What’s so great about hikes anyway? I have hiked up two trails in my life and I was always left with a sunburn, mosquito bites, and a dirty pair of sneakers. I never understood the appeal of hikes. Yeah sure, there’s nature, but there is already nature all around us. I could just take a walk around my neighborhood and admire the flowers being grown on people’s front lawns. I don’t see the appeal in hiking, but why do so many people love going on hikes?
View from Los Leones Trail -
Image retrieved from trails.lacounty.gov
While I may not be able to understand the appeal, there are many people in my life that do. My friends and family have tried convincing me that hiking is an enjoyable form of exercise. They always preach to me to just “try it out”. I admit that the last hike I went on was about six years ago, but it was an unforgettable experience, and not in a good way. I had made the bad decision of wearing my favorite white sneakers. You could probably guess that they were no longer white after the hike was over. By the time I would make it to the end of the hiking trail I was exhausted and sunburned from the powerful Los Angeles sun. Even though I was exhausted, it was not over. I still had to go all the way back down the trail. I did not have a fun time.
Hollywood sign - Image retrieved from commons.wikimedia.org
Though I never liked going on hikes in the past, I was willing to give the hiking experience another try. I asked my cousin and her fiance, who has been hiking every weekend for years, where their favorite hiking spots were around Los Angeles. They recommended I try out the Los Leones Trail in Santa Monica. I do love the beach, so I thought hiking while having a view of the ocean sounded appealing. They also recommended to me the classic hike up to the Hollywood sign. Even though I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life, I have never hiked up to the Hollywood sign. I got some good hiking trail recommendations, but I still felt like I was too out of shape and inexperienced for these trails.
View from The Henry Cook Lookout Point - Image taken by Christi Zargaryan
I settled on trying out the Overlook Trail in Burbank that leads to The Henry Cook Lookout Point. I live fairly close by so it was convenient and it is a fairly short, easy hike. Since I was really trying to give hiking a chance, I made sure to wear my old sneakers that I did not mind getting dirty and a bunch of sunscreen to protect myself from the Los Angeles rays. I was ready to take a hike.
During my hike, I was pleasantly surprised as to how fun it was. This hiking trail in particular did not have much nature to look at and admire along the way. It was mostly just a dirt path, but the end of the trail was what made the journey worth it. For just a short hike up a dirt path, I was able to see all of Burbank. I had lived in Burbank my whole life, but I had never seen it like this before. It looked like a totally different place from that lookout point.
Just because you did not like doing something the first time, it does not mean you should not give it another try. My original pessimistic view on hiking changed once I got to the top of that dirt path and saw the amazing view. Not only did I see a new view of Burbank, but I also gained a more positive view of hiking. I understand how rewarding it is to reach the end of a trail. My trail was not quite as long as many other hiking trails, but I could imagine the harder the trail the more satisfaction gained from reaching the end. I look forward to taking many more hikes in the future.
Temescal Canyon Trail - Image retrieved from trails.lacounty.gov
Solstice Canyon Trail - Image retrieved from trails.lacounty.gov