Getty View Trail

Distance 2.6 mi
Time 1 hrs
Elevation Gain 220 ft
Season Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Hike Info Hiker Info

Tucked away in Bel Air is a little gem of a hike. The Getty View Trail sits just east of Sepulveda Pass and is a short but rewarding trek along a fire road that is the perfect add-on for those visiting the Getty Center. Not only will this easy trail give you a new perspective of one of the most iconic buildings in Los Angeles, but you’ll also have sweeping views of the Westside throughout most of your hike. And for an extra challenge, there’s an alternate route that avoids the well-groomed trail and instead takes you along a more rugged path along the mountain ridgeline. 

After winding your way past many expensive homes, you’ll reach the trailhead. There is no established parking lot, but street parking was easy to find. A trash can and a pet waste bag dispenser are also located near the trailhead for hikers to use, so don’t forget to pack out what you pack in. Walk past the iron gate and onto the fire road to start your hike. Note that this is a multi-use pet-friendly trail, so you’ll likely run into mountain bikers and locals walking their dogs.

This iron gate marks the start of the trail. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

There is a slight incline at the beginning but nothing too arduous, especially since the trail is spacious and well-manicured. Immediately to your left are views of Sepulveda Canyon. Turn around and you’ll find the trail’s namesake – the Getty Center – perched prominently on the mountainside. You’ll also have a birds-eye view of cars stuck in traffic on the 405. While some might feel annoyed by the constant drone of vehicles below, I find it somewhat soothing. Above the madness, I’m reminded of how grateful I am to be on the trail, and how hiking and the outdoors are my escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Getty perched prominently as traffic flows below it. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

As you continue to hike, pay attention to the native California plants around you, including Laurel Sumac, Chaparral yucca, and Deerweed. You won’t find many large trees though, which means that the trail is very exposed. I started hiking around sunset and had a lovely experience, but pack extra water and sunscreen if you arrive midday — and skip this one in the warmer months unless you’re on it early in the morning or for sunset. I also find it charming how you can see the path meander out into the distance. Just don’t forget to turn around every so often to take in the view, as it gets more and more expansive the higher you climb. Soon you can see silhouettes of the South Bay and Catalina Island in the distance.

The trail winds on in front of you. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

0.7 miles in on the Getty View Trail, you reach a saddle and are finally able to peer to your right. You’ll see a surprisingly undeveloped valley with Bel Air houses dotting the far ridgeline and San Gabriel Mountain peaks poking out in the distance. Then, just before the one-mile mark, your view of Sepulveda Canyon and the freeway sounds below dissapear behind the mountainside, which is now to your left.

Mountainside homes with the San Gabriel far in the distance. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

Sunlight reflecting off of a Bel Air home. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

The trail now weaves between mountain peaks, alternating between views of the valley to your left and Sepulveda Canyon to your right. Also during this section of your hike, you’ll have a clear sightline toward the Mountain Gate Country Club. Finally, 1.3 miles in, you’ll reach a gate marking your turnaround point.  

Brentwood’s MountainGate Country Club. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

This gate marks your turnaround spot and separates you from the private property ahead. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

From here, you can turn back the way you came to complete your mellow hike with a modest 220 feet of elevation gain. But if you’re craving a little more spice on your way back, head right along the single-track trail to start your journey along the ridgeline.

Views from the ridgeline. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

While I classified the main trail as “easy”, this alternate back fits better in the “challenging” category. It follows the ridgeline and is much steeper than the main trail, adding an extra 200 feet of elevation gain to your hike. It’s also less maintained and overgrown, so good hiking shoes and a map or GPX track are highly recommended. You soon notice though that your efforts are rewarded with much more expansive views. It also conveniently reconnects with the main fire road several times, giving you plenty of opportunities to choose your own path. And no matter what journey you opt for, after about 2.6 miles you’ll be back at the trailhead. 

The city slowly lights up as the sun disappears. Shot on FujiFilm Superia X-TRA 400 film.

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Accommodations near Getty View Trail

Trail Conditions

The main trail is a wide fire road that is well graded and easy to traverse. If you choose to venture on any of the side trails, be aware that they are overgrown, steep, and in some parts eroded away.

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How to Get There

From Downtown Los Angeles, head south on CA-110 and take exit 21 for I-10 W. Continue for 8.5 miles before using the right 2 lakes to merge onto I-405 N. After 3.8 miles, take exit 57B for Moraga Dr. Continue straight on Moraga Dr for 200 feet and immediately turn left onto Bellagio Rd. After 0.3 miles, continue onto Casiano Rd. Stay on Casiano Rd for 0.9 miles until you reach the trailhead at the end of the road.

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Use the ModernHiker mobile app to download this map and complete trail description for offline access.

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