The hike through Los Liones Canyon to Parker Mesa Overlook is no secret to outdoors enthusiasts in Los Angeles. On weekends, the trailhead parking lots at the top of Los Liones Drive in Pacific Palisades fill quickly. But don't let the crowds deter you — they're there for a reason. The views along the trail are some of the best in Los Angeles. As you undertake the moderately steep, 3.5-mile hike to the overlook at Parker Mesa, you'll pass through lush patches of wildflowers and ivy. There are rest stops along the way, and you're rewarded at the top with a stunning, panoramic view of the entire Santa Monica coastline. In one sweep, hikers can see Catalina Island, Palos Verdes and the downtown skyline. Casual hikers should allow about 3½ to four hours to complete the 7-mile round trip. Bring plenty of water and a camera. —Chris Walker
580 Los Liones Drive, Pacific Palisades, 90272. Trailhead coordinates: 34.047263, -118.560098 (34° 02' 50.14″N 118° 33' 36.35″W).