Los Angeles is not normally associated with biking. When I tell people I live in LA, the questions I’m asked are usually, “Is traffic really as bad as people say it is?” or “Do you see a lot of celebrities?” I have definitely never been asked, (and, frankly, would be surprised if I was) “How’s the cycling there?” Admittedly, even I get nervous when I see a brave cyclist trying to fit in with the flow of traffic on Sunset in the middle of rush hour, even though I’ve done it a few times myself. That said, LA has more than its fair share of beautiful rides. The best places to bike in Los Angeles avoid the busy roads. Check out these scenic rides next time you’re looking to explore the city.
Lake Hollywood Park and Mount Lee: While most people will tell you the only way to get above the Hollywood Sign is to hike up the 1700 foot peak, I recommend biking. Even if you opt for a traditional bike in place of one of our electric bikes, the struggle up the mountain is well worth it when you get to cruise past hikers going back down Mt Lee Drive. You can park your car at Lake Hollywood Park and enjoy the view of the Hollywood Reservoir before working your way toward Ledgewood. Head down the hill and veer left onto Rockcliff. Take a left on Deronda and soon you’ll be at a gate. You’ll see people walking through an archway to the left. Pick up your bikes and walk them up the steps. Now you’re on Mt Lee Drive. Follow the road to the top of the sign. Even on the smoggiest of days you’ll get views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Valley, Century City, Downtown, and the Griffith Observatory. For bonus points, lock up your bikes and hike up to Cahuenga Peak for a slightly higher vantage point.
Griffith Park: While bikes are not allowed in parts of Griffith Park, there is a great bike trail that’s great for a nice relaxed ride away from the LA traffic. There are a few different ways to access the paths, but I’d go for the Los Feliz entrance by the southwest end of the park. This is a tough ride, but you get the most comprehensive experience of the park. You can ride past the Observatory or stop in. I love looking the Coelostat telescope because you are literally looking at a real-time view of the sun. You should also check out the view of downtown if you decided to stop in. Then head up Mount Hollywood trail and eventually you’ll end up at some beautiful Valley views with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
Long Beach Bike Path: While this might not technically be in LA, I still consider this one of the best places to bike in Los Angeles. If you’re willing and wanting to get out of the city, head down to Long Beach. The scenery is as good as the Venice Beach boardwalk, and it’s a lot less crowded. There are plenty of great restaurants just off the route, so if you get hungry or want to stop for a drink, pop into the city from the path. The path ends at Bayshore Park. Lock up the bikes and play some handball or rent a kayak to wrap up your ride!
Mulholland Highway: This ride is definitely for those who feel a little more comfortable cycling. This historic, winding highway offers a challenging but always interesting ride. There is an incredibly fun section of road called The Snake that is popular among motorcyclists and drivers of classic cars. I wouldn’t recommend doing this on a weekend as it is packed with wannabe stunt drivers trying to take the corners at top speed. Weekdays are much slower on this road and therefore much more relaxing. Start of at the PCH and go east for some beautiful beach views and the fun hills in Malibu Springs.
Escondido Falls: As long as you are comfortable sharing the trails with hikers, this unique spot is a must-do. It’s not a very long ride once you are on the trail, but the payoff is unbelievable when you think how close to the city it is. If you’re feeling really adventurous, find a place to lock your bikes and climb down the falls. Be careful! It does get slippery. You can opt to climb down to the first peak and relax at the first tier, or continue down to the bottom so you can look up at the 200 foot falls.
So that’s our list of the best places to bike in Los Angeles! Let us know what your favorite places are!