There are many things that come to mind when you think of the City of Angels—celebrities, sunshine, juice cleanses, high-end shopping—the list goes on. Fitness culture is probably at the top of that list, too, with fitness being a $4 billion-dollar industry in California. And it probably doesn’t come as a shock, given that the city has become synonymous with athleisure, trendy workout classes, and those salads you always see on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Another classic LA activity? Hiking. With plenty of sunny days to go around, it’s not hard to imagine why.
At the core of Los Angeles’ hiking scene is Runyon Canyon Park: a popular destination for celebrities and normal city folks alike. It’s remained a top-tier hike for a reason. Maybe it’s the dog-friendly component, the accessibility, or the fact that any level of hiker can get a good workout in. It’s not the quietest hike—you’ll likely be met with a crowd—but hey, you may just spot a celebrity or two, and decent views await you at multiple points throughout the hike.
This West Hollywood trail is 1–3 miles, depending on what path you’re taking. It’s not the most strenuous, but for any out of towner, it’s a must-do for a visit to LA. And for locals, it’s a quick way to get an outdoor workout in on a sunny day (for you and your four-legged friend) that offers panoramic views of the city. Sometimes, you don’t feel like shelling out over thirty dollars on a workout class, and in a city like LA, not taking advantage of the weather is almost criminal. Avid hikers of Runyon Canyon suggest getting there during rush hour—so between 6 am–9am and 4 pm–6 pm. Parking can be an issue, especially on weekends, so consider calling a transportation service or carpooling with friends. A fairly new renovation also makes sure that you stay hydrated with water fountains stationed in various points throughout the park.
You could do an easy hike that’s a little over a mile and a half, which still features a good deal of climbing, or more moderate-level hikes which total either 2 miles in length or 3.5 miles, depending on the route you choose. The full loop is about a two-hour hike in total, and would make for a great workout post-work or on a Sunday afternoon. Though, it’s worth reiterating that if you’re expecting an unobtrusive, peaceful hike, this may not be the option for you.
For sunset views of both the Pacific Ocean and the San Fernando Valley, social media-worthy selfies, possible celebrity sightings, and most of all, a solid workout, Runyon Canyon has it all.