Forget the Hollywood sign. If you're looking for a scenic hike in Los Angeles, there are plenty of other spots besides Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills. So make like a local, and head to one of the lesser known trails to find fewer yogis and better views.
Now here's one that's a bit of a drive to get to: It's about an hour drive from Santa Monica, but it's worth it. Tucked back in Malibu wine country, Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains.
A 6-mile round-trip hike brings you to a cliff that overlooks the ocean and gives you a great view of the San Gabriel Mountains. Just make sure you're cool with being off-the-grid — cell service is spotty for most of the hike.
Another great hike in Malibu is the Grotto hike. It's pretty close to Sandstone Peak, just around the corner at Circle X Ranch. The hike is 2.7 miles out and back, but the fun lies in the ecosystem of the hike and the water-filled grotto that awaits you at the end of the trail.
And if you're not trying to mess around with your hiking prowess, plan ahead, obtain the proper permits and hike to the Bridge to Nowhere.
It's a 10-mile round trip hike to a bridge that was abandoned in 1938 after a flood washed out the road surrounding it. Make sure to bring hiking and water gear. Not only will you have to hike through some streams, but you also may want to take a dip in the river.
But if you really are just dying to take a selfie with the Hollywood sign, swing by after hiking to the Wisdom Tree. The trailhead is at the same spot as the Hollywood sign trail in Beachwood Canyon, but this takes you to an interesting tree that overlooks the city.
A cool ammo box filled with notebooks and business cards is a sort of historian there. People fill the pages with stories of their time in LA.
From that point, you can hike along the ridge to the Hollywood sign. Just don't climb the chain link fence, or you'll have the LAPD on you like Justin Timberlake in "Friends with Benefits."