Runyon Canyon Hike trails

Runyon Canyon Hike Directions

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Runyon Canyon Trail Maps
  • What’s the Deal With Parking? (Planning Your Trip)
Distance3.5 miles (5.6 km)
Other Options 1.6 miles, 1.8 miles
Hike Time1:30 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)900 feet (274m)
Highest Elevation1,295 feet (395m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park WebsiteRunyon Canyon Park
Park Phone323-666-5046
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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. In fact, Runyon will give you sweeping views from Catalina Island to the Santa Monica Mountains on a clear day. There are crowds here, so don’t come expecting a pristine hiking experience. Runyon Canyon won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and is worth hiking at least once.

Trail Options In Runyon Canyon

Runyon Hiking Routes

This guide gives you a few options to hike Runyon:

All of the hikes have at least 500 feet of climbing, but the climb is short and the hike is doable for all levels.

If you have the time I do recommend doing the full loop. It shouldn’t be more than about 2 hours and will give you lots of views. And the crowds die out on the loop back.

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 Hollywood, you might be able to walk to the trailhead.

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

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.

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 the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here

La Sportiva Spire

High-Tech Hybrid Shoes

Great for all hikes – short ones to 10+ miles Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

The Best Low-Cost, High-Quality Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Fenix 5x Hiking Nav

Garmin Fenix Map Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

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.

Runyon Canyon Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Runyon Canyon Hike Directions Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

How Will You Navigate the Hike?

I recommend using a combination of paper maps, GPS, and a guide to navigate the hike. If you are tempted to just use a smartphone, please don’t. You’ll often loose cell phone reception on the trail. At the very least, print out a paper map and this guide. Better yet, check out the navigation section on my gear picks page to see the latest and greatest that I’m using. There’s even a special discount on GaiaGPS premium for HikingGuy users.

See The Nav Gear I Use

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 an art installation. You can also do a couple of shorter 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. Once you do the first steep climb, most of the hard work is behind you.

Runyon Canyon Hike Directions

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Video Directions

FYI I have a version of this video in 360/VR format. Not familiar with the benefits of 360 video? Then watch this.

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Turn By Turn Directions

The Street Outside Of Runyon Canyon Park Entrance
The entrance to Runyon Canyon is at the end of Fuller Ave, up the hill.
Runyon Canyon Park Entrance Sign
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.
Sidewalk In Runyon Canyon Park
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.
Trail In Runyon Canyon Park
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 To Hidden Sculpture
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).
Runyon Updates 2
Soon after getting on this trail you’ll see some ruins of the old residences that were once here.

As you pass the ruin, here’s an interesting side note. In the 1940s the A&P supermarket heir engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to build a resort and hotel here, but the move was blocked by the local government. Frustrated, he sold the property and left the area. The new owner tore down all the structures to avoid paying real estate taxes. Hence the ruins.

Trail To Hidden Sculpture
The trail to the sculpture is smaller but still easy to follow.Avoid any small side trails.
Runyon Updates 3
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.
Trail And Runyon Canyon Park
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.
Runyon Updates 4
Go straight past the abandoned basketball courts.
Inspiration Point Hiking Trail
At about 0.7 miles, you reach Inspiration Point and hiking trail levels out. The trail continues back around to the left.
Bench Overlooking Downtown La
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.
Hill And Running Canyon Park
Continue up this steep section of the trail. Most of the climbing (about 350 feet) on the hike is on this stretch of trail.
View Of Hollywood Sign
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 Downtown La
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.
Bench Overlooking Los Angeles
After that tough climb, you reach the bench at Cloud’s Rest, which overlooks LA at 1,040 feet.

If you want the shortest hike option, enjoy the views here, then turn around and go back the way you came up for the red 1.6 mile hike. Otherwise continue.

Runyon Canyon Road
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 in the last picture and skip ahead, which will take you back to start of the hike.

These remaining directions are for the 3.5 mile loop trail.

Runyon Updates 5
Continue hiking on the paved Runyon Canyon Road. Keep your eyes open for 3003 Runyon Canyon Rd on the hill to the left, 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 liked to (jokingly) call Runyon Canyon his personal estate.
Runyon Updates 6
Keep going straight toward the Mulholland Entrance, avoiding the trail on the left.
Runyon Canyon Park North Entrance
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.
Indian Rock Hiking Trail
You’re now hiking on the Indian Rock Hiking Trail. Continue along the fence.
Indian Rock Hiking Trail
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
At the next split in the trail, hike to the left
West Ridge Hiking Trail
Shortly after the last split you’ll reach an open plateau with some smaller side trails. Make the hard right onto the main trail.

Another historical side note. In the early 1870s these hills were the hideout of Tiburcio Vasquez. He robbed but was known for his chivalry. From his angle, he was fighting the oppressive US regime that was treating the Spanish-Americans poorly, from the US government perspective, he was a bandit. Either way, the character of Zorro was modeled after him. In 1874 he was caught at Runyon and hung.

West Ridge Hiking Trail
Keep hiking left at the next trail split.
West Ridge Hiking Trail
When you get to the scenic overlook, hike to the right on the West Ridge Hiking Trail.
West Ridge Hiking Trail
At about 2.1 miles, your trail joins the larger trail. Keep hiking downhill.
View Of Sky From Runyon Canyon Park
This part of the West Ridge Hiking Trail has lots of great viewpoints.
pink mansion In Runyon Canyon Park
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.
Mansion In Runyon Canyon Park
Keep hiking to the left of the mansion.
Stairs In Runyon Canyon Park
Just past the mansion, hike down the stairs on the West Ridge Hiking Trail.
West Ridge Hiking Trail
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.
Danger Sign On West Ridge Hiking Trail
Keep hiking past any “no hiking” signs on the main trail, avoiding any side trails that go down the side of the hill.
West Ridge Hiking Trails Overlooking La
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.
Turn On West Ridge Hiking Trail
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.
View Of La From Westridge Hiking Trail
Watch your footing as you hike down the hill. Sections of the trail can be slippery with loose sand.
Bench On West Ridge Hiking Trail
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.
West Ridge Hiking Trail Meets Runyon Canyon Road
At about 3.2 miles, make the hard right onto the Runyon Canyon Road Hiking Path. Note the path is paved now.

If you took the 1.8 mile purple shortcut, you will rejoin here.

runyon Canyon Road
When you get to the end of the trail, make the hard left to head back to your starting point.
Intersection With Inspiration Point Trail
The trail comes back to where you started, make the right to exit the park at Fuller Ave.
Cris Hazard At Runyon Canyon Park
Pat yourself on the back! That’s the hike!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.