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Runyon Canyon

puppies_puppy_silly_242881_l.jpgRunyon Canyon offers a set of easy hiking trails close to Griffith Park and Hollywood for locals looking for exercise and tourists looking for views of the city.

In 1984 the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy bought Runyon Canyon from Adad Development and transformed it into a park with hiking trails leading up the steep slopes to a hillside with beautiful views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood hills, and the surrounding metro area.

Runyon Canyon sits in the same hills as the Hollywood sign and hikers can access the trails from Fuller Street, a few blocks West of La Brea. The park’s trails and outdoor setting bring out dog walkers, runners and hikers from Hollywood’s stable of acting and entertainment hopefuls as well as regular folks from all over the city.

There are two entrances to the park at the bottom of the canyon, on Fuller Ave and Vista St. and one at the top of the park, where Mulholland Drive intersects the main trail. Parking is limited to street parking at each entrance, which explains why the park is mainly used by locals, but public transit can get you within walking distance of the park at the Hollywood and Highland rail station and several bus lines will drop you even closer.

Once you arrive at the park, your hiking options are between a clockwise or counter-clockwise circuit of the trails, or an out and back to the upper portion of the park. The top of the park is a steep mile from the bottom, but it seems farther than that because of the incline and hikers should allow at least 45 minutes for a 2 mile hike.

Frank Lloyd Wright House

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed a house in 1944 for George Headley which now stands within the bounds of Runyon Canyon Park. The house, off Mulholland Drive, follow one of three designs that Wright submitted for the building, all designed around a central chimney and high master bedroom that stands alone and makes use of the full circle of views from the top of the hills.

Additional structures were supposed to be built after Lloyd Wright designed a country club called the “Huntington Hartford Play Resort” in the hills that are now Runyon Canyon, but those plans were abandoned when the developer purchased different land and decided to invest in that instead.