LA FITNESS: TIPS FOR HIKING RUNYON CANYON
I travel to Los Angeles often for work, but have never had the time to fit in a hike at Runyon Canyon until now. Hiking Runyon Canyon has been on my to-do list for some time now. I’ve spotted fellow bloggers Song of Style, Karen Civil, and socialite MsFitzieBaby getting their workout in at Runyon Canyon and have heard people rave about the view. Runyon Canyon is a 160 acres park in the heart of Hollywood with trails for all fitness levels. Runyon Canyon also has the best view of Los Angeles. Even this New Yorker was impressed.
Hiking Runyon Canyon made me reconsider living in Los Angeles…for a hot minute. The view was spectacular, the weather (as always) was gorgeous, and the challenge of hiking was a thrill. The dirt trails actually look like dirt walls. Your legs, lungs, and obliques burn, but there’s a sense of accomplishment and calm when you reach the top. The high is similar to a runner’s high. You want to keep going. I did, all the way to the top!
If you’re planning a visit to Los Angeles, you must visit Runyon Canyon. Here are my top tips to prepare you for a successful hike on Runyon Canyon.
1. ENTRANCE: There are several entrances. It really doesn’t matter where you enter. Entry is free.
2. PARKING: Unlike the rest of Los Angeles, there is no valet nor is there a parking lot. I did some research beforehand and read reviews on Yelp and Google. Don’t read them! The comments made it sound like parking was nearly impossible. I panicked and considered canceling my plans but am so glad I didn’t. Parking wasn’t that bad. It’s just street parking in residential areas. And I thought New Yorkers complained!
3. PEOPLE: Again, the reviews on Yelp and Google said it was overcrowded. It’s an exaggeration. Sure, there are plenty of people out hiking with their dogs, running, shooting the breeze, but it by no means is as crowded as Times Square or anywhere else in New York City. You can walk, hike, or run at your own pace. You won’t run into anyone.
4. TRAILS: Runyon Canyon offers three trails to accommodate all different fitness levels. Trail A is smooth and fairly flat. It’s for anyone who wants to go for a leisurely walk or run. Trails B and C start together, but C is the most challenging. It’s meant to get your heart pumping to the max. Imagine walking at a 12.0 incline for most of the hike. Trail B gives you a good enough workout and also has the best view of the legendary Hollywood sign. FYI, when I asked locals for directions to Trail C NOONE knew what I was talking about. Lesson Learned: the trails start together. A is on your right, B/C on the left.
*Don’t wear anything you don’t want to get dirty. You’re bound to get dust and dirt all over you. I made the mistake of wearing my new Brooks Ghost Runners 🙂
*Wear shoes with a grip. You are hiking after all. My new Ghost Runners had amazing grip – I made the right decision 🙂
*Lastly, don’t forget the essentials like water, sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat. I got some sun.
*Don’t bring a purse or bag…unless you want to carry it the entire time.
*Bring a snack, or make sure to fuel up pre-hike. No matter which route you take, you’re bound to burn calories.
6. DOGS: If you don’t love dogs, this may not be the activity for you. Many work out with their dogs unleashed.
7. HIKING NOT YOUR THING? Runyon Canyon offers daily yoga classes. Check out the schedule here.
8. TAKE YOUR TIME! Often times we rush through our workout at the highest intensity possible. I got my workout and heart rate up by hiking Trail C as fast as possible, but took my time coming down. There are so many sights, smells, and sounds that we don’t get to experience on a regular basis. The view of the city is the least appealing in my opinion no matter how stunning. It’s the mountains, the sky, and unique vegetation that captured my attention.
I had a great time hiking and would love to incorporate more hikes into my wellness plan. What hiking tips would you give a beginner like me?