Fryman Canyon - Studio City, CA
For all of you urban hikers, Fryman Canyon offers a moderate, roughly 3 mile loop trail that is a wonderful alternative to the likes of Runyon Canyon or the Franklin Reservoir trails.
This trail is located just off of Laurel Canyon making it an easily accessible destination for both Valley and Hollywood dwellers. The park includes ample parking (you have to pay a $3 fee when you enter, but it's a fair price considering the convenience) and even if it appears to be packed, people are coming and going from the park at a consistent pace so you won't have to wait long. The trailhead entrance is well marked, and is paved for about a 1/4 of a mile until it eventually turns into a dirt trail/fire road.
There are a few offshoot trails as you make your way up, which you can gladly take (they all pretty much back into the main trail) but the most straightforward route is to stay on the Betty B. Dearing trail. It's easy to follow and there is typically a steady flow of foot traffic to help guide your way.
Along the way you will pass by some wonderful vistas of the valley and beyond. If you're on a more leisurely hike, the park also offers a few memorial benches where you can sit and take in the view (about 0.6 miles into your trip).
Around 1.5 miles into your journey you will come to a junction just past the Tree People headquarters. Feel free to explore the Tree People headquarters, or head up the smaller inclined trail on the right just down past the headquarters entrance. Up this way you will find a small exhibit where you can learn about all the different types of rocks that can be found in the Santa Monica Mountains.
If you decide to explore, make sure you find your way back to the Betty B. Dearing trail. At this point, the trail begins it's eastward descent down through Coldwater Canyon Park. The trail is very easy to follow for about 1/2 mile and you will ultimately find yourself at another gate to the park.
When you exit past the gate you will come upon a neighborhood cul-de-sac. Continue your descent through the paved streets and after 1/4 mile, hang a right on Iredell Road. The road will eventually level out and will lead you out to Fryman Road. Make a left and walk another 1/4 mile back to the main parking area to complete your Fryman Canyon Loop hike!
I really enjoy this loop on the weekends - if you're coming from West Hollywood, it can be difficult during the week (depending on the time of day) due to traffic along Laurel Canyon, but it's super easy to get up there on the weekends and it's a little less hectic (and stinky) than Runyon on a typical day. Leashed pups are also allowed!
How To Get There: Fryman Road intersects with Laurel Canyon Boulevard, about 1.3 miles north of Mulholland Boulevard, and 3/4 miles south of Ventura Boulevard. Head west on Fryman Road and hang an instant right into the parking lot where the Betty B. Dearing Trail begins.
Address: 3453 Fryman Road, Studio City, CA 91604