Runyon Canyon

I love doing outdoor activities in Southern California since we are blessed with such great weather year-round. One of my co-workers lives in Hollywood near Runyon Canyon. I was excited when he asked me to join him for a hike. Hiking Runyon Canyon has been on my to-do list for ages. Locals have been telling me for a while that Runyon is one of the best hiking trails Los Angeles has to offer. Plus, this is typically a trail where you can spot a celebrity or two.

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best hiking trails los angeles

What makes Runyon Canyon one of the best hiking trails Los Angeles has to offer? Well, for anyone who lives in the heart of Hollywood it is conveniently located. From where I live I would need to drive quite a bit for a good place to hike. However, my friend lives near the TCL Chinese Theatre so Runyon is only a ten-minute walk away from his place. For locals, the trail offers a chance for a free workout with a view of the city. While it doesn’t offer an ideal view of the Hollywood sign it is visible for part of the hike.

los angeles hiking trail

My friend recommended that we go up the dirt side of the trail and come down on the side with the pavement. This was his second time to hike Runyon. On his first visit, he went up on the pavement side and said it is a little tricky coming down on the dirt trail.


5 minutes into the hike I realized what rookie mistakes I was making. This wasn’t my first time hiking but I’m definitely not a regular hiker either. I had plans with other friends before I went hiking and when I couldn’t find my athletic pants I decided to hike in my jeans. For your own comfort please wear shorts or athletic pants! I was also annoyed with myself that I forgot my flipbelt which holds my phone and other objects around my waist so that my belongings can be secured while I’m working out. And worst of all, I forgot a water bottle. There were a few water fountains throughout the hike but I will never again go hiking without a water bottle.


If you are in need of snacks or water while hiking and forgot to bring your own you can buy chips, fruit, or water near the entrance for around $1 each.

hollywood sign from runyon canyon

You can see the Hollywood sign in this photo but it is not very clear since Runyon is still a good distance away from the sign. There are a few other hiking options which will give you much better views.

Another reason that makes Runyon Canyon a popular hiking choice is that celebrities like hiking here. If celebrities were hiking while I was there I do not know. My goal wasn’t to go there to find celebrities. I just wanted to exercise while spending some time with my friend. If you’re interested in seeing celebrities be sure to check out this post with my top 5 ways to see celebrities in LA.

los angeles county hiking trails

I am not in the best shape right now so the hike was a bit rough on me. However, I made it to the top and I was really happy to do so. There’s a bench at the top in case you need to take a breather or just want to enjoy the view. I really enjoyed hiking Runyon and would gladly come back.

flag on top of the burbank peak trail

Another great hike that I’d like to recommend is the Mount Lee one.

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If you’re looking for other things to do in the area you can check out my post on the top things to do in Hollywood.

About The Author

Michelle Mink is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing about my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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