get a workout and a great view at Turnbull Canyon

Turnbull Canyon in Whittier offers an escape from the city and provides a great workout.


The smell of fresh spray paint awaits hikers at the top of the trail, where many have left their mark on the water tower. | Amy Seed/THE CHIMES

Amy Seed, Writer

I took a little break from cafes and food places this week to do something a little more outdoorsy in honor of spring and the beautiful weather. I hiked Turnbull Canyon in Whittier.

The hike took me about two hours to complete, but I am easily distracted by wildlife and pretty views. If you go just to hike, it shouldn’t take nearly as long. The trail is 1.3 miles each way.

I had my camera, so I ended up wanting to take pictures of everything. How long the hike takes also depends how much time you want to spend at the top.

If you read my blog about hiking to the Hollywood Sign, that hike is nothing compared to this one.

Stay hydrated and keep on the trail

My suggestion is to go with a group of friends so you can keep each other motivated. Make sure to bring plenty of water. I didn’t, and I didn’t feel too well later. The hike is a little strenuous because of some steep hills. Learn from my mistake and keep hydrated! Sections of the trail get pretty warm, but there are patches of shade to rest under if you need a break.

Near the end of the trail, there are three consecutive hills to climb. My boyfriend had to push me up the last one because I was exhausted by that point. But the final climb was worth it.

The hike takes you to a water tower covered in graffiti. At the top, you’ll also discover an amazing view. On a clear day, you can see downtown L.A. Turnbull Canyon stretches from Whittier to Hacienda Heights and is managed by the Puente Hills Landfill Native Habitat Preservation Authority.

There is so much to see on this hike, so if you’re going for the first time, I recommended allotting a few hours so you can fully enjoy it. The most popular critters you’ll run into on the trail are rabbits, lizards and some of those black, fuzzy caterpillars. I also saw a lot of beetles, so watch out for those.

Be careful not to wander off the trail into any of the drop-offs. Poison oak is common, so make sure you know what it looks like before you hike.

Busy trail with friendly hikers

The trail is popular for bicyclists and runners. There are a lot of steep hills to race down, so be sure to pay attention as you hike. You don’t want your afternoon spoiled because you got plowed into by a bicycle. It is a pretty popular trail for hikers as well, and you’ll pass many families and people walking their dogs.

Unlike the Hollywood Sign hike, the hikers were friendly. My boyfriend and I had a woman offer to take our picture while we were resting in the shade, and I lost count of how many others said hello to us as they passed by.

I highly recommend this hike. It’s not too difficult, but it is a great workout. It is a perfect addition to your spring break plans if you’re looking for something fun to do outside that doesn’t involve going to the beach.

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