter. On other days, you can also enjoy a hike to the sunny and warm parks.

However, if you are a beginner and do not know where to trek yet, do not panic! Following is the list of the best hikes in Southern California for newbies just like you!

Things To Remember Before Hiking in Southern California​

Before hiking in Southern California, here are the things you must consider:

Decide The Duration Of Your Hike​

Decide The Duration Of Your Hike​

Since this is a beginner’s guide to trekking, we are going to provide trails that you can conquer in just a single day or less. It won’t require you to pack more hiking gear and essentials. But, you still need to select a hike basing on how long you are planning to trek.

Know if You Are Going Solo or With a Group of Friends​

Although some loves to travel solo because of the peace it brings, you may still want to hike with some friends. Take note that it is more dangerous if you hike solo. Anything can occur while you are out in the wilderness. So, when you decide on trekking alone, you need to be more cautious.

But, if you can, you can ask your buddies to join you on a trek. It will be a perfect time to bond and strengthen your friendship.

Find Out Your Starting Level​

Find Out Your Starting Level​

If you are a newbie, allowing yourself to complete a nine-hour hike in the wilderness is not a smart move. You should begin slowly and select places near your town that you can travel for a short period.

You do not need to try to make progress to a hard level when in fact you are just a beginner.

Choose Your Location​

Choose Your Location​

Before your hike, try to research on ideal hiking trails or parks. You may drive all throughout the town until you find a park that is accessible. Also, you may ask your friends about their suggestions on great trekking spots.

Inform Your Family Members or Friends Know About Your Hike​

If ever you are walking by yourself, it is important that you let somebody know where you are going. Also, let them know when is the exact time you will be back from the trek. When you do this, you won’t worry when emergency situations happen.

​Best Hikes in Southern California

Whether you are a first-time hiker or not, you need to consider these spots for your hiking bucket list:

Mount Hollywood​

Best Hikes in Southern California Mount Hollywood​

It is a park in Los Angeles, which is for moderate trekking for about 6 miles. There are around 9,000 trails found throughout this large country park.

Mount Hollywood is also one of the unique parks that give the best views of the downtown area, the Valley, and the Hollywood sign.

Also, this is a less crowded than the other spots in California. So, you can surely enjoy sightseeing and hiking in the area. What’s even better is that it is an equestrian and dog-friendly park.

Echo Mountain​

Best Hikes in Southern California Echo Mountain​

You can find the hiking spot in Altadena, California. It is just about a 6-mile trek. The park is for photographers, history enthusiast, and beginners seeking for new adventures.

You can locate the Echo Mountain in the lower mountains of San Gabriel. It is home to forested mountains, vista points, and the ruins of the White City. You can go directly to the ruins and head back to the park in just a 6-mile trek.

Sandstone Peak​

Best Hikes in Southern California Sandstone Peak​

Without any hesitations, one of the favorite hiking trips for newbies is the Sandstone Peak. You can find this park in Malibu, California. Also, you can also head to the close by Leo Carrillo State Park Beach.

You can leave the spot early and also visit the Santa Monica Mountains. During the hike going up the mountains, you will encounter a lot of landscapes and panoramic views.

However, take note that you have to deal with heavy traffic when you go to the park. But, the best part of the hike is after a rainy day, you can appreciate the bay laurel, the sagebrush, and other native plants.

Mountain Baldy or Mount Antonio

Best Hikes in Southern California Mountain Baldy or Mount Antonio

​Mount Antonio should be on the bucket list of adventure-seekers and newbies. It is quite a steep hike that will cover at least 10 miles.

You can find this trail in Mount Baldy, California. Take note that for beginners, this may tend to have quite challenging paths. Also, you will come across a lot of obstacles when you head to the mountains.

But, you will be amazed how this trail is such a monster path to take. It is such a tough road regarding its height, length, and terrain. However, when you reach the highest point, this is a rewarding trail to hike.

But one advice from experts is that before heading to Mount Baldy, you should research the path carefully. Remember that this is not an ordinary trail. You will have to study the mountain roads properly.

Iron Mountain​

Best Hikes in Southern California Iron Mountain​

It is a hiking site located in Poway, California. You can take a moderate trek for about 5.3 miles. It is one of the most popular hikes for people based in San Diego because it is very accessible regarding terrains and locations.

You will also get drawn to its beautiful sights, and you can have a great activity when you head to the Iron Mountain.

Other than the fantastic coastal views, Iron Mountain also offers a biological life with wildflowers that bloom after the rain.

​However, if you want to explore this site during the summer, make sure that you bring enough water because it tends to be too hot and humid in the area.

Cuyamaca Peak​

Best Hikes in Southern California Cuyamaca Peak​

​Cuyamaca Peak is the second highest point in San Diego. You can locate this site in Julian, California. It is a trail with incredible vistas. While the site offers a range of views of the mountains and coastline, going way up may seem very intense for newbies.

Cuyamaca Peak is the second highest point in San Diego. You can locate this site in Julian, California. It is a trail with incredible vistas. While the site offers a range of views of the mountains and coastline, going way up may seem very intense for newbies.

Monument Peak​

Monument Peak​

It is a site situated in Mount Laguna, California with moderate hiking. You can cover its 5.2 miles hiking if you desire. You can get a little peak of the Pacific Crest Trail when you head to the Monument Peak.

​Also, you will inevitably experience the wooded hike and views when you go to this trail. Plus, you can just shorten or lengthen the trek. You can even do a few other things while you are in the area like grabbing dinner at the Pine House Tavern.


​You will want to prepare before you head to your hiking adventure, especially if you want to trek in the mountains. For beginners, you may want to check out the hiking parks and trails listed above for the most exciting trek.

Also, make sure to read the tips mentioned above before you hit the trail. Stay safe, but enjoy the rest of your trekking trip!​

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