Places to Swim/Bike/Run in LA?

Malibu Creek State Park.
Malibu Creek State Park.

We’re in LA this weekend for a wedding, so I’ve been looking at places to swim and run. That got me a little excited about some of the potential places to run and swim and bike while I’m living there for the next year. And, then I started making big plans. Naturally. (I’m actually not that excited about biking, since it seems like there’s lots of traffic and narrow roads. Any tips on which routes to hit up?) But, I love lake swimming and while Marin is awesome, you can’t swim in most of its lakes. It looks like there’s some decent lakes and lagoons and cool tide pools/swim holes to check out in LA. I’m also scoping out some of the trails at the state parks. I’ll be living sort of between Marina del Rey and Culver City, so the massive Santa Monica Mountains National Rec Area, Malibu Creek State Park, Topanga State Park, Westridge, etc looks like it’ll be a good place to hit up. The only problem is I’m not really sure where to start? Oh, and Justin and Erin don’t realize yet that I’ll just be turning their house into a training base for the Angeles Forest.

This weekend is totally turning it a recon mission. Oh, and also a wedding.

Any suggestions on bike routes I have to try in the next 10 months? Trails to run?

4 thoughts on “Places to Swim/Bike/Run in LA?

  1. Head up the mountains. Our riding grounds are Angeles Crest Hwy, Angeles Forrest Hwy, Upper Big T, Glendora Mountain Road and Mount Baldy. These areas are more towards Pasadena but the mountain roads do get you out of the crazy LA traffic.

  2. I agree with Ron – there are great bike routes on the ‘east side’ and also great running trails around Pasadena. On the west side, the Pacific Coast is excellent – going north from Zuma Beach. Also, tons of loops if you hit some of the canyons (Latigo Canyon is great; also, Mulholland is one of those great rides). Going south from Zuma, you definitely hit more traffic and it can be sketch, but north is great. The Santa Monica Mountains are also great for running.
    Finally, since you are on the west side, Southern CA Aquatics should be close and convenient – their website is
    I’ve found that if you are willing to drive to workout, you’ll have tons of options. It’s not the ideal situation, but you can find some great routes.

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