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Hiking High: Best Trails in LA

  • 5 min read

In our "Hiking High" series, members of the Country community share their favorite places in the world to, well, hike high. First up, Lindsay MaHarry shares her favorite trails in LA!

Adventure makes life worth living, especially if you're living in Southern California. While we might not have much water left, we do have an infinite amount of hikes, walks and trips to explore the wonders of the area. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spend most of my time on the backtrails or by the ocean, doing just that.

Cannabis is the ultimate hiking buddy. Consuming before or during an adventure is like taking a magnifying glass to the magic of existing in the humming solitude of nature. That is, as long as you don't over do it.

Cannabis is the ultimate hiking buddy.

There are times, especially on deep trail hikes when you're miles from civilization, that you can be dangerously stoned. As a constant cannabis consumer, it doesn't happen to me often. But when it does, it's not fun.

There was one particular instance where I was deep in the Sespe Wilderness with a friend from NYC, who was afraid of the woods enough to bring a gun on our overnight backpacking trip. (Just in case, she said.) I had eaten 30mg of hash rosin gummies in the parking lot, then completely forgot which trail we were supposed to take two hours in. It was hot. We were lost. The gear kept getting heavier.

Thankfully, moments prior to calling it quits in the high heat of the August sun, we serendipitously ran into a friend of mine on the trail who pointed us in the right direction. It felt like some kind of divine intervention from the canyon gods. That kind of shit never happens. We were thankful as hell.

That being said, my favorite type of cannabis for hitting the trails is one with a balanced cannabinoid profile that won't send me into space, or worse, lost in the woods. Over consumption of THC is one of the main offenders when it comes to getting unmanageably high. The best way to stay in control while still having fun, especially for those new to cannabis or new to the nature game, is to make sure your THC is balanced with some CBD.

The best way to stay in control while still having fun, especially for those new to cannabis or new to the nature game, is to make sure your THC is balanced with some CBD.

Country's Mendocino Train has emerged as one of my favorite trail flowers, especially for these end-of-summer months when the red hot heat raises the survival stakes and your wits need to stay about you.

Mendocino Train is unique, with 10% THC and 15% CBD, and a pine, citrus profile with a woody finish. The high is clear and alert, but still whimsical enough to make outdoor activities sparkle. Mentally, you're clear and present in a wash of sensory enhancement that makes colors brighter and sounds more pronounced, perfect for experiencing nature. Psychically, there's a buzz of excitement, like peering over the top of a roller coaster track before you make the free fall.

To celebrate the launch of this trail-friendly flower, here are some of my favorite hikes in the LA area, as well as one in Rosarito. Summer is high, and even if it's not summer when you read this, fall, winter and spring are still super warm around here too (no excuses!), so get some of this weed and get tf out there!

The Hollywood Sign Hike 

I live in the canyons above Hollywood so this hike is a go-to for me, especially if I have people visiting from out of town. It's visually iconic, long enough to constitute exercise, but not actually that hard, which ticks every box for the fluffy, aesthetic hikes that often define experiencing nature in the city of Los Angeles.

Personally, I prefer a shorter hike in LA, and this one walks the line of still being exercise but not wiping you out for the day. It's a 4.3 mile out and back trail that winds through a fancy neighborhood, past a number of viewy, photogenic rest points, eventually landing you directly behind the Hollywood Sign, with 360 views from the Valley to the sea.

Explore the Hike on AllTrails

The Bronson Caves 

This is a perfect example of a great "LA Hike," which is really just a short respite from the city wherein you may or may not exert yourself enough to break a sweat.

The Bronson Caves are a mere .6 mile hike (lol) from the parking lot, but the short inclined walk transports you to a magical world that feels lightyears from the hellscape of Hollywood Boulevard blocks below. These caves have been used in a million B horror movies, but most notably were the caves the Batmobile shot out of in the intro to the original Batman series in the sixties.

There's also a cool meditation walk made out of rocks behind the caves. This is a great walk to collect your thoughts, get away from the city, or have an impromptu picnic. And though it doesn't seem like much, walking 1.2 miles to somewhere super cool is way better than not walking anywhere at all!

Explore the Hike on AllTrails 

Malibu Backbone Trail

I love this famous trail for a few different reasons. First, it's 12 miles long with a ton of different access points, so you can go as hard as you want. Second, the views are fantastic. It's always cute to hike in Malibu. And third, regardless of where you begin and end your hike on this trail, you will have to hike up a huge mountain to get on top of the "backbone," so even a shorter hike will still yield a substantial workout. Go early on a weekday or late on a weekend to avoid the crowds. This is a great trail, so it's popular year round.

Explore this Hike on AllTrails.

Bonus non-LA Hike: Cerro El Coronel 


This totally surreal hike takes you far above the clouds along the coast of Rosarito, a Mexican beach town an hour south of the San Ysidro border. To say this hike kicks your ass is an understatement. It's only about three miles, but most of that is directly up the side of a cliff. There are times (depending on which path you choose) that you're climbing 75 degree inclines of loose rocks with very little to grab on to.

But it's worth it, I swear! In the spring and summer, El Coronel is covered in wildflowers. The altitude is so high you look down on hawks teaching their babies to fly in the clouds. You can see for hundreds of miles in every direction. The ocean sparkles forever, sun looks big and close. It's an otherworldly experience that I highly suggest for the advanced adventurers among us. Just make sure to make it down before dark.

Explore this Hike on AllTrails.

For more from Lindsay, follow her on Instagram here.