If you’re not necessarily an early bird (like me, who enjoys waking up sometime around 10 AM), you may feel like there aren’t a lot of hikes available to you. Especially in SoCal and especially in Los Angeles, where hikes can get fairly crowded as the afternoon wears on. But hiking doesn’t always have to be an early morning activity. There are plenty of hikes that make for perfect end-of-day treks, especially those with stunning sunset views. Check out these top five spots for catching the sunset in SoCal.
What better place to catch some end-of-day rays than from a world famous landmark? There are a few different trails to choose from to get you to the sign, but this 6-ish mile roundtrip is one of the most gentle and easiest to get to. You won’t be able to get right up to the wooden letters, but some hikes bring you as close as you can get without breaking the law. It’s a moderate hike, with some steep inclines (you’re trekking up the side of a mountain, after all), so make sure you bring plenty of water.
So this reserve is actually about 2,000 acres of coastal park, so there are plenty of hikes to choose from. But no matter which route you choose, you can’t go wrong with the sunset glistening off of the ocean from any point along the coast. Make your way across the sea cliffs in La Jolla and take in the sun setting over the surfers and seagulls.
Corona Del Mar, Orange County
It’s unsurprising that there are a plethora of hikes to be found in Newport Beach, which is known for its massive harbor. Start your day off with a nice wine tasting or an afternoon of fishing on the pier, and finish off with a sunset hike to remember. For a more leisurely stroll overlooking a harbor full of gently rocking boats, check out Balboa Island Loop. For a more rugged hike, walk among the bluffs of Crystal Cove State Park on the Blufftop Multiuse Trail.
A long, arduous hike with a stunning view and a campsite to rest in as you take in the sunset? Yes, please! The trail is about 12 miles out and back, so if you’re planning to take in the setting sun at the peak, I highly recommend camping overnight so you’re not hiking back in the dark. Most campers take at least one night here, and it’s a great flat place to set up camp. Head up the final two miles to the summit in the morning to take in the amazing views before you head home.
You can be forgiven for thinking that a hike in the heart of Los Angeles, not far from Dodger Stadium and Downtown, wouldn’t be the best place for stunning sunset vistas. But the views from Angel’s Point are hard to beat — the sun bouncing off the towering downtown buildings, overhead views of Dodger Stadium, and the surprisingly picturesque hike to get you to the peak, all make this the perfect city hike to take in the sunset. There’s also a public art sculpture at the peak to really add to the ambience.