Best Kid-Friendly Hikes in SoCal

Hiking can be an exhilarating solo activity, but can also be a great way to spend some time in nature with the whole family. The great outdoors is for everyone, even tots with little legs! But not all hikes are kid-appropriate, and it can be daunting to try to find the best family oriented ones. This list of 10 kid-friendly hikes in SoCal are all perfect for families with young kids, older kids, and anywhere in between. As always, remember to bring plenty of water and sunscreen whenever you’re out on the trail!

Malibu Bluffs Park

Malibu photo by Sergei Gussev, used by Creative Commons

A playground, a small zipline, and lots of stroller accessibility make Malibu Bluffs Park the perfect children’s haven. And you can add in stunning ocean views (including dolphins if you’re lucky!) for the more energetic kids able to hike up to the bluffs.

Kenneth Hahn Park

Besides over 300 acres of nature walks, waterfalls, and duck ponds, Kenneth Hahn Park also boasts plenty of places for children to play. Basketball courts, soccer fields, and picnic areas make this the perfect place to spend the afternoon with your whole family. 

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park 

With numerous trails, a beautiful lake, and a plethora of picnic benches at the heart of the park, Ernest E. Debs Regional Park is a great family-friendly outing for anyone looking for an afternoon spent in nature. 

Pumpkin Rock

Little fans of Halloween and The Nightmare Before Christmas will love this 1.7 mile hike to a giant rock painted to be a Jack-o’-lantern. Additionally, stunning views make this hike exciting and rewarding for every family member. 

Franklin Canyon

A nature preserve right in the heart of Beverly Hills, Franklin Canyon offers lake views, duck ponds, bird watching, and a number of short hikes perfect for kids of all ages. Specifically, the Discovery Trail takes you on a shady one mile expedition. 

El Dorado Nature Center

El Dorado Nature Center – photo by Tracie Hall, used by Creative Commons license

For a plethora of easy, beautiful nature hikes in the centered in Long Beach, you’ll want to check out the El Dorado Nature Center. Two lakes, a storybook footbridge, and a thriving visitor’s center will keep your family entertained all day. 

Ferndell Trail

This .5 mile stretch through Griffith Park is perfect for younger kids who want a short but rewarding outing, with time for other activities throughout the day. It’s also stroller friendly!

Dixie Canyon Trail

Anyone looking for a fairytale-esque trek will love this trail. Dixie Canyon Park boasts 20 acres of preserved woodland and views of the San Fernando Valley. 

Will Rogers State Park

This getaway in the Santa Monica Mountains will definitely make you feel like you’re immersed in nature. There are a number of trails, most of which are fairly short and easy for the little ones, and you can also take some historical tours and watch polo matches. 

Forrestal Nature Reserve

Forrestal Reserve – photo by City of Rancho Palos Verdes

Kids interested in fossils and wildlife will adore this nature preserve, which is surrounded by fish scale fossils, crystals, and blooming wildflowers, and also offers ocean views. Just remember you can’t dig up any of the fossils or crystals! 







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