Los Angeles County has just launched a wonderful new website with tons of information for anyone who looking to explore the county's trails on bike, foot, or horseback. The site promises oft-updated information on trail conditions, weather, and air quality, plus interactive and downloadable maps with directions and elevation info for each path listed—a total of 367 miles of GPS-mapped trails throughout LA County (and that's just for starters). A mobile site is expected by the end of December and an app is slated to be ready sometime in 2015. Meanwhile, we've dug through all these resources and pulled out four hikes that would be perfect for the (theoretically) cooler autumn hiking season, as well as for sneaking a peek at some fall foliage.
↑ Flint Wash Trail: According to the county guide, this trail is shaded by oak and sycamore trees, so there are going to be plenty of leaves underfoot for that crunchy-leaf, fall experience. While the trail does not offer a strenuous wilderness hike (it's surrounded by the "urban" part of La Cañada-Flintridge), it is shady and tree-lined. Also, horses are allowed—that's rustic!
↑ Van Tassel Trail: This trail, which begins north of Duarte and Azusa, would really suck in the summer because it doesn't have a ton of shade, but now that fall is here, hikers don't have to worry as much about the sun beating down on them all day. The Van Tassel trail travels along the Van Tassel Motorway (a fire road), so it's nice and wide for the most part. Following the county's guide, the trail is 2.74 miles long but gains about 1,700 feet.
↑ Los Pinetos: Be sure to stretch before this 7.63-mile hike, which comes with an elevation gain of nearly 1,700 feet. Starting in the foothills of Sylmar, the trail traverses "shady oak forests" sure to offer up a dose of fall color and affords plenty of expansive views. There're also oak-covered picnic grounds on the trail, so hikers can take a break to consume pumpkin-spice-flavored snacks and apple cider. This trail also hooks up to a trail to the Los Pinetos waterfall, which probably won't have any water in it at this point, but could eventually.
↑ Gould Canyon: This 2.5-mile trail is another "urban oasis" that winds through developed areas but in its own little forested pocket. Oddly, there are no dogs allowed, but horses are ok. (The trail passes by the local Riding Club, so there's a fairly good likelihood that a horse will actually pass you.)
· LA County Trails [Official Site]
· 8 Los Angeles Hikes With Spectacular Endings [Curbed LA]
· Hiking [Curbed LA]