GoExploreNature's Passport
 

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Member since:
11 September 2009

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '11, '12

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About Me & My Family

I’m a Los Angeles-based wife, mom & adventure guide to two young boys. I seek sanity from nature and am always trying to get the boys out in it, too. We love baseball games, road trips, animal encounters and family vacations to anywhere the mood takes us.
Our Family's Travel Personality
relaxed, independent
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Yosemite National Park
Websites I Like:
www.goexplorenature.com

Great Winter Hikes for Families in Los Angeles

Winter in Los Angeles is dreamy by comparison to much of the U.S. Temperatures are mild and crowds almost nonexistent. Which makes it the perfect time to get outside and into nature with the family.

There are tons of family friendly trails in and around Los Angeles; these are just a few of our favorites. A few tips no matter where you go: Pack a picnic, bring a camera and enjoy the journey. Remember to take your time and have fun!

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4700 North Griffin Ave.
Los Angeles, California


reviewed on: December 17 2012

"A Nature Playground for Kids"
The Audubon Center at Debs Park is literally a nature playground for kids. Start your adventure at The Audubon Outfitters shop, which doubles as a mini nature center. It provides park information and rentable trail supplies, including strollers, backpacks and binoculars.

Adjacent to the Center is the kid-friendly ¾-mile Butterfly Loop Trail, perfect when combined with time spent in the Children’s Woodland area (that nature playground I mentioned before). The easy, flat trail will be a hit with even the youngest explorers. Once you’re there, you might be inspired to check out some of the other trails at the 280+-acre Ernest E. Debs Regional Park.

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2600 Franklin Canyon Drive
Beverly Hills, California


reviewed on: December 17 2012

"Trees, Trails, Ducks & More"
With a duck pond, Franklin Canyon Lake and a wonderful nature center, there’s a lot at Franklin Canyon Park to love. We usually start out on the Blinderman Trail near the nature center, head toward the lake and follow the trail around in a giant loop. This easy, 1.5-mile jaunt is great for toddlers and preschoolers as there’s plenty of opportunity to meander, look up to the tops of gorgeous oaks, smell all the scented plants and watch the ducks and turtles.

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24250 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California


reviewed on: January 19 2012

"Where Nature Meets Playground"
Malibu Bluffs Park is a 6-acre community park with baseball diamonds, a soccer field, a community center, a small enclosed play area, a small sand play area, a walking trail & a whale watching station PLUS access to several trails from the park’s edge down toward the beach.

Several picnic tables are scattered throughout the park; there’s also plenty of grassy space if you prefer to sit on the ground.

The Community Center hosts several classes and sports leagues, so the park is busy on weekends and late afternoons.

You could easily visit Malibu Bluffs Park just for the hiking. The 1.2-mile trail that begins at the edge of the parking lot loops around the entire park and offers stunning views of the Pacific the entire time.

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15601 W. Sunset Blvd
Pacific Palisades, California


reviewed on: September 18 2009

"Nature Getaway in the City"
Temescal Gateway Park includes some 140 acres of oak and sycamore canyons, a waterfall, amazing views of the ocean and city, plus access to miles of trails in both Topanga State Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. My son and I took the popular Waterfall Trail route, which is a little over 3 miles round trip and took us a couple of hours. The waterfall (which is actually more like a trickle) really isn’t the reason to come here, though. It’s all the cool scenery along the way. I spent most of the hike feeling completely removed from the Los Angeles area. The trail -- which gets quite steep in parts -- is a dirt path, so expect to be seriously dirty when it’s over. I took my son when he was 4 and wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than that. Lucky for me, he asked to hold my hand the whole way back down the trail! Be sure to wear good shoes (not crocs!), take it slow, let faster hikers pass and rest when you need to. Snacks work well with the little ones!

The trail can get busy on weekends, so head out early before it gets too warm or too crowded. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks -- even though Temescal Park is close to the Pacific, you won’t feel much in the way of ocean breezes here. Park amenities include picnic tables and grassy areas, restrooms and a camp store. All kinds of family events are held here, including family fun nights (campfires) during the summer, educational walks and moonlight strolls. This little gem hidden right in the city is worth checking out! There is a lot where you can park for $7 (on the honor system, so bring exact change), but you can often find a spot for free on Temescal Canyon Road or Sunset Blvd.

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1501 Will Rogers Park Road
Pacific Palisades, California


reviewed on: December 17 2012

"State Park With Room to Run"
The 3-mile Inspiration Loop Trail is our favorite family hike at Will Rogers State Historic Park. The trail is a wide, stroller-friendly dirt fire road; popular with dogs, horses and mountain bikers alike. Some portions have a severe drop off on one side, so be especially mindful of little hikers. From Inspiration Point, you can see the Los Angeles Basin from downtown to the ocean.

If you’ve got a pint-sized runner in the family (and we do!) you’ll want to hit the expansive grassy areas found near the parking lot.

Other tips:

• Poison oak is plentiful in these parts, so keep hands away from native plants
• Some portions of the trail are open and sunny and can be especially hot on warm days; bring plenty of water and wear a hat and sunscreen
• Great spot for wildflower lovers come spring
• Restrooms can be found in the parking area
• Parking is $12; free with a California State Parks Pass
• Plenty of picnic tables available (even shady ones!), some with access to charcoal grills
• Expansive grassy areas are popular with families & a great place to play, fly a kite, have a picnic or just run around
• Will Rogers SHP grounds also feature ranch house tours, polo matches, horseback riding lessons and trail rides