Here’s an afternoon of fun with some great views of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond.
The Nike Hill Trail is right behind the Rio Hondo Police Academy, which is in So. El Monte, about 30 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles. This is a trail that you would take more for the destination than for the journey. A lot of it is just an asphalt road that goes up the hill. However, at the end of the road you’ll get both a fantastic view and great photo opportunities.
The walk up is hard. If you read about it on other websites it’ll say that it’s a 45 minute one-way trip, but it took me an hour. Granted, I’m not in the best of shapes. Still, on the way down it took me 55 minutes. So, let’s say that it will take you anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour each way, depending on how much abuse your legs can take.
Set your GPS to go to the Rio Hondo Police Academy. Right before the actual Academy, on the intersection of North Drive and Workman Mill Rd., there’s a parking area intended for this hike. (There’s a parking lot closer to the Academy, further up North Drive with signs that mean to keep you out. However, on the weekends people park there without a problem. Do this at your own risk, however. I don’t want to pay for anybody’s parking tickets.)
It feels weird, but you’ll have to walk through the Academy.
Soon enough you’ll see a sign for Nick Hill…
Follow the path until you see a yellow gate that tells you to stay out… Ignore it and keep on going… 🙂
On your way up, you’ll have encouraging views of the San Gabriel Valley, as well as discouraging views of the Rose Hills cemetery. Every so often, you’ll see signs for a dirt hiking trail. I recommend that you take those. It’ll feel more like a real hike.
One hour later, you’ll arrive to a small park with picnic tables and a swing. Meaning that, if you’re out of your mind, you may want to haul some lunch and eat it up there. This is me on the swing… On a clear day you can see downtown LA and the Hollywood sign from up here.
As it is often the case, the doing is painful, but once it’s all done, you’ll feel like a warrior. The view from up above is so cute that it deserved a TikTok…