Fancy a Night Hike?
August 15, 2018
If you’re a current resident of, or find yourself in the process of looking for Los Angeles luxury homes, then the concept of taking a night hike might not be an activity at the forefront of your mind. You might even be questioning the idea — why hike at night? Though it may seem a completely ludicrous idea on its face, the experience of the night hike is one that’s actually quite enjoyable when you do it right:
“There are actually things you might never see unless you hike at night. More important, there are all sorts of things to hear and smell and even feel on a hike in the dark...When you go hiking after the sun goes down, you force your other senses — especially hearing and smell — into high gear when your eyes can no longer deliver the same amount of sensory information to your brain.”
So, in a way, when you’re hiking at night, you’re hacking your brain into a new level of awareness and transforming the experience into something you wouldn’t be able to enjoy during the daytime. Sound like fun? Lucky for you, there are plenty of opportunities to try it out for yourself right in the Los Angeles area. Here’s what you’ll need to know in order to jump into this riveting new pastime.
What is Night Hiking? How can I Do It Right?
We already touched upon why night hiking is enjoyable, but there’s more information you’ll need before we dive into some of the places you’ll want to check out. First and foremost, you’ll need to learn all the safety rules in order to make your night hiking adventures a success. You can learn a great deal from checking out various tip guides on the topic, and multiple outdoor-focused outlets, like Rei, Backpacker, GoreTex, and ThoughtCo have some advice you’ll find useful. By-and-large, though, the most important advice boils down to this:
Trying to tackle trails you aren’t familiar with is a mistake. You should always get acquainted with the trails you want to night hike during the daytime first. You’ll get the lay of the land, feel more comfortable navigating, and reduce your risk of tripping and falling on obstacles that would normally be unavoidable.
You should pick locations that lend themselves to easy night hiking. Such locations include those that are relatively flat, have plenty of open areas with reflective surfaces, and don’t take you near hazards like rivers, cliffs, jagged rocks, and the like.
You’ll need the right gear. Chief among your gear should be adequate lighting. A headlamp often works best, as it will allow you to keep your hands free, and getting a light with a “red light” option will help preserve your night vision in the dark. To be on the safe side, you’ll probably want to bring a lighter and some tinder. If your battery-powered light sources fail, you’ll still have your backup option to help guide your way.
Stick to the trail. This serves the dual purpose of preventing you from damaging the environment and preventing the environment from damaging you. You’re less likely to get lost, injured, or worse when you stick to designated trails, so stay mindful of your location and watch where you’re going so you don’t wander astray.
Be mindful of wildlife. There are more than a few nocturnal animals on the prowl during the wee hours. Don’t disrupt them, don’t agitate them, and don’t go out of your way to interact with them. You want to let nature “do its thing,” so that nature will return the kindness.
Go with a group. There’s safety in numbers, and this applies doubly at night. Always get some friends together for your night hikes, so that you can pool your gear, know-how, and skills in case of an emergency. Having a group also reduces the potential threats from nighttime animals and ensures you have some help watching your back if anything goes wrong.
In addition to going with a group, be sure to tell a friend who won’t be going along for the journey about your plans. In the unlikely event that you go missing, you’ll want someone to let others know you’re gone and organize a search.
Where to Night Hike in the Los Angeles Area
The number of spots for a good hike in and around LA is high. Six particular options, however, have already been narrowed down by TimeOut:
Griffith Park. This is the sight of the Mount Lee Trail and the iconic Hollywood sign. The views are arguably more spectacular during the nighttime. You’ll gain the added benefit of a productive workout along with a pretty city to look at, so round up some buddies or reach out to the Sierra Club to organize an after-dark jaunt.
Echo Mountain. As you could probably glean from the name, this is a mountainous area with more than enough inclines to ascend, city views to experience, and night-prowling animals to listen to along the way.
Los Leones Canyon. If you’re the kind of person who prefers a “near the sea” adventure without being dangerously close to the open water, you’ll definitely want to check out Los Leones Canyon when the sun goes down.
George F. Canyon. A similar canyon hike, the George F. Canyon is a great place to embark upon a family-friendly tour with a loads of nighttime animals in the area.
Coldwater Canyon Park. You can find scheduled and guided night hikes at Coldwater Canyon Park, complete with acres and acres of revitalized natural flora to gawk at.
The Wisdom Tree. The name says it all here. A single remaining pine tree atop Cahuenga Peak lends itself to spiritually-minded individuals, all while offering up truly stunning views of the valley.
These Lose Angeles Luxury Homes Will Be the Perfect Launchpad for Your New Hobby
Whether you want to stay close to the boundaries of the city or feel comfortable venturing beyond, downtown locations like Eighth & Grand will give you the access you need to all the great hiking spots in the area. Once you’re done with your nocturnal adventures, you can return to the comfort of your “grand” living space and relax, courtesy of the building’s modern amenities and conveniences. Be sure to give this fabulous apartment community a closer look, and make it your top choice for unparalleled luxury right in the heart of DTLA.