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The Best Southern California Walks and Hikes for Fall Foliage

The Best Southern California Walks and Hikes for Fall Foliage


Now that autumn is in full swing, the leaves are changing into show-stopping colors. Now is a great time to get outside and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season.

While SoCal might not get as much press as New England when it comes to fall foliage, this area is home to some beautiful walks, drives, and autumn adventures. So, grab your favorite fall beverage (it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season, after all!) and head out for a relaxing afternoon spent soaking up the glorious autumn beauty!

  • Stroll Through the Huntington-Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Garden 

Located near Pasadena in San Marino, twelve miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, The Huntington’s Botanical Garden is open for autumn floral and foliage viewing. The garden features 16 themed gardens and 15,000 varieties of plants, meaning there is always something in bloom and you’ll see color everywhere you look! Parking is free, but you will need to reserve tickets online in advance, whether you are a member of the gardens or not.

  • De-Stress at Descanso Gardens
    Descanso Gardens is an urban retreat that encompasses 150 acres consisting of world-renowned botanical collections, woodlands, and chaparral. Wander through the rose garden, a favorite area that is devoted to America’s most popular flower. Or, take some time for meditation at the Japanese garden. Here you’ll find a koi-filled stream, plants native to Asia, and North America’s largest camellia collection. You can also explore the Oak Forest, which is home to century-old trees, as well as the Ancient Forest. There’s even an edible garden, Nature’s Table, that contains fruit trees and seasonal vegetables for the foodies in your family.

  • Take it All in on the San Bernardino Town Trail

When you’re ready for a hike a little further out of Long Beach, head to Town Trail, near Big Bear Lake (about 2 hours away). This is a 2.3-mile trail that is easy and enjoyable where you can see endless trees and flowers. It’s great for hiking, running, mountain biking, camping, nature trips, and is dog friendly. The trail offers fantastic views of fall foliage and even a chance to see some wildlife. Because the trail is moderately trafficked, be sure to bring your mask and practice social distancing.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. The beauty of the changing seasons makes is the perfect excuse to get out of the house and into nature. Breathe some fresh fall air and enjoy all that the season has to offer!

P.S. Due to our rapidly changing world, always check these area’s websites before leaving for your outings to stay up to date on COVID closures or other safety information.

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