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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DAY 71: RUNYON CANYON LOOP

DAY 71: RUNYON CANYON LOOP
Miles: 3.75
Elevation Gain775 Feet
Time: 2 Hours
Difficulty (1-10): 2.0
Reward (1-10): 3.5
Description:
Just a minute from the Hollywood strip, a public hiking trail climbs up over the city!
Where: Hollywood, CA
Directions: From the 101 Freeway in Hollywood, exit at Highland and drive into the heart of Hollywood.  Less than a mile up, turn right on Franklin.  Or, go one block further and turn right on Hollywood Blvd.  This route will take you past the main Hollywood Strip, including The Kodak & Grauman's Chinese Theaters.  Just a couple blocks down, you'll intersect with Fuller and then Vista.  Both street end at the Runyon Canyon Trailhead.  You have to park on the street but beware of the street sweeper on Mondays & Tuesdays and other No Parking Zones.  It's easier to park down by Franklin and then walk up Vista to begin your trek.
**MY 71 DAY SUMMARY:  247.25 Miles  +38,100 Feet**
The City of Los Angeles, from the Runyon Canyon Gate at Vista

Imagine touring the Hollywood Walk of Fame, stepping on the star of your choice, and then a minute later you're climbing a mountain.  Awesome!!  Yes, that's what I did yesterday.  I parallel parked on Franklin and then began walking up Vista with my wife to the trail.  The eight of a mile stretch up the hill will exhaust you even before you begin the real climb.  Be careful of dog poo and pee.  This area is heavily traveled and for some reason, many pet owners fail to clean up after their responsibility.  Horrendous and it stinks! 

Through the gate, you have two choices from Vista; Up or Down.  We chose up but after talking to others, down is the better way to begin.  Anyhow, we took the left fork and hiked up the paved road for a good twenty minutes.  We probably passed 300 people speaking 10 different languages walking a variety of 50 breeds of dogs.  Some people were running in spandex and bikinis while others were slugging it up in jeans.  Finally, you reach a dirt turn off to the right where many people were congregating and passing thru.  However, Jess and I continued higher.  This is a closed road to cars yet we reached a residential zone with a horse and goat.  The views of LA are amazing and if there wasn’t so much smog, the ocean would have been fantastic.  The Hollywood sign appeared vibrant and far beyond the Griffith Observatory were the snow capped San Gregorian Mountains.  Simply amazing!


Rather than veer left up the dirt trail after the goat, Jess and I continued forward up the old concrete road.  Eventually it led us out to a rear gate.  The street signs displayed
Mulholland Drive & Runyon Canyon Rd.  If I were to do the hike again, I would try to park up because the parking situation is much easier.

We turned around and continued up a dirt trail instead of going back down the cement path.  This led us to the highest point in the park.  We dazzled up there for awhile appreciating what we had accomplished.  We talked to Carl, a local guy who pointed out that the lower peak to the right is known as Blue Diamond.  We did not do venture off that way today.

We looped back down the dirt trail, which lead us back to the goat.  We continued down to the dirt section that we passed much earlier.  This time, we broke off the road and headed across the flat path and then down the steep dirt trail.  This one would have been much better to climb because going down on the steep sucks and it’s more dangerous. 

There is no water system anywhere in this area but you will pass an old fenced in basketball or tennis court where a couple of wannabe UFC fighters were in training.  At the very bottom, the trail forward I presumed ended up on Fuller so we looped back to the right to exit the park on Vista.  Day 71 Complete!

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