This post is presented in partnership with Rockport. Click here to enter Rockport’s “Joy Is” sweepstakes and you could win, among other prizes, a $500 shopping spree on Rockport.com plus a second $500 Rockport voucher to gift to a friend.
If you’ve been following this blog for the past two or so years, you may know that I often have a pair or Rockport’s in my suitcase. Why? Becasue instead of having to choose between style and comfort when I travel, Rockport lets me have both (which, trust me, comes in handy while walking all day long around a European city or while maneuvering through the varied terrain of the American West).
Most recently, I wore a pair of Rockports (specifically my Kingstin Waterproof Mid Boots) while doing one of the things that brings me joy during the holiday season: hiking in Los Angeles.
I know, I know — when you think about holiday season joy you likely think of drinking hot chocolate by crackling fire in a snow-covered cabin. While you can find that kind of joy in Southern California’s higher elevation mountains, it’s the smaller, closer-to-home wintertime pleasures that bring more consistent joy into my SoCal life.
So while exploring the hills in and around Los Angeles is something I do year round, I especially love hiking in winter when temperatures are cooler, the sky is clearer, and the air seems fresher. But really, the main reason I love hiking in Los Angeles during the winter months is simply because I can!
You see, I grew up in the northeastern region of the United States where winters are cold and snowy, and the fact that my outdoor activity options in December are no longer limited to shoving the driveway and skiing brings me immense joy — not to mention makes me grateful every time I step out my front door.
And while you might think that over time you’d get use to the luxury of pleasant wintertime weather, I’ve lived in Los Angeles for seven years and it still hasn’t got old (and I don’t think it ever will).
(Hiking at Runyon Canyon Park, located in the Hollywood hills and right in the middle of the city // That’s the Hollywood sign on the mountain behind me to the left)
(Wearing my Kingstin Waterproof Mid Boots. Like all Rockport shoes, they’re wildly comfortable right out of the box — meaning no need to break them in. These feature increased cushioning at the heel making hiking in them feel more like hiking in a favorite sneaker. Plus, they’ve got style — meaning they fit right in here in Los Angeles)
(Nothing beats watching the sunset over the Hollywood Hills // That little skyline peaking out at the left is the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles // On the horizon is the Pacific Ocean, which, while it can’t clearly be seen in this photo, in person could be seen so crystal clear that you could vividly see Catalina Island and the Channel Islands islands 30 miles off the cost)
Another reason hiking in December brings me so much joy is that it helps me stay active and fit during a season famous for its over-eating, over-drinking, and overall lounging about. Or at least getting moving and doing something good for my body helps me feel better about, and more justified in, indulging in the vices of the season.
It’s especially easy to strike a balance (eat cookies, drink egg nog, hike, and repeat) when great hiking trails are so accessible in and around Los Angeles. And while I have several favorite hikes 30 to 45 minutes from my front door, during the holidays when schedules become hectic, convenience becomes key. So when looking for a hike that’s close to home but also provides amazing views and a good workout, I head o Runyon Canyon Park (simply “Runyon” to locals). Hiking here is a great introduction to hiking in LA, and what it lacks in seclusion (it’s a popular destination thanks to its central location) it makes up for in amazing photo opps for Instagram.
Pro Tip: These photos were taken in the northern part of the park near its northern entrance along Mulholland Drive (I like to park and start by hikes here as this part of the park as is slightly less visited and features the highest elevation — meaning you’ll get amazing views of the San Fernando Valley and the Hollywood hills, as well as the city of Los Angeles).
As if I couldn’t fall any more in love with Decembers in Los Angeles and the outdoor opportunities they allow me, this was the view as I left the park. So with an iconic scene like this, all that’s left to say is…
Happy Holiday From Southern California!