One of the main reasons I love Los Angeles is that you don’t need to venture far away to experience a variety of environments. If you drive an hour north east, you can embark on a trail to a bridge that leads you to nowhere; less than 20 miles north of Downtown LA, you’ll find the beginning of Angeles Crest Highway, which will lead you through a beautiful forest in the San Gabriel Mountains; less than 20 miles west of the downtown area, you can get to Santa Monica Beach.
This list could go on.
Recently, I discovered a place about 30 miles west of Los Angeles, where in the winter, you can indulge in a beautiful landscape of lush, green rolling hills: it’s a hiking trail called Cave of Munits.
Prior to going on this hike with a girl’s group I connected with through Instagram, I had no idea this existed. You don’t hear about caves too often in Los Angeles, so I was excited to see this one. (P.S. If you like to hike and live in the LA area, be sure to check out this group!)
This post won’t detail what the hike was like, mainly because I didn’t make it up into the cave. If I do make it in the future, I’ll update this post.
But what I’m comfortable saying is that the level of difficulty is easy to moderate. It’s relatively flat, though the terrain can be uneven. There’s some incline along the way, with the bulk of it on some somewhat loose dirt right before you get to the entrance of the cave.
On a separate note, something interesting to know is that Cave of Munits was reportedly where a powerful Native American shaman – who was killed after killing the son of a powerful chief – used to live. If you’re interested in more about the history, be sure to check out this article by Modern Hiker.
To get into the cave, there’s some scrambling required, so it is incredibly helpful to have shoes with good traction and maybe even some gloves – things I didn’t have. If I did have that gear, I would have felt more comfortable going all the way up. But if you’re a natural born climber or used to climbing, then this probably won’t be too hard. I saw quite a number of people make it in and out wearing standard sneakers and shoes like Vans and Nikes.
Even if you don’t make it all the way into the cave, it’s great to come out in the winter and do whatever portion of the trail you can. The particular time I went, LA had just gone through a period of consistent rain, which is why it was so green and also probably why the terrain was kind of uneven.
Cave of Munits is not a very long hike – just about 2.6 miles round trip – so you can definitely do it at whatever time of the year. But in the winter, it’s really something else because you’ll be surrounded by an environment that truly doesn’t feel like you’re in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.