- Home - Hiking Trails - The Best LA Hikes Kenneth Hahn Park Hike
The Kenneth Hahn Park hike brings you through a natural oasis in the middle of west LA. There's tons of wildlife, great sunsets, and views of downtown LA. In fact, Kenneth Hahn Park is where many professional photographers come to get a photo of downtown LA with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
2.4 miles (3.9 km)
Semi-marked park trails
Crowds on weekends
Great views, wildlife
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike Trail Maps
Google Maps trailhead:
4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90056, USA The Kenneth Hahn Park hike is about 30 minutes from Santa Monica, LAX, and downtown LA. If you want to get a hike in before catching a flight at LAX, Kenneth Hahn Park is a good choice. This Kenneth Hahn Park hike follows the perimeter of the park and hits all the attractions like the Japanese Garden. Kenneth Hahn Park is situated on two main elevations, and upper and lower part. This hike starts on the lower half, then hikes to the upper, then back down. The first climb is minor at around 200 feet. Interactive Map Kenneth Hahn Park Hike Map Downloads View a Printable PDF Hike Map Download the Hike GPX File Gear for the Kenneth Hahn Park Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews And don't forget to My complete list of hiking gear and survival kit contents is here, check it out! check out REI outlet for great gear at half price. Kenneth Hahn Park Hike Directions What to Expect Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area was the sight of the first Olympic Village in 1932. The park is named after Kenneth Hahn, a force in local politics from 1952 to 1992 and an ardent civil rights supporter. I’ve seen all kinds of wildlife on the Kenneth Hahn Park hike – lizards, snakes, coyotes, hawks, moles, barn swallows, owls, squirrels and tons of rabbits. Keep your eyes open. The park is often used as a location for film and video, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swordfish, and a Snoop video. There’s a parking fee on weekends and holidays. Otherwise parking is free. Turn by Turn Directions After pulling into Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, make the left into the Olympic Forest parking lot. Walk to the far end of the Olympic Forest parking lot to start the hike. Don’t let this hike’s urban location fool you, there are rattlesnakes and other critters here. Start the hike at the Japanese Gardens. Go through the gate and check out the ponds and landscaped area. The Japanese Gardens are popular for weddings and celebrations. At the far end of the Japanese Garden, hike the trail on the right, up the hill. You’ll go through a Japanese gate, keep hiking up. When you get to the waterfall, hike up to the left of it. Hike up the stairs behind the waterfall and make the left. At about 0.3 miles, there’s a junction, hike straight through it. Hike to the right and curve up the main path, avoiding side trails. The trail starts climb along the fence. As you hike up the hill, you’ll start seeing those postcard views of downtown LA. The trail twists through some wooded areas. The trail starts winding up switchbacks. You’re almost at the top part of the park. The trail emerges at a major trail junction. There’s great views to the left. Hike straight through. The hike reaches the top of Kenneth Hahn Park. Soak in the views from the San Gabriel mountains to the Pacific. If you’re looking to take photos, this area will offer the best options on the hike. The trail splits, keep right to soak in more views. Hike back toward the wide trail you split off earlier. Follow the large trail along the top of the park. This stretch of the hike has more viewing opportunities. At about 1 mile, the trail gets narrow and starts to descend. Hike down the little switchbacks. The trail twists and turns on the side of the hill as you head toward the radio towers. At the post, make the left into the developed area of the park. You hike into the a more “park” section of Kenneth Hahn Park. Hike to the left off the paved trail to the dirt trail. Follow the trail as it becomes paved again and follows the outside of the park. At the radio towers, hike to the right. Before the trail loops around the park circle again, head left out of this park area. Hike down the path along the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area access road. At the bottom of the hill, make the immediate right into the fields. Hike on the grass path behind the playing fields. Follow this back to the parking lot where you started.
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Read More A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
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