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Los Angeles has a reputation for endless urban sprawl, but in fact it’s quite easy to find scenic hikes within the metro area. The Santa Monica Mountains reach almost to downtown, cleaving the city in two and sheltering the mansions of local multimillionaires. The range also contains several beautiful parks open to the public, the largest of which is Griffith Park, home to the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens and numerous hiking trails. On this visit, we opted to explore four smaller parks, two near Hollywood and Beverly Hills and two outside Malibu. The latter were damaged in last year’s Woolsey Fire, and I was curious to see how they were recovering.