Runyon Canyon Hike trails

Runyon Canyon Hike Directions

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)
Time: 1:30 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Climbing: 970 ft (296 m)
Dogs: Yes
Trailhead: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046, USA
Park Website: Runyon Canyon Park
Hike Weather: Runyon Canyon Hike Weather

Runyon Canyon is a fun hike tucked right into the middle of Hollywood. It’s a great place to see celebrities, view the Hollywood Sign (in the distance), visit a hidden sculpture, and get a good hike in. Runyon Canyon won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and is worth hiking at least once.

To hike Runyon Canyon, you have a few options:

In This Guide

What to Expect on the Runyon Canyon Hike

If you’re looking for solitude and pristine wilderness, Runyon Canyon Park is not going to make you happy. Just remember that you’re in the middle of a city, and it can get crowded with people hiking, working out, walking their dogs, celebrity spotting, and just enjoying the scenery. Prepare your expectations accordingly.

There are no bathrooms at Runyon Canyon Park.

Vendor Selling Water In Front Of Runyon Canyon Park
Occasionally you’ll see vendors selling water and other refreshments at the entrance, but don’t count on it.

Is Runyon Canyon Closed??

No, Runyon Canyon re-opened in the summer of 2017 after being closed for renovations for four months. It was closed for 4 months in order to repair a leaking water line that went through the park from the 1930s. When Runyon Canyon reopened, some of the paved trails were improved and they added some water fountains. Otherwise the park is the same as it was before.

Runyon Canyon Park is open from 6am-6pm daily, although you’ll find people in the park after hours as well.

Directions to Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon Park is in the heart of Hollywood, and 20 minutes from downtown LA. If you’re staying in downtown Hollywood, you can probably walk to the trailhead.

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Here’s the address and link for the entrance to Runyon Canyon Park: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046, USA.

Here’s what the trailhead looks like.

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Where Can I Park At Runyon Canyon??

There’s no parking lot for Runyon Canyon, you have to park as close to the main entrance at 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046 as you can. There’s only street parking, and that can be a problem, since about 35,000 people visit Runyon Canyon every week (1.8 million a year!).

If you want to park at Runyon Canyon, you have a few options. First, I always do well when I arrive early and park on the street around the entrance. Spots open up as locals drive to work. Second, you can park farther away and just walk there. Street parking in the area is free. The third option is to park in parking lot close by, and then walk 10-15 minutes to the park entrance. If you’re staying in a Hollywood area hotel, the park entrance is probably within waking distance.

The worse times to park seem to be afternoon when people come to the park after work. Also, you should look out for permit only parking zones. There are plenty of parking spots without restrictions, but some do.

Parking for the Runyon canyon hike
Here’s some parking on Hillside Avenue, only five minutes from the park entrance. This was 7 AM on a Friday morning, and there were five open spots at this point.

Hiking Runyon Canyon With a Dog

Yes, you can hike Runyon Canyon with your dog! There are well marked areas where you can have your dogs off-leash. Everywhere else, you just need to leash your dog. 90 of the park’s 160 acres are marked for off-leash use, so there’s plenty of space to let a dog roam free. Water fountains in the park provide some refreshment as well (bring your own bowl). The renovations at Runyon Canyon even repaved surfaces with  macadam, not asphalt, which is cooler on your dog’s paws.

Dog friendly sign in Runyon Canyon Park
Dogs can roam leash–free in over half of Runyon Canyon Park.

Gear For the Runyon Canyon Hike

The nice thing about Runyon Canyon is that you can just do it in workout clothes and sneakers. It’s not a hardcore hike that requires any special gear. Here’s what I would take.

recommended hiking bootClick here to see all the hiking gear and clothing that I use. Don’t waste your money on gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you. All my picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail.

Runyon Canyon Trail Maps

Interactive Trail & Topo Map

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Map Downloads For The Hike

I usually hike with a combination of a paper map and digital map. You can print the PDF map below, and you can also print this web page out. There’s also a GPX file that you can use on GPS devices.

garmin fenix 5xI use the Garmin Fenix 5x mapping GPS watch for my maps and navigation, which works great. It tracks my hikes, all my workouts, my sleep, heart rate, and a ton of other functions. It’s a little pricey, but I literally use it every day to monitor my health, workouts, and adventures. I’d recommend checking it out (my review here). You can checkout all of the navigation and mapping gear I use here.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Runyon Canyon Elevation Profiles

Runyon Canyon Hike 3d map
This Runyon Canyon hike takes you on a loop of the popular trails in the park, including a side trip to a natural art installation. You can also do a couple of shorter out-and-back options (keep reading).
Runyon Canyon Hike elevation
There’s a lot of up and down in this hike, with the steepest climb at the beginning of the hike.

Turn By Turn Runyon Canyon Hike Directions

  1. The entrance to Runyon Canyon is at the end of Fuller Ave, up the hill.
    The Street Outside Of Runyon Canyon Park Entrance
  2. You’ll see the entrance sign for Runyon Canyon Park. Head through the gate. Runyon Canyon Park has been around since 1983 when the City of Los Angeles purchased it from private owners.
    Runyon Canyon Park Entrance Sign
  3. Once through the entrance gate, hike straight on the paved trail, ignoring turn-offs. You’ll also pass the Runyon Canyon yoga field on your left.
    Sidewalk In Runyon Canyon Park
  4. After a few minutes, you’ll come to this big gate for the off-leash dog area. Keep hiking straight on the Inspiration Point Trail.
    Trail In Runyon Canyon Park
  5. At about 0.2 miles in, there’s an optional detour to a hidden sculpture. It only adds a few minutes onto the hike and is worth checking out. If you’re not interested, head right and go up the hill toward Inspiration Point (directions further down).
    Trail To Hidden Sculpture
  6. The trail to the sculpture is smaller but still easy to follow.
    Trail To Hidden Sculpture
  7. Follow the trail through the wooded section for a few minutes and you’ll reach the Rock Mandala created by artist Robert Wilson. Walk the meditative mandala circle, soak in the good vibes and then hike back the way you came to the last junction.
    Rock Mandela Sculpture
  8. When you get back to the junction, head left up the hill. This is also the hill you’ll head up if you skipped the Rock Mandala sculpture.
    Trail And Runyon Canyon Park
  9. At about 0.7 miles, you reach Inspiration Point and hiking trail levels out. The trail continues back around to the left.
    Inspiration Point Hiking Trail
  10. There’s a nice bench at Inspiration Point to catch your breath on before you head up to Clouds Rest. You’ll get nice views of downtown LA in the distance (it’s those tall buildings). On a clear day you can see out to Catalina Island.
    Bench Overlooking Downtown La
  11. Continue up this steep section of the trail. Most of the climbing (about 350 feet) on the hike is on this stretch of trail.
    Hill And Running Canyon Park
  12. Here’s where you can see the Hollywood Sign from the Runyon Canyon hike. As you hike up to Clouds Rest, look off to the right and you’ll see the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory in the distance. I have a guide to hike to the Hollywood Sign too.
    View Of Hollywood Sign
  13. This section of the trail is tough. Turning around to soak in the views is a good excuse for taking a break.Before Runyon Canyon was a park, the Kahlua importer Jules Berman owned it and planned on building luxury homes here, but the community shut it down.
    View Of Downtown La
  14. After that tough climb, you reach the bench at Cloud’s Rest, which overlooks LA at 1,040 feet. If you want the short hike option, enjoy the views here, then turn around and go back the way you came up for a 1.6 mile hike. If you want to do a short 1.8 mile loop or the longer 3.5 mile hike, keep hiking up the trail.
    Bench Overlooking Los Angeles
  15. At the next trail junction, head right to do the 3.5 mile loop. To do the shorter 1.8 mile loop, hike down the hill to the left and skip to step 37, which will take you back to start of the hike.
    Runyon Canyon Road
  16. (These remaining directions are for the longer 3.5 mile loop trail.) Continue hiking on the paved Runyon Canyon Road. Keep your eyes open for 3003 Runyon Canyon Rd, which is one of only two houses in Runyon Park and was built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright built it in the 1940s for the heir to the A & P Grocery fortune, and it was once home to movie star Errol Flynn, who like to (jokingly) call Runyon Canyon his personal estate.
    RUnyon Canyon Road
  17. At around 1.5 miles, avoid the utility road turn off to the power line and continue on Runyon Canyon Road.
    Trail Junction At Runyon Canyon Road
  18. At about 1.7 miles, you’ll reach the gate for the Runyon Canyon North Entrance, located on the famous Mulholland Drive. When you get to the gate, hike left along the fence.
    Runyon Canyon Park North Entrance
  19. You’re now hiking on the Indian Rock Hiking Trail. Continue along the fence.
    Indian Rock Hiking Trail
  20. The Indian Rock Hiking Trail winds away from the fence and starts to look more like a hiking trail. These quieter parts of Runyon Canyon are great places to spot wildlife. The park is home to hawks, coyote, deer, snakes, lizards, and hundreds of species of plants. Nothing to be scared of.
    Indian Rock Hiking Trail
  21. At the next split in the trail, hike to the left
    Indian Rock Hiking Trail
  22. Shortly after the last split you’ll reach an open plateau with some smaller side trails. Make the hard right onto the main trail.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail
  23. Keep hiking left at the next trail split.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail
  24. When you get to the scenic overlook, hike to the right on the West Ridge Hiking Trail.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail
  25. At about 2.1 miles, your trail joins the larger trail. Keep hiking downhill.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail
  26. This part of the West Ridge Hiking Trail has lots of great viewpoints.
    View Of Sky From Runyon Canyon Park
  27. At about 2.2 miles, you’ll start to see the infamous pink mansion, built in 1990 but never really lived in aside from a short stint being the “marijuana mansion.” The last I heard it was up for sale at $15.9 million as a tear down. Keep to the left as you hike past the mansion.
    pink mansion In Runyon Canyon Park
  28. Keep hiking to the left of the mansion.
    Mansion In Runyon Canyon Park
  29. Just past the mansion, hike down the stairs on the West Ridge Hiking Trail.
    Stairs In Runyon Canyon Park
  30. The trail climbs, then at 2.5 miles you’ll arrive at this slab of rock. Ignore the ‘no hiking’ signs and continue hiking right, up the steep little section to the top of the rock.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail
  31. Keep hiking past any “no hiking” signs on the main trail, avoiding any side trails that go down the side of the hill.
    Danger Sign On West Ridge Hiking Trail
  32. Once you’re reached the high point on the West Ridge Hiking Trail, the rest is all a nice downhill walk with great views into LA.
    West Ridge Hiking Trails Overlooking La
  33. At about 2.8 miles you’ll reach the end of this stretch of the West Ridge Hiking Trail. Hike left down the steep decent.
    Turn On West Ridge Hiking Trail
  34. Watch your footing as you hike down the hill. Sections of the trail can be slippery with loose sand.
    View Of La From Westridge Hiking Trail
  35. At about 3.1 miles the decent ends, and you arrive at a fenced in section. Make the hard left and hike down the trail.
    Bench On West Ridge Hiking Trail
  36. At about 3.2 miles, make the hard right onto the Runyon Canyon Road Hiking Path.
    West Ridge Hiking Trail Meets Runyon Canyon Road
  37. When you get to the end of the trail, make the hard left to head back to your starting point.
    runyon Canyon Road
  38. The trail comes back to where you started, make the right to exit the park at Fuller Ave.
    Intersection With Inspiration Point Trail
  39. Pat yourself on the back! That’s the hike!
    Cris Hazard At Runyon Canyon Park

A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.