LA Hiking with Kids


My daughter does not like hiking, walking, or running. Bummer, because I love to. I can sometimes get her to ride on a bike somewhere - my favorite mode of transportation - but if I suggest we travel on foot, or even worse, go on a hike, she protests in every way she knows how.

As with most things kid-related that involve a clash of expectations, my strategy has evolved from “they’ll love it if they try it so make them try it,” towards something more like adapting my idea of “success” on a case-by-case basis.

There’s often an end of a hiking trail, and that’s hard to get around as an endpoint and marker of a successful hike, but truly, what I’m going for is not the finish line. What I’m trying to create is time with my kids, outside, with some physical exertion. When my expectations change, my idea of success changes dramatically, as do my strategies to win over the most stubborn nay-sayers.

So pack a snack and sunblock if you need them, some water, and head out to these trails just for the sake of heading out. Leave the performance expectations at home, and see if you can’t all enjoy a little fresh air. (And of course these areas are terrific with friends, or even on your own for a little walking meditation).

  1. LMU trail

  2. Solstice Canyon

  3. Monrovia Canyon Park Waterfall Trail

  4. Franklin Canyon Park

  5. Temescal Gateway Park

  6. Topanga Canyon State Park

  7. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

  8. Culver City Stairs

  9. White Point Nature Preserve

  10. Ballona Wetlands