One of my favorite fast weekday-friendly hikes in Los Angeles is Runyon Canyon. (It’s also the go-to hike for half of the rest of everyone who lives here, but whatevs.) I figured that hiking Runyon Canyon with a stroller was essentially possible, though every time I went alone, I assessed: Would this part of the terrain support a stroller? Can you get from here to there pushing wheels? Just how much harder is this hike when you’re hiking for three?
My very favorite hike in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Sign trail. It’s a little jewel box of an outing in so many ways: It’s got epic views (obvi) with appeal for locals and out-of-towners alike. It strikes the right balance between challenging and still chat-friendly in terms of difficulty. And it’s right in the middle of town, making it accessible for a quick-ish jaunt if time is limited (as it always is these days), solo or with friends.
It was also closed for nine months, while a dispute with neighbors over parking and congestion and other havoc tied things up. But as of this week, it is at long last open again. So I gave it a go yesterday, and it held up every bit to my memory.
I’ve been so excited over so many personal projects that I’ve not slept much this week. Today I woke up at 3:45 a.m. and thought, “I’m going for a hike.” There’s a lot that doesn’t add up about that. “It’s arithmetic,” Bill Clinton might have said mockingly of my suggestion.
Anyway, it’s now 6 a.m. and I’m at the summit of Runyon Canyon — writing you, dear readers, from the most perfect bench in Los Angeles County. Regular Runyon hikers will know it well.
Without ado, here are my tips for hiking Runyon Canyon before sunrise:
You guys. You’ve got to go do this hike.
I’ve hiked to the Hollywood sign several times, and have publicly declared it my favorite local trek. It’s such a great combination of urban and rustic — well, no, it’s actually totally urban, but it’s on a mountain in dirt, so. You can approach this hike from several different angles, with varying degrees of difficulty. LAist has a really comprehensive guide to the various options. And Modern Hiker, the best local hiking blog I can recommend, has a great step-by-step guide too.