Runyon Canyon: Hiking trails and scenic views of Hollywood and LA
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Runyon Canyon is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular hiking destinations in Los Angeles. It was the first hike I've ever done in LA, long before I even moved to California.
Breathtaking views, a good workout, people-watching, and pet-friendly. Do I need to say more? Well, these are just some of the reasons to visit Runyon Canyon Park. I will drill down on each of these and give you more details so that you can make the best of your time in sunny Southern California.
1- Outdoor workout
This may sound cliche, but Runyon Canyon Park does have something for everyone when it comes to hiking trails. The park has a few different entrances (location details for the 2 main ones below), and many, many hiking options, for all levels and ages. So, if you're looking for an easy-breezy stroll, a challenging run, or a long hike, you will find it all here. Btw, the trails are mainly fire roads and relatively easy to follow.
Californians are all about enjoying life outdoors, and Runyon Canyon is one of those places where you can be close to nature, put in a workout, enjoy some scenic views, and still be in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.
- South entrance: located at the north end of Fuller Avenue in Hollywood. - North entrance: off the 7300 block of Mulholland Drive.
Ps.: AllTrails is my go to app to find hiking trails e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!
2- People and Celebrity Watching
Runyon Canyon's versatility attracts lots of people, which means you'll rarely hike alone. Keep in mind that this is a highly trafficked park, so if you're looking for solitude this is not the place for it.
On the other hand, we're in Hollywood, and you know that people-watching is the norm around here. Who knows, you might even spot a celebrity or two sharing the trail with you. This really does happen quite often, due to the park's close proximity to Hollywood Hills, where several A-list celebrities live.
3- Breathtaking views
Hiking Runyon Canyon means getting unobstructed views of the Los Angeles skyline, different angles of Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, and even a closer look at multimillion-dollar houses of the rich and famous. On a not-so-often clear day (when there's no marine layer), you might be able to see all the way to the pacific ocean. Exercising with iconic views like this is for sure the extra motivation to get out and enjoy the day while taking care of your body & mind.
If you think about it, people from all over the world dream of visiting the City of Angels and Runyon Canyon is, to me, one of those places where I stop and realize: "Wow I am really here!".
Note: You'll have several photo-ops and overlooks to stop along the way and take in the beautiful scenery.
4- Pet friendly
Dogs make everything better, and at Runyon Canyon they are allowed off-leash in most of the trails, and don't worry: signs are posted everywhere telling you which areas are on-leash and which areas are off-leash.
Important tips & things to know about Runyon Canyon:
- No bathrooms! Yup, unfortunately, there are no bathrooms at Runyon Canyon Park, therefore, plan accordingly. If you really need to go, the Ralph's (grocery store) down the road is likely the closest option - you still need to drive there though.
- Bring water: it can get very hot in this area, so make sure to bring a bottle of water and stay hydrated.
- There’s no parking lot for Runyon Canyon, so finding street parking isn't always easy, since the only option is trying to find parking around the neighborhood. Also, be sure to pay attention and follow parking restriction signs, to avoid tickets or getting towed.
- Park Website where you can download maps: https://www.laparks.org/runyon/
- More resources: Read my post on how to spend 72 hours in LA (click here) or find other incredible hiking trails at Discover Los Angeles.
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