July 19, 2011

Photo Essay: Happy Hour Hiking: Runyon Canyon

I roll my eyes every time someone in LA hears that I'm a hiker and responds with, "Oh, so you do the Runyon thing?"

It's such a common question that I've pored over my map of LA to find hikes that aren't in Runyon Canyon. Just to be contrary. I guess.

I did hike the less popular upper portion of Runyon once, and was appalled at how crowded and eroded it was. I didn't have much reason to go back. Except the fact that its lower portion remained unhiked kept nagging at me.

Since I've been looking for ways to squeeze hikes in after some temporary office work I've been doing, I could no longer ignore Runyon - perhaps the closest, fastest, and most accessible hike I could do before the sun goes down.

Vehicular traffic up to the trailhead was a nightmare.

Foot traffic on the trail was a nightmare. I hiked past strollers. Bare-chested trailrunners huffed past me. Bosoms heaved at me. Dogs literally ran between my legs.

But as I climbed the loop trail (clockwise, the easy way) past ruins of old estates, up to a scenic overlook to glimpse the Hollywood Sign and bask in the late-day glow, overlooking the black-and-white city grid below, and back down the hard way past the abandoned tennis court, I understood Runyon's charm, why it's so damn popular.

I just wish I could've had a little time alone with it.

Related Reading:
Photo Essay: Trebek Open Space

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