Few American landmarks are as recognizable as the giant white letters that spell “Hollywood” and mark the world’s film production capital.
The hills of Hollywood have plenty to offer aside from the Hollywood sign, but it’s always a treat to see this cultural icon that has appeared in no fewer than 70 films and dozens of popular musical hits.
If you’re a Southern California apartment resident who loves to get out and about and has yet to glimpse the Hollywood sign on a hike near the Hollywood Hills, make plans to visit Runyon Canyon. Here are a few of the highlights of this urban nature preserve.
Managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Runyon Canyon Park covers 160 acres of traversable hill terrain at the base of the Santa Monica mountains near Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills. With five access points and several trails, ranging in difficulty level from easy to strenuous, Runyon Canyon can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Regardless of whether you want a 30-minute jaunt or a day-long outing, Runyon Canyon has something for you. Entrance to and use of its grounds is entirely free.
Hundreds of plant species dot the Runyon Canyon landscape, including black sage, elderberry, laurel sumac, and sugar bush. As you climb above Los Angeles, you will start to feel like you are worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Southern California’s mega-metropolis, even their are excellent views of the L.A. skyline, Hollywood, and the beaches of Los Angeles County.
Pet-Friendly Runyon Canyon Park
A boon to Southern California dog owners, Runyon Canyon Park is known for its pet-friendly atmosphere. Ninety of the park’s 160 acres are a designated off-leash zone for properly vaccinated and well-behaved dogs. During my visit to the park, I encountered some 200 hundred human hikers and at least 100 dogs. The dog I was with (featured in the photos) was happy as could be, frolicking around leash-free and making friends with other canines hiking on the trail.
Chance of Star Sightings
You don’t have to be starstruck to get excited about seeing a celebrity whose talent you appreciate. Due to its proximity to Hollywood and the fact that it is a truly beautiful place to spend some time outdoors, Runyon Canyon is frequently visited by L.A. based actresses and actors. On my hike, Emily Blunt and John Kraisinski power walked right past us. Common courtesy dictates you don’t bother any celebrities hiking, but it’s perfectly acceptable to text your friends and share your enthusiasm of your celebrity sighting.
At 1,320 feet above sea level, Indian Rock is the highest point at Runyon Canyon. Several trails lead to Indian Rock, a point from which you have 360-degree views of the surrounding airlines. Some of the highlights include the Los Angeles skyline, the Hollywood sign, and the Pacific Coast. On exceptionally clear days, you can even see Catalina Island in the distance.
A hike at Runyon Canyon is a great outing on its own, especially if you want something fun to do in Southern California with your dog. If you are without dog and are looking for a fun-filled day with your friends or family, combine a visit to Runyon Canyon with Griffith Park and the Griffith Park Observatory nearby. There are plenty of ways to Live Life + Love Life in Southern California. For more suggestions for weekend outings and fun events taking place not far from your Rancho Cucamonga, Woodland Hills, or Glendale, Calif. apartment home, be sure to revisit this blog in the future!
Have you spent time at Runyon Canyon Park? If you have share your experience and tips for those planning their first visit in the comments section below!
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