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The Runyon Canyon hike is unique - it's a patch of wilderness right in the middle of Hollywood. Often visited by celebs, this hike's won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, and is worth a visit.
3.5 miles (5.6 km)
Unmarked Park Trails
Early morning, sunset
Runyon Canyon Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046, USA
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.
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.
There's a lot of up and down in this hike, with the steepest climb at the beginning of the hike.
Interactive Map Runyon Canyon Hike Map Downloads Gear for the Runyon Canyon Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews For my complete gear list and survival kit contents, check out my post on the modern hiking essentials here. I'd also recommend taking a quick look at the Every day they mark down great quality hiking gear, fitness gear, and clothing. Pick up an inexpensive lifetime REI Outlet site. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Runyon Canyon Hike Directions What You Need To Know Turn by Turn Directions Park on a street near the trailhead. This is 7am on a Friday. There were about a dozen spots open within 5 minutes of the park. The entrance to Runyon Canyon is at the end of Fuller Ave. You’ll see the entrance to Runyon Canyon Park. Enter through the gate. On this day, someone was selling water and snacks. Once through the entrance, hike straight on the paved trail ignoring turn-offs. After a few minutes, you’ll hike through this gate. The lower section of the hike allows dogs off the leash. I’ll mention when you need to leash your dog below. At about 0.25 miles, before the hike starts to climb, hike onto this smaller side trail for a short detour. Keep hiking straight as the trail gets smaller. At 0.4 miles, you’ll reach the Rock Mandala created by artist Robert Wilson. Soak in the good vibes and then hike back the way you came. When you get back to the main trail, head left and hike up the hill. At about 0.7 miles, there’s a nice flat vista. Make a sharp left and hike up the hill. You can take a break on this bench before the steep uphill section of trail. You’ll be hiking uphill for the next section of trail. As you hike up, you’ll get nice views of the Hollywood Sign and Hollywood Hills mansions to your right. The climb is really steep. Catch your breath by turning around and enjoying the view. After the toughest part of the climb, there’s a bench. Many people end of their Runyon Canyon hike here without seeing much of the park. Keep hiking up the trail. At about 1.2 miles, the trail splits. Hike to the right. The trail turns to pavement and winds through houses. Keep your eyes peeled, one of the houses here was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. At about 1.5 miles, there’s a big side trail to the right, continue hiking on the main paved trail, avoiding all side trails. At about 1.75 miles, you’ll reach another entrance to Runyon Canyon Park. Hike left along the inside of the fence. Continue hiking along the inside of the fence. The trail will start to wind uphill and look more like a trail. At about 1.9 miles, hike left. A few seconds after the last turn, you’ll reach a plateau with some side trails. Make the hard right. At about 1.95 miles, hike left at the split. At about 2.05 miles, hike right. At about 2.1 miles, join the bigger trail and continue on it. As you hike down, there are lots of great vistas to stop for a photo. At about 2.2 miles, you’ll reach a big junction with a mansion. The mansion was started in 1990 but never finished or sold. It has it’s own 24 hour security guard to keep out squatters and kids who party. Continue hiking straight through the trail intersection. Just past the mansion, head left and hike down the stairs. 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. These signs look scary, but you can continue hiking, this trail is well used, just be careful. Once at the top, hike down the trail over the rolling hilltops. Lots of great views as you hike down this section of trail. At about 2.8 miles you’ll reach the end of this stretch of trail. Hike left down the step decent. Watch your footing as you hike down the hill. Sections of the trail can be slippery with loose sand. 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. At about 3.2 miles, make the hard right onto the bigger trail. Shortly after that turn, make the hard left at the other entrance to Runyon Canyon park. At about 3.4 miles, you’ll be back where you started, hike right to the park gate, you did it! Happy hiking guys! An easy way to give back is to simply pick up any trash you see on the trail. 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.
The Hollywood Sign hike is one of those iconic hikes that you need to do at least once. Not only will you hike to the Hollywood Sign, but you’ll get some spectacular views of LA along the way.
If you are not a hiking pro, this is where to start. Learning how to hike safely can mean the difference between a fun day outdoors or the hike from hell. This article will get you hiking in the right direction.
The 10 hiking essentials are the recommended key survival tools that hikers should bring with them on every hike. The original 10 essentials date back the 1930s. Here’s my take on the modern hiking essentials and how to use them.
I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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