Hiking in Los Angeles: Runyon Canyon

A couple weeks ago my friend Ali was visiting from NYC and we wanted to do something active, so we did a little Googling and decided to head to Runyon Canyon, a park near the Hollywood Hills at the eastern end of the Santa Monica mountains. (I saw it on The Hills so naturally I wanted to go. I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Okay maybe just a little.)

I found a random address for the entrance to the park and put it into my GPS, hoping we’d find a place to park. Thankfully there was a little parking lot and we had no trouble getting there and finding a spot. (Although we went on a Monday afternoon so that prooooobbably had something to do with it.)

(Runyon Canyon GPS address: 2000 N. Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046)

We got to the trail and there were two options: walk up to the right, or down to the left. We blindly chose the right, hoping for a bit of a challenge. (This direction actually ended up being the easiest of the options!)

We walked up the dusty trail and hopped over rocks on the uneven path. As we were walking, we were rewarded with this gorgeous view of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign.

runyon canyon hollywood sign

Alright, so you can’t see the Hollywood sign THAT well, but it’s there. I swear.

Los Angeles from Runyon Canyon

How about that smog?

Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles, CA

I want to come here everyday now.

Being up there and looking down upon LA was so refreshing. I feel that way when I’m looking at the NYC skyline, too. You know there’s so much hustle and bustle going on within the confines of the city, but you don’t hear anything and can’t feel the rush. You just admire it quietly, from afar, taking the time to relax and reflect while listening to the crunching of rocks beneath your feet. To me, that’s the best feeling.

We eventually descended a long wooden staircase and then went straight up to a peak. We came to the end of the trail at the top and could see a bunch of people running down below on another wider, smoother path that looked more conducive to running, so I made a mental note to try that next time.

Runyon Canyon Dog Trai

I think it’s actually the “dog trail” part of Runyon Canyon, if we had gone to the left instead of right @ the beginning.

We were out there for less than an hour; the trail wasn’t too long. We chatted about careers and life goals and finding your passion and I left feeling content and energized, as I always do when I hang out with Ali.

Runyon Canyon LA

We went to the post office and a guy asked if we were sisters, and Ali said “soul sisters”, and he started singing “hey soul sister” to us and it was the funniest moment ever. The end.

I’m looking forward to going back sometime soon!

Are you a fan of hiking?  

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. October 14, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    What a pretty thing to do in such a big city! Must have been nice to get away from that smog and enjoy a hike.

    • October 15, 2014 / 9:49 pm

      Definitely! It’s something I couldn’t really do when I lived in New Jersey, so it was super exciting! I’ve already gone back :)

  2. October 15, 2014 / 3:10 am

    Aww I miss Runyon Canyon SO much! Definitely one of my favorite things in LA. Love that there’s actually a few different paths with extremely different difficulties.

    • October 15, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      I need to find those! I’ve gone back since and just did the same one. I want to find a more challenging option someday!

  3. Ali
    June 11, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    haha, Kara! I am honored. It was a fun & beautiful day spent with a fun & beautiful friend. Soul sisters for life <3.

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