Southern California is home to some truly beautiful scenery and, as a result, Los Angeles bike rides will not disappoint avid cyclists at all levels. From challenging mountain bike trails to easy terrain, everyone can find an enjoyable trail right in the Los Angeles area.
Bike riding has a litany of physical benefits, from boosting your cardiovascular health to building muscle to improving metabolism. Plus, getting sunshine and physical exercise in on a regular basis can do wonders for your mental health. If you live in the Los Angeles area, there’s no reason not to take advantage of its gorgeous scenery by hitting the trails as much as you can.
If you’re ready to ride, we’ve compiled a list below of recommendations to get you started. Here, you’ll find some of the most beloved Los Angeles bike rides. We’ve included both easy rides for beginners and more challenging options for those looking for more strenuous physical activity.
A long-time favorite of LA cyclists, the Backbone Trail runs through the Santa Monica Mountains and gives you a great view of the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood.
About 30 minutes outside of downtown Los Angeles, this singletrack trail runs about 14 miles and has a few tight turns and a bit of rough terrain. It’s great for intermediate to advanced riders looking for a light challenge.
One reason this trail is so popular is that it's a favorite of movie buffs – it runs through the set of the 1970 M.A*S*H film. There are plenty of props still standing, making it a great place to get some fun pictures.
Ballona Creek Bike Path
Beach lovers will enjoy this bicycle path, which runs over 7 miles from Culver City to Playa Del Ray. The path is full of drinking fountains and adjacent parks, so you can stop and take plenty of rests along the way if needed.
Once you get to the end of the trail, you can enjoy a quick swim in the ocean to recharge.
The path is a little bumpy in places, but if you enter at Duquesne Avenue in Culver City it’s mostly smooth and great for riders of all levels. While there is a slight headwind when you're going west, most bikers barely notice.
Devils Canyon Dam Truck Trail
A lesser known trail, this 7.5-mile bike path is found in the San Gabriel Mountains. This route runs parallel to a small creek – audible the whole time, even when not visible – that feeds upstream into the Cogswell Dam.
The scenic road along the way is lined with picnic tables, giving riders plenty of chances to pull over for a break.
As far as intensity goes, this trail is pretty mild. It does run up a gentle slope, but it’s a low-intensity, relaxing ride that even beginners can enjoy.
Found along the Los Angeles River, this 7.4-mile path is a highly scenic route. Riders have reported seeing waterbirds and flora, plus you pass by several parks along the way.
So, if you want to take a break on your ride, there’s ample opportunity to do so.
The only downside is that some bikers report air pollution and noise distracts from the natural beauty, but it’s a good beginners route if you’re looking for a less strenuous ride.
Arroyo Seco Bike Path
Fans of ambient noise will love the Arroyo Seco Bike Path as it runs adjacent to a stream, meaning you can enjoy the peaceful sound of running water the entire way.
It also has diversity in terms of view, offering a healthy mix of urban and natural scenery.
This is not a strenuous bike trail, which is one reason it’s so popular for beginner bikers. Running from southern Pasadena to northeast LA, this entire ride is only two miles. It’s a great choice for an afternoon activity that won’t eat up the entire day.
Portuguese Bend Reserve Loop
Ready for a challenge? This trail is your dream. Found in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, this is a great trail for mountain bikers hunting for an intense workout.
Singletrack descents are steep and cover about half the trail. It also comes with plenty of other challenges like tight turns and rough terrain.
In addition to being physically strenuous, the Portuguese Bend Reserve Loop offers amazing views of the ocean to enjoy along the way, making the extra exertion well worth it.
It’s hard to mention any type of outdoor Los Angeles activities without mentioning Griffith Park, one of the most beloved LA attractions – for good reasons! The best thing about Griffith Park is that it offers trails for riders of all levels.
For a strenuous climb, try riding up Griffith Park Drive. For an easier workout, cruise along Crystal Springs Drive or Zoo Drive. Whatever route you take, the views at Griffith Park are nothing short of stunning.
Ready to get riding? Story Bikes can take you all over the best Los Angeles bike rides. Our step-through bikes, road bikes, and commuter bikes combine classic design with modern technology to give you a smooth, safe ride every time. Plus, for every bike we sell, we send a bike to a student in Zimbabwe.
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