Runyon Canyon Adventures
Runyon Canyon often gets a bad rap. This is because it can get very busy and socialites love to go there. So, people say, if you want to avoid a crowd, don’t hike at Runyon. That is true…to an extent. I was always wary of hiking at Runyon (I had never done so before) because of this reason. I didn’t want to be surrounded by rich Los Angelenos or clueless tourists during my outdoor fitness and peace time. We now live about a 15-minute walk away from Runyon. So, one day, Noke and I accidentally stumbled on it and said, “Why not? Let’s give it a go.” I had no idea about what trails there were, how long they were, difficulties, or anything. Like I said, I was new. As I’ve learned from previous experiences, Noke loves hiking. And we now both love our Runyon Canyon adventures.
There are some guidelines to enjoying Runyon. Although there is the occasional celebrity sighting, it’s not just ritzy bitzies up there. If you go between 10-11am on the weekends, yes it’ll be packed. However, if you just set out a few hours earlier (think between 7-9am, the earlier the better), there won’t be too many people on the weekend. I’m lucky to be close enough that I can go before or after work just by walking. Before daylight savings changed, I would go several times a week after work. These times weren’t as popular, but there were still plenty of people. However, you wouldn’t get stuck in a throng of people. It’s enjoyable enough to watch the sunset. Now that the sun sets at 5pm, I try to get my butt up in the morning, setting out at 5:45am to catch the sunrise. It’s early, but boy is it worth it. That is definitely the quietest time you will ever experience at Runyon.
What also makes a huge difference is what trail you pick. My go-to for the morning isn’t even a listed trail. I rarely see more than one person on it (which is crazy for Runyon). I usually go up the no-name trail (very steep), and come down the “Hero’s Trail.” I can’t quite explain the feeling of heavy exertion climbing up that trail with my favorite companion and watching the sun rise in the distance. You can hear the hum of the city below, but it seems very far away. You feel peacefully alone up there, just with your breath and the nature around you. It’s amazing. If you take the other trails, you will find more people on them. The easier the trail, the more people who will be there. Simple enough.
However, I’ve never experienced a time where there were too many people. Everyone’s going at their own pace: some are running, some are walking, some are trudging. That’s part of the reason I like it: there’s something for everyone at Runyon. I encourage you to get past the stigma of Runyon, and enjoy it and explore it for yourself. You never know what you can find. Maybe you love beasting those stairs on the trail near the entrance. Maybe you love doing hill sprints. Maybe you love the gradual trail that leads to extraordinary views. Runyon is what you make of it and I’ve certainly found a lot of love and happiness there. I call it my happy place. Hike at Runyon to stay hungry and fit!
Some pictures that I’ve taken thus far: