Runyon Canyon Park has been a landmark in Los Angeles since 1983. The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy granted it to the city, and it is maintained by the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. Despite the fact that Hollywood Boulevard is just a couple of blocks away, the park is an exquisite slice of wilderness that is full of evergreen trees, palm trees, owls, coyotes, and many other plants and animals.
The park opens at dawn each morning and is locked up at dusk. Yoga classes are offered for free three to four times each day, although it is common courtesy to make a small donation to the professional instructors. Equipment is not provided, so you will have to bring your own mat and towel. This is an invigorating way to start you day, or a nice way unwind from a hike through the park.
More than 1,000 visitors tromp through Runyon Canyon each weekend, many with their dogs. Celebrities are frequently sighted, which entices tourists to spend time at the park. There are also several beautiful lookout spots and natural attractions that draw crowds, including Inspiration Point, Cloud’s Rest, and Indian Rock. Depending on the weather, it is possible that you will catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean in the distance, although Los Angeles’ hazy summers often obscure the view.
In addition to Runyon Canyon Park’s natural beauty, there is also an interesting manmade historical artifact: the Outpost Sign. Similar to the iconic Hollywood Sign, it dates back to the 1920s and was an elaborate advertisement for a housing development. Its bright red bulbs lit up the Los Angeles skyline for nearly two decades until World War II, when it was left dark due to concerns it would be an obvious landmark for Japanese bombers who were seeking urban targets.