Kenneth Hahn Park Hike

Kenneth Hahn Park Hike

In This Guide
  • How to Get to Kenneth Hahn Park
  • Kenneth Hahn Park Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance2.4 miles (3.9 km)
Time1 Hour (Total Time)
Total Climbing305 feet (93m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameKenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Park Phone323-298-3660

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.

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area was named after local politician and civil rights supporter, Kenneth Hahn. Kenneth Hahn was the only LA public official who greeted Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Los Angeles after confronting the police dogs and water hoses of Birmingham. Before that, Kenneth Hahn park was the site of the first official Olympic Village in 1932.

You might also recognize the park from movies, television and videos. It was used in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Swordfish, and the a Snoop video “Nothin’ But a G Thang.”

Kenneth Hahn Snoop Video
See those wooden structures behind Snoop and Dre? You’ll see them on this hike. Looks like they’re fans of the Kenneth Hahn Park hike too. I hope they stayed hydrated.

Getting to Kenneth Hahn Park

Use this address: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90056, USA.

The hike is close to LAX, so if you want to get a hike in before a flight, Kenneth Hahn is a good choice.

There’s a parking fee on weekends and holidays, but you can use a California State Parks pass. Otherwise parking is free.

Kenneth Hahn Park Hike parking lot
After pulling into Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area main entrance, drive a minute and make the left into the Olympic Forest parking lot.
Olympic Forest parking lot
Walk to the far end of the Olympic Forest parking lot to start the hike.

Gear For the Hike

rattlesnake sign
Don’t let this hike’s urban location fool you, there are rattlesnakes and other critters here. Bring a camera.

You can do this hike in workout clothes. Here’s what I would recommend:

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 and camera ready.

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

Kenneth Hahn Park Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Kenneth Hahn Park Hike 3d map
This Kenneth Hahn Park hike follows the perimeter of the park and hits all the attractions like the Japanese Garden.

Kenneth Hahn Park Hike Directions

Japanese Gardens
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.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
At the far end of the Japanese Garden, hike the trail on the right, up the hill.
Japanese gate
You’ll go through a Japanese gate, keep hiking up.
When you get to the waterfall, hike up to the left of it.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Hike up the stairs behind the waterfall and make the left.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail junction
At about 0.3 miles, there’s a junction, hike straight through it.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Hike to the right and curve up the main path, avoiding side trails.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail starts climb along the fence.
views of downtown LA
As you hike up the hill, you’ll start seeing those postcard views of downtown LA.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail twists through some wooded areas.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail starts winding up switchbacks. You’re almost at the top part of the park.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail emerges at a major trail junction. There’s great views to the left. Hike straight through.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike views
The hike reaches the top of Kenneth Hahn Park. Soak in the views from the San Gabriel mountains to the Pacific.
cris hazzard on Kenneth Hahn Park Hike
If you’re looking to take photos, this area will offer the best options on the hike.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail splits, keep right to soak in more views.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Hike back toward the wide trail you split off earlier.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Follow the large trail along the top of the park.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
This stretch of the hike has more viewing opportunities.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
At about 1 mile, the trail gets narrow and starts to descend.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike switchbacks
Hike down the little switchbacks.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
The trail twists and turns on the side of the hill as you head toward the radio towers.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
At the post, make the left into the developed area of the park.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
You hike into the a more “park” section of Kenneth Hahn Park. Hike to the left off the paved trail to the dirt trail.
radio towers
Follow the trail as it becomes paved again and follows the outside of the park. At the radio towers, hike to the right.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Before the trail loops around the park circle again, head left out of this park area.
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area access road
Hike down the path along the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area access road.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
At the bottom of the hill, make the immediate right into the fields.
Kenneth Hahn Park Hike trail
Hike on the grass path behind the playing fields. Follow this back to the parking lot where you started.

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