Everyone outside of LA have these really negative mental images of what LA is all about – terrible traffic, lots of plastic surgery, expensive shops, totally fake people, strip mall central, etc. And yes a lot of that exists, but there is so much more here than that we have come to realize. In our 8+ months here, one thing that we have found that cuts across all facets of LA is hiking! It seems to be THE thing to do for everyone. Bet you didn’t know that did you?
I would never have been known as the “hiking type”. I am not sure I have actually done more than a handful of hikes in the US (I’ve done plenty on my trips abroad funny enough.). I can think of a couple I did in San Francisco and surrounding areas, but those were few and far between. But something about gorgeous weather year round and an abundance of National Parks, forests, parks and beaches on your doorstep just makes you want to get out and try it. And the amazing thing here in LA is that hiking really is for everybody. You don’t have to be slim and totally in shape, you don’t have to be rich, or athletic. You just have to get out of your car with a bottle of water and start walking. I love seeing hipsters with their curly Maharaja mustaches, people covered in tattoos, dog walkers, families, heavily overweight people, celebrities and little granny’s out there. Makes you realize that there isn’t any “type”.
Thursday’s are our only ‘free’ day, so we usually end up doing a hike or some other family activity. We were all feeling a little under the weather today and we woke up late, so instead of venturing far and somewhere that we could infect others, we decided on a hike. And yes, our 2.5 year old toddler is totally into it as well! We are so lucky that Griffith Park is basically in our back yard and it’s full of great hikes for beginners. I have been wanting to try the Mt Hollywood hike (aka Dante’s Peak aka Dante’s View) for a while, but every time I thought about doing it, it’s the weekend which means it would be packed full of ranger rick types! I really prefer to hike when it’s not super crowded. Then it feels like our own private excursion.
I quickly packed up some fruit and snacks and water bottles for everyone and off we headed. It’s only 1 mile from our house, so its great as far as convenience. And especially great on a day like today when it was getting hot out early and we were getting a late start.
Besides going on the recom-mendations of friends, we use an app called AllTrails to find hikes and to guide us along the way. So far we have had great experiences with this. But today we seemed to have chosen a trail that has many variations and the one we chose was a bit off the beaten path in parts which had us backtracking. Oh well, all in a day’s workout really! The hike was 3 miles and was estimated to take 1.5 hrs. We probably did a bit more than 3 miles with our backtracking and stopping to let Cian play in the Dante’s Peak garden area and it took almost 2 hrs. Not bad with a toddler in tow!
The Details on Dante’s Peak Hike:
- The trail itself is flat, so it is easy to bring a stroller (or a little car like we do, see photo below), but it is steep in many areas, so you will get a heart pounding workout going up and arm workout holding the stroller on the way down!
- There is a little water fountain just near Dante’s Peak which was a welcome relief to my husband who had already finished his water bottle.
- The negative – there is very little shade, so it gets hot out there quickly. Lather up with the sunscreen and grab the hats before heading out.
- We saw people of all skill levels, so it is definitely accessible but we did find that it gave us a pretty good heart pounding on the way up, so be aware that its not easy breezy walking the entire time.
- There are A LOT of trails that shoot off of the main trail, so if you have time to explore, go for it, otherwise try to follow the crowds or use a trail app/map!
- Dante’s View is a good place for a break or picnic on the way up or down depending which trail you took. Our son had fun looking at all the flowers and plants, watching the lizards run around and searching for other wildlife. And it has great views!
*Originally posted on slaint.com