If you live in Los Angeles, chances are you must have already been to this place like a zillion times, but this was out first time here. There was a chance of rain but we still went ahead and enjoyed the cool drizzle while hiking. There are soo many stunning views that you will be stopping to either get a click or to soak it all in.
Here we go…..
Runyon Canyon is located in the heart of Hollywood, less than 30 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles. It is by far, LA’s most popular dog friendly, workout/hiking spot.
There are 3 popular entrances.
Two on the south end of the park from Fuller and Vista Street and one from Mulholland Drive which is the north end. Use one of the following addresses to get here:
2001 N. Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046 (South End)
7317 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (North End)
HOURS OF OPERATION:
No matter which entrance you chose, parking is really challenging, especially on a weekend. For the south end, you only have the option to do street parking. At the Mulholland entrance, there is a small parking lot. Unfortunately it is usually full so try to find a street parking to save time. Make sure to read the street signs to avoid ticket.
There are three main Hiking Trails. The easiest one is the main paved trail with a gentle slope. The next one is the Steps Trail and the most challenging one is usually called the Spine Trail. The length varies from 2.5- 3.4 miles, depending on the trail you choose.
Since it was our first time and we were not sure how easily the kids will get tired, so we chose the main paved trail for our hike. It is considered easy to moderate trail depending on fast you hike.
We got here around 1 in the afternoon and it took us good 10 minutes to find a parking spot. The parking lot was full so we ended up doing street parking around the Mulholland Entrance. The hike was busy from the start. Since it was cloudy and a wee bit chilly, we wore jackets initially.
We kept water bottles with us but unlike other hikes it was pleasant to see water fountains around. The water fountains were neat with four-way water access. One side high for adults, a low access for kids, one down for dogs and a space specifically designed for filling water bottles. How cool is that.
We went all the way down to the fuller entrance and as we were making our way back up, it started to drizzle. Unfortunately, we first did the downhill and then the uphill so it was a bit challenging for the kids. But I wont say it was super bad. And the drizzle made our hike super fun. The slope is gentle except for a short stretch where you will need some muscle power.
There are designated non-leash dog areas and you will encounter dogs running way ahead their owners. I read that the road has been repaved with Macadam instead of Asphalt to make sure it won’t get unbearable for dog’s paws on hot days.
We were able to do the entire loop in less than 90 minutes. I am sure the time would have been less if we did the uphill first and then the downhill. Also we took a couple of breaks to take pictures and enjoy the panoramic views of Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, Downtown Los Angeles, and of the nature all around us.
If you want to do just one hike while in LA, do Runyon Canyon. You will enjoy views of LA and might have a celeb sighting too.
If the weather is cool then you can hike at anytime but for those hot LA days it is best hike early in the day or later in the afternoon.
Parking will always be a challenge. So do not waste time and park a bit further down the street and walk your way to the trail.
Make sure to read the street signs and park only in the designated spots to avoid ticket.
If you are scared or dogs, then this hike is not for you as no matter which trail you choose, there are off-leash areas.
You can have a good workout on the main paved trail too.
If you are hiking with kids, then I highly suggest entering from Fuller or Vista Entrance and going uphill first so that its easier for them to hike downhill later.
There are no bathrooms available so plan accordingly.
Don’t get intimidated. People of all levels of strength/stamina can do this hike.
There are breath-taking LA views so do have your phone/camera handy if you want to preserve the moment.
If you are hiking by yourself, bring some good music along for a more fun time.