Best Hiking Trail - 2013
Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park
10200 Larwin Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 91311
On the fringes of Los Angeles County lies the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. Located where the Simi Hills merge with the Santa Susana Mountains, the 680-acre park is a quiet and truly wild-feeling expanse of rolling meadows, deep canyons and rocky outcroppings that look as spaghetti Western as they do SoCal. The park is home to coyotes, hawks, foxes, tarantulas, snakes and more, making it prime for wildlife spotting, and it's dog-friendly, too (as long as Fido's on a leash). The primary path is the old Santa Susana stagecoach road, the main route from L.A. to Santa Barbara and points north in the late 19th century. This trail extends over the pass and into Ventura County, offering panoramic views of both the Simi and San Fernando valleys along the way. A favorite of local outdoor enthusiasts, Santa Susana's hiking is just as good as Griffith Park's or Topanga Canyon's, and the drive to Chatsworth is quicker than you'd think. 10200 block of Larwin Ave., Chatsworth. (818) 784-4849, parks.ca.gov. —Katie Bain