Brad mentioned that he loves hiking, but he hates how hot it can be when there's no shade on a hike. I googled "shady Los Angeles hiking" and found the Solstice Canyon hike in Malibu. On Thanksgiving weekend, Brad and I drove out to Malibu to hike to the waterfalls and see the ruins of once-beautiful mansions in the Malibu mountains. The hike took about 1.5 hours (we were walking slowly).
Solstice Canyon Park is on Corral Canyon Road just off PCH. There are two parking lots. One is very small at the base of the road, and the second larger lot is .2 miles in. Parking is free. Dogs are allowed, but I believe that bikes are not. The hike itself is absolutely gorgeous, semi-shady, and the perfect length for a hiking rookie like myself. It's an easy hike (Brad did it in flip flops), and we saw many people, dogs and families along the way.
the fork in the trail
On the way to the falls, you will encounter a fork in the trail. The left fork goes up and the right one goes down. They meet up, but if you take the lower path, you have to cross a stream two times.
Of all the hikes I've been on in L.A., this is one of my favorites.
ruins from fire