Los Angeles is known for its glitz and glamour; from it’s movie stars and entertainment to it’s shopping and beautiful beaches. However, amongst all of the famous tourist attractions and landmarks, often fantastic activities go unheard of.
One lesser known thing to do in Los Angeles is to go hiking, and there are plenty of great trails around to do so. Two superb trails run along the Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park, which take you to great heights with mesmerizing views of Downtown LA and the surrounding districts. If you’re after the best views of Los Angeles, these are the places to go!
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Found just outside of the famous Hollywood strip, Runyon Canyon is a great place to get some exercise when visiting Los Angeles. It provides a great opportunity to get outside of the tourist traps on Hollywood Blvd and explore in the fresh air. As the Runyon Canyon is located in the more suburban area of Hollywood, you are more likely to bump into the locals and celebrities walking their dogs, rather being stampeded by tourists.
To get to Runyon Canyon, you can enter through three different entrances (1) Southern Entrance – Fuller Avenue (2) Western Entrance – N. Vista Street (3) Northern Entrance – Mulholland Drive. There is parking around, however it is often challenging to get a park because it is in a busy residential area. Your best bet will be to park a little further out, take a bus or walk there (which can be easily done from surrounding streets of Hollywood Blvd).
The park has three hiking trails ranging from easy, moderate to hard, and is therefore suitable for most fitness levels. If you’re not too keen on exercise, you won’t regret it as the view is definitely worth breaking a sweat for! With the unforgettable view along with the great hiking trails, Runyon Canyon should not be missed!
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Griffith Park Observatory
Griffith Park is located near the Los Feliz neighborhood in LA, on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood. Like Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park has many hiking trails with the most popular trails leading up to the Griffith Observatory.
Along the hiking trail, there are plenty of viewing points and photo ops to capture the wonderful view of Los Angeles. From the top of the Griffith Observatory, you are met with a magnificent view of LA and the Hollywood sign, and if you’re there on a clear day you may even get a glimpse of the ocean. Just be aware that you will be swamped with tourists and tour buses at the top of Griffith Observatory.
Once again, parking at Griffith Park can be hard to find unless you arrive there early in the day. It may be best to take public transport to the Metro Bus stop at Vermont/Los Feliz, and walking to the park entrance from there.
Extra Tip: We stayed at Banana Bungalow Hollywood Hostel during our time in LA, which was a great base to visit these two sites.