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Best Hikes Near Los Angeles
by Allen Riedel and Monique Riedel (Falcon Guides)
Though not very wilderness-like and full of people and dogs, this is the quintessential Los Angeles urban hike, and there are no two ways about it. Hike here for networking, fitness, to walk a dog, just to get outside, to take in some pretty darned good views, or to simply witness the freak show if you are so inclined.
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Los Angeles
by Laura Randall (Menasha Ridge Press)
This 130-acre park two blocks north of Hollywood Boulevard offers a peaceful respite right in the middle of the city. The trail is popular with dog owners and local residents looking for an energetic outdoor workout that comes with spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin. Runyon Canyon has three entrances: two are at the bottom, or south end, of the park, and one begins at the north end, off Mulholland Drive. For the best workout and views, most hikers begin at the Fuller Avenue gate on the park’s southeast corner and follow it counterclockwise. Once known as No Man’s Canyon, the property takes its current name from Carman Runyon, a coal magnate from the East who used the property in the 1930s as a hunting and riding retreat. The city and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy bought the property in 1984 and turned it into a public park. Its former life as a playground for Hollywood stars is evidenced by the dilapidated tennis courts and the remains of terraces and building foundations along the main trail loop.
Day Hiking Los Angeles
by Casey Schreiner (The Mountaineers Books)
If you’ve ever opened a glossy gossip rag in the checkout line and seen photos of “Celebrities! Hiking!,” they were almost undoubtedly taken in Runyon Canyon. Runyon is short on the wilderness experience, but this surprisingly rugged route in the heart of Hollywood is a haven for those who can’t make a longer trip to the more remote trailheads—and it’s also one of L.A. County’s few off-leash dog parks.
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