Well, aside from the fact that it’s always a good idea to get outside and enjoy some sunshine, hiking is awesome for lots of other reasons, too. You can be #broke and still go on a hike — all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. You can go with friends, but if you don’t have anyone to go with it’s completely not weird to go hiking alone. Also, it’s a pretty flippin’ fun way to get to know a place or go on a mini adventure to someplace you’re already familiar.
I live close to Runyon Canyon here in LA, which is a pretty popular hiking destination for locals and tourists alike. I was skeptical at first, because I thought it was just a place where people spotted celebrities so I 1) didn’t think the hike was going to be that hard and 2) didn’t figure it would be that great.
Wrong. So so wrong.
First of all, I have yet to see a celebrity in Runyon Canyon. Not a one. ps If anyone from Sons of Anarchy or How I Met Your Mother want to go hiking sometime, would you please give me a heads up on Twitter, okay?
Second, the views here are stellar. Here’s a bit of my last hike in Runyon Canyon, LA, complete with breathtaking views of Los Angeles:
A few things to know about Runyon Canyon…(and a map so you can get there!)
* There are many different routes to take, depending on how strenuous you’d like to hike and how much time you have. I usually enter the park on North Fuller Street and once you get past the gate you’re either able to go straight or a little to the left. The path straight ahead of you winds around and is a pretty moderate hike that lasts less than an hour. To the left you go up a hill and then can either go straight on a paved area or left up a non-paved section. The paved path is easy and gradual (and also less than an hour), and that non-paved path nearly killed me when I first went there (I don’t honestly even know how long it is — I hadn’t planned enough time to complete it, but I’d definitely budget over an hour for it).
Choose wisely, my friends, but also whatever, have fun. None of them are impossible and there are lots of people walking along so you’ll never feel alone. There are also different ways that they meet up eventually, so that’s cool to explore!
* Pack in plenty of water. Los Angeles is sunny and warm and you’ll need more than you’d think. There aren’t fountains or anything at the top, so be prepared. At the entrance on North Fuller, there is a little stand where you can purchase some water or snacks if you need.
* Bring a light jacket. So I’ve never hiked there in the heat of the summer, when I imagine this is less important, but it is occasionally windy. Also, since you are hiking through a canyon, there will be parts of the trail with shade. Very nice if you’re going full-force, but if you’re doing a moderate walk and/or cooling down, it can get chilly.
* You’ll get a little dusty. I pretty much have to shower immediately after I get back because my legs are covered in a thin layer of orangey dirt. Is it awful? No. But if you’re sightseeing I’d add in a shower somewhere.
* Wear sturdy, close-toed shoes. For the love of all that is holy, protect your feet. I get it, it’s LA and like everyone wears flip flops, man. But seriously, whenever I see people walk in with flip flops I just shake my head. There are some somewhat steep areas and a bit of loose dirt around, and no one wants to helicopter you outta there because you slipped and fell and broke your ankle.
* Dogs can be off-leash here. I mean, you probably already figured that one out from the video and all my new friends, but just in case.
Here‘s a map of where Runyon Canyon is located in Los Angeles. Happy Hiking!
Without Limits by Ross Bugden