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Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.50 mi (4.02 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This is less of a hike and more of a jog or walking route that will take you up and down some of the staircases that act as shortcuts and pedestrian arteries through Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood. The Stairway Hike mixes some historical sites such as filming locations with vistas of Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign and LA's downtown skyline, and it offers a unique way to explore some of the city's typically more hidden streets. The route listed here covers a 2.5-mile loop with 1,015 steps on 10 different staircases, but a trip like this can easily be lengthened or shortened to accommodate different urban hiking preferences and to include other staircases. 

While some are named and some are not, the staircases act as pathways and shortcuts through hillside neighborhoods with slopes that may not be conducive to building streets. Over time local artists have come to decorate some of the stairways and their surroundings, making them a unique and interesting part of the Los Angeles urban landscape. A walk among the stairs may offer scenic views, murals that lie off the beaten path, meandering sidewalks wedged between homes and apartments, and the chance to pass fragrant flower gardens decorating the yards of homeowners along the route.

Due to the hilly topography of the area, the stairs will have a lot of climbing and descending, but the painted surfaces and historical plaques provide an opportunity to pause and appreciate the hidden past of the city. For instance, the Music Box Steps, adjacent to the start point of Laurel And Hardy Park, got their name from being the filming location of Laurel and Hardy's "The Music Box" short comedy. Their film "Hats Off" was also filmed here. The shady paths can also offer a cool respite from the sunny afternoons on the city streets.

The Silver Lake Stairway Hike passes from the bustling streets of Sunset Boulevard to the quiet residential hills atop the area. The stairways offer an interesting and unique way to experience the city and go on a hike without having to fight traffic to escape the urban core.

A great resource for finding out about Los Angeles' stairway hikes can be found at www.SoCalStairClimbers.com.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Historic places. Centrally located. Scenic views.

Cons

Urban atmosphere.

Trailhead Elevation

385.00 ft (117.35 m)

Highest point

596.00 ft (181.66 m)

Net Elevation Gain

215.00 ft (65.53 m)

Features

Big vistas
Family friendly

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Los Angeles Metro Area, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains

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