Hill of a Good Hike!

Hike Ascot Hills Park in Los Angeles

Woman hiking on wide trail overlooking downtown Los Angeles at Ascot Hills in Southern California

We know popular mountain ranges surround Los Angeles, but what about the hills that sprinkle the city? Ascot Hills Park is an 83-acre urban respite dotted in California sycamore trees. There’s a 2.1-mile loop that passes over the park’s highest hill—an excellent spot for seeing the sun sink behind LA’s downtown skyline, creating a fiery silhouette.

The hike also offers a checklist of iconic views on clear days, including the San Gabriel Mountains and the white domes atop the Mount Wilson Observatory, as well as the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Observatory. From the main parking area, head left at the trailhead and begin a slight incline on a wide dirt trail. As you get to the top of the hill, keep an eye out for a trail on the right, marked by large rocks; this is the trail taking you down into the canyon and over to the second section of the park (if you pass a fence with barbed wire, you’ve gone too far).

The trail narrows significantly as you descend into the canyon, and eventually you’ll come to a fork where you’ll find a map of the park pointing out the different side trails and where they lead. Head up the right side of the canyon via switchbacks.

Downtown Los Angeles view from Ascot Hills Park

At the top, hike along the spine of the ridge to the view at the top of the hill. Enjoy the late afternoon sun, an orange orb thinning across downtown LA’s skyscrapers. Descend on a steep hill with graffiti-filled concrete and complete the loop.

TIP: Ascot Hills Park closes at sunset, so be sure to make your way back before it’s too dark.

Ascot Hills Park is located in El Sereno, a northeast neighborhood of Los Angeles. From I-10 east of downtown LA, take exit 19 onto Soto St. and drive north for 1.2 miles to Multnomah St. Turn right, drive 0.3 mile and make a left into Ascot Hills Park, located at 4371 Multnomah St. Drive up to the parking lot on the right.

Story and photos by Breonna Carter, @mountainsquake

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