Star jasper homes — the 8 best bike rides in los angeles

Los Angeles and the bicycle have somewhat of a love/hate relationship. The trails griffith park On one hand, L.A. Griffith park trail maps is perfect for riding; the weather is gorgeous, the city mostly flat, and the places to ride bountiful. Trains at griffith park On the other, riding a bicycle in L.A. Griffith park running trails means, almost invariably, riding in stressful traffic. Griffith park soccer Bike lanes help, protected bike lanes help more, but ultimately it’s always nicer to ride without checking over your shoulder every other second.

With that as the preface, all the rides listed below are either entirely car-free, or take place on roads where there is very light traffic. Griffith park activities Unless otherwise noted, all of the rides friendly for folks of all fitness levels.


Merry go round at griffith park They are listed, roughly, in an ascending order of difficulty, from pleasant summer evening spin to a mountainous excursion.

(We’ve included hyperlinks to all the routes in Google Maps. Griffith park zoo If you’re on your phone they’ll open up directly into Google Maps. Griffith park zoo los angeles If you’re on your computer, Google makes it easy to send the maps link to your phone by simply clicking ‘Send to Phone’ icon on the page. Griffith park events Happy riding!) Cogswell Dam

Tucked up in the San Gabriel Mountains above Azusa is the absolutely gorgeous, roughly 7.5-mile long, Devils Canyon Dam Truck Trail. Haunted picnic table griffith park Gently climbing from Highway 39 to the Cogswell Dam, the Devils Canyon Dam Truck Trail is hands down one of the single most beautiful rides in all of Southern California.

The road itself parallels a small, but always audible, creek fed by the upriver dam. Griffith park hayride Often shaded by trees and mountains, the road offers riders a cool, relaxed, very gently sloped ride through the mountains. Haunted table 29 at griffith park No cell service here. Hotels near griffith park los angeles It’s just you, your bike, a bubbling brook and the San Gabriel Mountains. Griffith park trail half marathon Picnic tables are plentiful along the road too, encouraging you to stop and eat for a little bit and take it all in. Griffith park trail map pdf Just remember that you are in the Angeles National Forest, and that you’ll have to pack any of the trash you create back out with you. Griffith park in la Please don’t leave it in the forest.

As for the difficulty, the road gently slopes uphill between Highway 39 and the dam itself. Griffith park pony ride los angeles ca You probably won’t even notice the grade until you turn around and notice you’re going a bit faster. Griffith park location If you want to go up to the dam itself, be warned there is a very short but very steep grade at the end of the road. Los angeles griffith park You definitely don’t have to do it if you don’t want to, the first 7 miles of the road are the main attraction. Griffith park tunnel This is an easy, low intensity ride. What to do in griffith park Bring your kids.

Aside from being hauntingly beautiful, the road is closed to all public vehicular traffic. Griffith park fireworks You might pass by the car or truck of a public works employee who works at the dam, but they are courteous and are looking out for cyclists and hikers. Hayride griffith park As you be should too. Playground griffith park Pedestrian traffic, especially on weekends, can be high throughout the first mile or so. Best hikes in griffith park Once you get past the main recreation and fishing areas, though, it’ll seem as if you’re entirely alone in the forest. Griffith park train hours Ballona Creek Bike Path

This is a mainstay of my own personal riding. Griffith park zoo lights Running between Culver City and Playa Del Rey, the Ballona Creek path lets Angelenos ride 7.4 car-free miles straight to the beach. La griffith park Though the path first picks up close to the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and National Boulevard, the first mile or so is very bumpy and in poor condition. Hollywood sign from griffith park Your best bet is to get on the path at Duquesne Avenue in Culver City, and ride straight out to the beach.

Just be aware that if you’re going in the afternoon, you’ll likely have to deal with a light headwind while headed out to the coast. Griffith park train museum On the bright side, this will turn into a great tailwind on your way back! Drinking fountains may be found along the pathway in adjacent parks and parklets.

For extra credit, you can check out the Baldwin Hills Stairs and Scenic Overlook. Griffith park hiking trails map Situated at the intersection of Hetzler Road and Jefferson Boulevard, the Baldwin Hills is a great outdoor hiking park without the pretension of some other hiking areas in L.A. Griffith park picnic There are plenty of bike racks at the bottom of the stairs, but if you’re feeling particularly daring, try riding up to the top on Hetzler. The griffith park collection Marvin Braude/Pacific Coast Bike Path

Paradise is riding your bicycle along the Pacific coast. Griffith park hollywood sign trail I challenge anyone who disagrees. Griffith park pony rides The Marvin Braude Coastal Bike Trail is 22-miles of pure beach beauty. Running in griffith park Stretching between Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and Torrance Beach, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail offers a uniquely Southern California experience. Griffith park petting zoo It also just happens to connect directly to the Ballona Creek Path, meaning that if you want to ride from Culver City all the way to Palos Verdes, you can!

We’re sure you know about this path, but we’re plugging it here anyway because it really is that great. Griffith park visitor center Riding conditions along the path are usually pretty mellow, but the path can often get crowded and sandy, especially on weekends and especially on the portions that run through Santa Monica and Venice. Griffith park observatory trail Weekday evenings, especially now that sun sets much later, will be perfect. Griffith park directions There are lots of facilities along this path at regular intervals. Griffith park train and pony rides L.A. Griffith park for kids County provides a helpful map that highlights amenities along the path.

It’s important to note that the path is interrupted on the coast twice. Old zoo griffith park directions In Marina del Rey, the path circumnavigates the Marina. Griffith park train birthday party The only thing to note here is that you’ll ride along Washington Boulevard for a short bit. Restaurants near griffith park There is a good bike lane here, and traffic is usually very courteous in this area since there are so many people riding bikes. Griffith park observatory hours of operation A similar thing happens in Hermosa Beach where you’ll have the choice of riding along either The Strand (often crowded on weekends), or Hermosa Avenue (very chill) . Hiking at griffith park The Rose Bowl

While it’s not particularly scenic, you’ll be in good company while riding at the Rose Bowl. Griffith park pony rides hours The Rose Bowl Loop consists, basically, of a 3-mile loop around the stadium, its parking lots, and a golf-course. Griffith park lake Cyclists and joggers alike use the loop for basic training, and the loop is generally good for just getting some good exercise in.

While not quite as adventurous as some of the other rides listed here, the Rose Bowl is a great place to get in shape. Griffith park observatory shuttle The loop is gently sloped, giving you a chance to practice going both uphill and down. Griffith tourist park Traffic is light and respectful, given there are lots and lots of other bikers and runners in the vicinity. Griffith park attractions Etiquette dictates that, since you’re on a bike, you remain to the left of the marked barriers that distinguish space for walkers and runners, and the street itself. Griffith park railroad There are also drinking fountains and bathrooms up closer to the stadium.

Aside from when there’s an event, there’s never a bad time to ride at the Rose Bowl. Griffith park weather Even at night, there are lots of people around and the roadways are mostly well-lit. Griffith park observatory tickets Just remember if you are riding at night to have both front and rear lights. Things to do at griffith park Various River Paths

If you want to ride far without much hassle (or good scenery for that matter), you can count on a number of different river paths that run throughout the region. Griffith park images The L.A. Griffith park holiday train River Path, the San Gabriel River Path and the Rio Hondo Bike Path all offer basically the same thing; very long stretches of very flat “Class 1” bike path. Train museum los angeles griffith park These are very long routes that pass by great swaths of Los Angeles, not unlike a freeway for bikes.

A bit closer to L.A. Griffith park hike to hollywood sign is another iteration of the L.A. Griffith park swimming pool River Bike Path running between Griffith Park and Elysian Park. Griffith park hollywood sign This 7.2-mile stretch is great for riding, however it’s been closed for most of 2016 since the city decided to use it as an El Nino barricade. Ferndell griffith park El Nino has come and gone ( mostly gone), but the pathway is still closed. Griffith park light show Hopefully it will reopen soon.

The Arroyo Seco Path, passing through northeast Los Angeles, is another good, albeit short, option. Hiking griffith park The Arroyo Seco Pathway is just under 3 miles long. Griffith park train christmas lights Griffith Park

Arguably the best urban park anywhere, Griffith Park can offer you all sorts of different styles of riding. Park griffith If you want a relaxed easy spin around the park, you can ride along Crystal Springs Drive and Zoo Drive. Griffith park walking trails If you want a little climb (highly recommended) thrown into the mix, you can complete a loop by adding in Griffith Park Drive. 3200 canyon drive griffith park los angeles ca 90068 These two routes are easy, have good pavement and have sizable lanes/shoulder areas to ride on. Griffith park observatory wedding Traffic is rarely a problem, but can the park can get very busy on weekends.

But say you want something more—a workout you might say. Griffith park camping Griffith Park has lots of hills, most notably Mount Hollywood. Directions to griffith park Mount Hollywood is crisscrossed with a multitude of ridable roads that let you elevate both your body and your heart-rate above where they usually sit in the city. Friends of griffith park One of my personal favorite rides is to circle through the park, climbing up Commonwealth Avenue to the Griffith Park helipad, over Mount Hollywood, and back down to Vermont Canyon. Griffith park helipad This route has two climbs, punctuated by some flats and descents.

This park flies under the radar. Griffith park trails hollywood sign Despite being just 10 minutes away from downtown Los Angeles (by car or bike!), it’s often only sparsely filled. Griffith park waterfall Even on the weekend, it’s easy to find your own private quiet space in the park. What to do at griffith park The park’s roads were recently totally repaved too, meaning that you’ll be riding on very smooth, very grippy asphalt. Griffith park train Elysian Park is beautiful. Griffith park apartments It’s L.A.’s oldest park, and offers a cornucopia of transplanted tree species mixed with excellent vistas of downtown L.A.

To be entirely honest, Elysian is probably not the best place to go if you haven’t been on a bicycle in years. Train town griffith park It is a hilly environment. Griffith park conservatory None of the hills are particularly large or steep, but you’re definitely climbing throughout. Griffith park hike trails Though cycling and hiking aren’t exactly the same thing, consider Elysian Park roughly akin to the amount of effort you’d need for the Wisdom Tree Hike, to the top of Mount Hollywood, or even to the Hollywood Sign (to which you can also ride your bike!).

If you’re new to climbing on a bicycle, the most efficient way to do it is to use an easy gear and spin quickly. Griffith park pony Your legs will probably feel like they’re burning, but that means you’re doing it right. Griffith park collection None of the hills in Elysian Park will take you too long to climb, and you’ll be treated to fun downhills and some excellent views. Merry go round griffith park Drinking fountains and bathrooms may be found throughout the park. Griffith park travel town Mount Wilson

Okay, I just had to include this one. Griffith park ponies If you’ve been riding a lot in the city and are bored of Elysian Park, Griffith Park and the beach, you should really dabble with riding in the San Gabriel Mountains. Griffith park recreation center Riding to the top of Mount Wilson is a great introduction to the vast play-place just north of our city known as the Angeles National Forest. Griffith park photos It’s about 19 miles and 4,500 feet of climbing from the foot of Angeles Crest Highway to the top of Mount Wilson.

By any metric this is a challenging climb. The observatory griffith park You’re looking at roughly two to three hours of riding from the base of Angeles Crest Highway (at Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge) to the top of Mount Wilson. Map of griffith park You can find water at the ranger station at Clear Creek Junction (the first junction after heading into the hills) and again at the turnoff for Mount Wilson Road (the second junction). Griffith park trails map The payoff is a fantastic view of the greater Los Angeles area, and the satisfaction of having just climbed a mountain on your bike. Bronson canyon griffith park los angeles ca Indulge at the Cosmic Cafe.

Traffic is usually light, though can get heavier on weekends. Griffith park 4th of july Weekend mornings and evenings are great, as well as mid-day on weekdays. Hotels near griffith park observatory Absolutely avoid commuting hours, however, as Angeles Crest is used by very fast-driving Palmdale commuters who don’t want to sit on the 14 freeway.