If you want to go on a hike in LA, one of the most popular places to go is Runyon Canyon.
Let’s start from the beginning of the “LA version” of a good hike: finding parking.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you go, you will drive around for 45 minutes looking for parking. I don’t know how many times (three) I’ve attempted to go for a hike, got pissed that I couldn’t find parking and ended up going to the In-N-Out Burger that is conveniently located just down the street instead in my workout clothes.
Once (if) you find parking and you begin your hike, there are some things to note:
1) It smells like dog shit when you first walk in. You will get used to it.
2) The entire time you’ll see idiots running up and down the stairs. Just ignore them.
3) You will think you’ve made it to the top and you will take a deep breath. And then you will realize there is one final stretch of stairs. (This is the point where my roommate once cried.) You will most likely tell the person you are with who made you come with them to go to Hell (sorry about that, Chad).
4) When you get to the top you’ll realize the entire hike only took 15 minutes and you will be annoyed that it really wasn’t that hard of a workout.
It is however pretty great for people watching. I’ve seen a man sprint up the stairs wearing flip flops. I’ve seen a guy carrying a 95 pound snake named Zeus (find him on instagram @snakegod). I’ve seen a dude in a floor length fur coat carrying a boom box and singing at the top of his lungs while walking 6 dogs. And I’ve seen Gerard Butler. You’ll also see men wearing button up collared shirts on their phones and then you’ll see people like me who also look like they don’t belong.
I know this is the pessimist’s guide and I just listed off a bunch of shitty things about it but there are some good things to note as well:
1) There’s food and water available to you before you head in that runs on the honor system.. (put a dollar in the box if you take something)
2) There is free yoga at the bottom of the hike.
3) On a clear day it really does have great views of the city.
4) There are tons of dogs. Everywhere.
5) If you go when it isn’t busy and you take a book you can sit and read for hours.