For this latest blog I'm combining a little workout mixed in with photography since I love health & fitness as well as photography. Located high above Hollywood Blvd. sits Runyon Canyon which I like to call nature's fitness center. There are three entrances, one from Fuller St, Vista St. and the third entrance is on the backside near Mulholland which has a few parking spots. Right now I'll cover the entrance from Fuller since that's the one I take. As always if you don't drive neither do I but it's easily accessible from the subway & bus. On weekdays I catch the Red line to Hollywood & Vine, then the 217, get off at Fuller St. and walk three block up. On the weekend I get off at Hollywood & Highland and walk about 6 blocks up to Fuller since the buses run slow.
There are 3 ways to get in a decent workout, I've done all 3 but my usual route is to go counter clock wise or just stay to the right of the trails. You'll pass through the stench of dog poop & black gates that are marked as East trail as it curves around you'll see the first lookout point & rectangular bench. Next up are the incline steps but be careful & stay focused because there will be people coming down along with dogs that will sometimes cut in front of you & the steps are uneven.
Once you get up to the second lookout point you'll see green benches. Take some time to enjoy the view & catch your breath. Next you have 2 choices, you can either go down hill or continue up a little incline to the highest peak. The way to get there is to stay to the right of the trail then you'll see a red house on your right and a post made of rocks on your left. Make that left turn up then you'll see one of the huge power lines on your right. Hit the curve towards the power line and make a right at the path, you'll see a huge piece of scrap metal then more wooden steps on your left. Hit those steps then make a left and it's a few more steps up and you've made it to the top, the highest point in Runyon Canyon. I love going up here because not too many people come up and most come for a minute and leave but I like to sit and enjoy the 360 views as far as your eyes can see and if it's early in the morning or close to sunset the views are even more amazing.
I prefer to go really early in the morning on the weekends and after work on the weekdays. The very first time I went I made the mistake of going midday on a Saturday and it was a circus, needless to say lesson learned.
The more often you go the easier it gets and for me it isn't even hard anymore but I do burn a lot of calories and I like being outdoors. It takes me about an hour to complete the route. If you're going to go on a daily basis I suggest getting a good pair of shoes and if you go with someone make sure you want to do the same route. Also make sure you drink water before you go and bring some as well. Dogs are allowed off leash but I've never seen any be aggressive with people they're really friendly but like I said sometimes they do cut in front of you. Because it's so popular you'll come across all kinds of people. I hear celebrities frequent the canyon but I've recognized a few D-listers and honestly I'm too focused on getting up those steps than trying to spot anyone famous but I have seen workout videos being shot, Jesus at the top giving out high fives and hugs, people taking selfies, tourist who want you to take their picture, old people, young people, entire families, different levels of fitness, people pushing strollers up the hills, I've heard all kinds of accents and some questionable conversations and I'm always amazed at how loud and talkative some people are at 7 in the morning on the weekends. Either way it's worth checking out at least once and feeling the burn the next day. A few days ago I heard someone behind me say "Who needs squats when you have mountains?" Enough said. Travel more, explore more, photograph more.
First lookout point
Early in the A.M.
From the top, the second highest peak is the one on the right, the way to get up is to start at the Vista St. entrance. The incline is a little more challenging because of the rocks & I've heard people say its the hardest out of all three but depending on your fitness level it doesn't take that long to get up there. There is also a prayer box at the top.
Sometimes you'll also see these posted along Fuller St. or on a gray box a few feet upon entering. Very inspirational.