Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles
This jewel of a park, almost completely undeveloped, is one of Hollywood's best kept secrets. The canyon is a steep gorge which runs from Hollywood to the top of Mulholland Drive.
Today it is used by hikers, dog owners who love the freedom not found in many parks, and nature lovers enjoying the vistas offered. Also heard rumors that stars have been spotted here along with being filmed in movies and shows like Six Feet Under. Recognize the gigantic park bench?
North entrance: From Ventura Fwy (101) - take Laurel Canyon and go right (south) for about 3 miles. Turn left at Mulholland Drive.
South entrance: From Hollywod Fwy (101) to Highland Avenue. South to Franklin Ave. West on Franklin to Fuller, north on Fuller to dead end. Park on street.
Smack dab in the middle of Hollywood is Runyon Canyon.
Its a slice of nature among the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles. On a clear day you can see all the way to the ocean, down to Long Beach or eastward to downtown out towards the mountains. In the winter or spring, which is the best visibility, the mountains are often snocapped.
The view anyday is quite amazing though. This is a great place to take visitors, or even yourself for some alone time if you need to commune with nature. When I first moved here, it helped me set my bearings on Los Angeles. You can see quite a few landmarks including: the arclight, Yamashiro's, Capitol Records, Century City, Downtown LA, The Hollywood Sign, Madonna's Old House, etc...
I go here to excercise by either running or hiking up one of the paths. If you enter through the Fuller gate you can go right or left when the path branches off. The path to the right is steep and will wind those who arent in the best of shape. The path to the left is paved and a little easier to walk up.
There is also a steeper hiking trail that branches off the paved trail to the left, for those who ironmen, like me.
Another plus is that you can bring dogs and take them off leash!
One more plus is that a lot of attractive young hollywood types like to hike this and show off there bodies very unmodestly. People + dog watching galore!