Runyon Canyon Park is an ideal place to quickly get away from the busy city life of Los Angeles. Located in the mountains north of Hollywood this more than hilly park offers ample work-out opportunities. It's also famous for celebrity spotting and the views you get over Los Angeles are simply amazing.
Some of the LA landmarks that you can spot from Runyon Canyon Park are the Hollywood sign, the Griffith Observatory, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood Boulevard and, on a clear day, Santa Catalina Island.
Hiking along the trails of Runyon Canyon Park
There are three main hiking trails in the Runyon Canyon Park, with two small side trails. Each of these trails runs ‘vertically' along the mountain, meaning you're always going up or down. Decent shoes are a must here, although I got along very well wearing my Birckenstock sandals.
Don't wear your newest sneakers as most of the trails are (well-maintained) wide dust roads and paved fire roads. There are also some single-track trails.
Because of the swirling paths going up and down, Runyon Canyon Park offers runners and hikers a true challenge, but a lot of people also just come to Runyon Canyon Park to walk their dogs as 90 acres of the 160 acres large park is off-leash and there's also a dog park.
Don't forget to bring water! There are water fountains at the park's entrances, but you definitely need to bring our own bottle if you plan on doing a hike. Or if you're smart, like Jessica from Suitcases and Sippy Cups, you start your hike before sunrise!
If you're looking for other hiking trails in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend checking out Modern Hiker. He has a good list.
Official address: Franklin Ave. & Fuller Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
From nature to, well, Bel Air
I was told the area around the Bel Air hotel Hotel (701 Stone Canyon Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90077) would be nice to talk a walk because of all the big houses with beautiful gardens there. So, we parked near the hotel and got out of the car. We didn’t feel at ease, though, since we were the only two people on the street – besides the occasional gardener/pool boy/maintenance guy getting something out of a van. There weren’t even sidewalks to walk on!
Feeling adventurous and brave, we decided nevertheless to have a look around. It’s true that the area is nice, but there isn't that much to see as most of the houses and gardens are hidden away behind fences.
We did, however, see a really nice house on our way back to the hostel. As it seemed, someone had just delivered it to a house in Beverly Hills. It was about the size of a garden house but seemed to have two floors. Also, there were small windows and a miniature door. Oh and, it was pink. A private little play world for the daughter of the house, perhaps? (Sorry, we so couldn't believe our eyes that we didn't even think about getting our camera out, so no pics…)
Where to stay in Los Angeles
If you're looking for an apartment rather than a hotel, I recommend checking airbnb. Sign up through my link and get a discount on your first stay!
How to get to LA
I flew from Brussels Airport to LAX via New York JFK and rented a car to get around.
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