Hello Spring: Discover LA’s Scenic Trails & Secret Gardens
The Vernal Equinox is March 20, marking the beginning of Spring. On this special day, the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt towards the sun, which means longer, sunnier days – perfect for getting out and enjoying nature. You don’t have to travel far to experience the great outdoors. LA is home to a wealth of scenic trails and secret gardens that are easily accessible from The Pearl, where you’ll discover everything from rugged woodlands to majestic waterfalls, breathtaking views, and a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Watch for signs with visitor guidelines at all locations.
1418 Descanso Dr.
.La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
It just wouldn’t be spring without cherry blossoms! Descanso Gardens celebrates all nature has to offer this season, with guided walking tours, craft demos, and live music. In addition to Descanso’s iconic cherry blossoms, you’ll find camellias, crabapples, daffodils, tulips, California poppies, and lilacs. The birds of Descanso also mark spring by making their homes in the garden. Check out the flowering tree map, which is updated weekly.
4235 Monterey Road
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Ernest E. Debs Regional Park is 300 acre urban oasis on old ranch land in the Arroyo Seco neighborhood just northeast of downtown L.A. The fourth largest park in Los Angeles, the area is home to walnut-oak woodland, grassland, coastal sage scrub, and over 140 species of birds. A five mile loop meanders through almost every section of this dog-friendly park. Along the way, you’ll discover a pond where you can go fishing.
270 Arlington Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91105
The Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden was created by Kinzuchi Fujii for Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns in 1935. Fujii designed and built Japanese landscapes across Southern California in the first half of the 20th century. This pond-style stroll garden features a fifteen-foot waterfall and a formal teahouse on approximately two acres of land. The garden is considered by many to be a masterwork and it demonstrates the adaptability of Japanese culture in modern America.
275 Arlington Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Another hidden gem is Arlington Garden, Pasadena’s only dedicated free public garden. This three acre community-built mediterranean garden is located in the heart of Pasadena on Caltrans-owned land. The garden includes thousands of California-native plants such as poppies, sunflowers, cactus and succulents, and orchards of orange and olive trees. Arlington Garden is not only friendly to people and pets, but also exists as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year.
1750 N. Altadena Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91107
Eaton Canyon Natural Area is a natural preserve located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. This scenic 198 acre natural area was originally called “El Precipicio” by Spanish settlers because of its steep gorges, and was later named after Judge Benjamin Eaton, a progressive pioneer who was the first to use irrigation from Eaton creek to grow grapes on the slopes. Visitors can explore Eaton Canyon’s expansive hiking and equestrian trails, seasonal streams, and abundant native plants.
707 Tiverton Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden is a living museum that maintains one of the most important living botanical collections in the U.S. Over 3,000 types of plants grow in the garden and a wide range of environments are found within its borders, from the dry desert and Mediterranean sections on the eastern end to the shaded, lush interior. A stream and series of ponds run through the center of the garden, which is home to koi and turtles.
1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Will Rogers was one of the most popular and highest paid actors in Hollywood and “America’s most beloved citizen.” During the 1920s, he bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch. Eventually, Rogers owned about 359 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in what is now Pacific Palisades. After Rogers passed away, his widow Betty donated the ranch to California State Parks in 1944. Casual hikers can enjoy a moderate 2-mile loop to and from Inspiration Point, and more adventurous types can tackle the Backbone National Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains all the way to Point Mugu.
9000 West Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Point Mugu State Park, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, features five miles of ocean shoreline with rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, sand dunes, rugged hills and uplands, two major river canyons and wide grassy valleys dotted with sycamores, oaks and a few native walnuts. In all, there are more than 70 miles of hiking trails. The beach also features swimming, body surfing and surf fishing. The park includes the jagged pinnacles of the Boney Mountains State Wilderness Area.
3500 W Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Need to unwind your mind? Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens was established by the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness as a non-profit center dedicated to peace and spirituality. Called a “Spiritual Oasis in the City,” its purpose is to provide a place for people to take time out of their busy lives to visit, reflect, and be rejuvenated by the peace and solace of nature. The centerpiece of the property is an outdoor stone labyrinth, using the same design as the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth. The spectacular Asian-themed meditation garden presents sixteen water features, a koi pond, and intimate seating areas tucked away to reflect, repose, meditate, while a pergola and courtyard gardens offer additional areas to enjoy.
Photo #1: Descanso Gardens
Photo #2: Descanso Gardens
Photo #3: Earnest E. Debs Regional Park
Photo #4: Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden
Photo #5: Arlington Garden
Photo #6: Visit Pasadena
Photo #7: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden
Photo #8: Will Rogers State Historic Park
Photo #9: California Dept. of Parks & Recreation
Photo #10: Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens