Apparently California is in a drought, while the other half of the country is buried under heaps of snow. So let’s take advantage of our clear, blue skies and warm winters, and I’m not talking about sunbathing at a club.
On a cloud-free day, if you stand at the top of the stairs by the senior lounge, you can see the Hollywood sign, one of the most defining features in the City of Angels. If you feel like experiencing something similar to Des’s (Bachelorette Season 16, duh!) date with heartbreaker-to-be Brooks, drive up to Griffith Park, and follow the signs that guide you to the Hollywood-sign hike. You have to start above it and work your way down, and don’t worry if you’re afraid of heights—it’s not legal to climb on the sign anyway– you won’t have to experience the trauma of Justin Timberlake’s character in Friends with Benefits. The view’s not the best, since the sign faces mostly southwest, but the experience is a definite must for all L.A. natives.
If you feel more like getting lost in the woods for a while, or possibly re-enacting a scene from Twilight (I know we all want to), there’s another spot in Griffith Park that is perfect for that. The entrance to this path is in the middle of a residential spot in Los Feliz, but don’t underestimate its difficulty. The hike is steep and rocky, but once you reach the height of the hill and look up, you will find that the sky has enclosed you in a semi-circle of purples, pinks and oranges. I highly suggest hiking at sunset, especially if you’re looking for a good Instagram opportunity. Walk through the Twilight-esque woods, and you’ll find yourself standing on what locals call the helicopter landing, although I’ve yet to see a helicopter actually land there.
Another fabulous hiking spot is Eaton Canyon, which is closer to those of you who are valley-dwellers because it’s right in the middle of Pasadena. This stunning preserve, located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, features multitudes of winding paths. This hike is definitely more strenuous compared to the other two, but if you like a challenge with some adrenaline-infused fear running through your veins, this is the spot for you. Climb a steep trail to reach your destination of Coyote Falls, which, because of our extreme dry-spell, may not contain any water…but hey, it never hurts to try!
All of these places provide beautiful sights and a fun experience, so grab a friend and lots of water, and hike your troubles away!