Los Angeles was once a city connected by public transportation in the form of trolleys, buses and trains. During this time staircases in L.A were used as modes of crossings and connections for pedestrians across the city. Nowadays, the remaining stairs around the city are used as killer workout alternatives to gyms.
Leg day anyone?
Many L.A. staircases serve as a historical reminder to a time when Los Angeles wasn’t known as a city of cars, congestion and smog. Some are just little nooks that offer a unique viewpoint of our city.
Now the secret is out and we’ve complied a list of some of the best. It’s not every little staircase in L.A., but it’s definitely enough to get you started.
Music Box Steps/ Music Box Loop | ~705 Steps
Located in Silverlake and separated into parts, this set of stairs gets its name from a 1932 Laurel and Hardy film where the guys tried to push a piano up these exact stairs between Vendome St. and Descanso Drive. It’s the only officially designated set of stairs in Silver Lake.
Baxter Stairways (Echo Park) | ~230 Steps
Known as the steepest staircase in all of Los Angeles, these steps will give you a sweat and getting you huffing and puffing by the time you reach the top but the breathtaking view of downtown will be well worth it. Echo Park also features a few other historic stairways you might want to check out, including the Laveta Terrace Stairway, Clinton Stairway, Curran Stairway, and Avalon Stairway. See link below for more information on all!
Murphy Ranch Trail | ~513 steps
Located in Rustic Canyon, this trail of stairs will you lead you through the hills to the graffiti worn Murphy Ranch (an abandoned Nazi sympathizer camp!). There are actually three sets of stairs here that create a loop. The longest of the three is the East set, which is about 513 steps in total.
Santa Monica Stairs | ~170 Steps AND ~189 Steps
This is actually two stair cases that cut into the Santa Monica Canyon from Pacific Palisades. The first is at the intersection of 7th Street leads to Entrada Drive, the second is near the intersection of 4th Street leads to Ocean Avenue. Elevation gain on both sets is around 100 feet. It gets crowded quickly during the day, with folks from a variety of workout levels and sometimes things get a little competitive, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook | ~282 steps
Another set of stairs used mainly for working out but offers a stunning view of the LA skyline. Also known simply as the Culver City Stairs.
Hollywood Bowl Stairs | ~168 Steps
So the Hollywood Bowl isn’t just a music venue, it’s also technically an L.A. County public park and is accessible to the public during the day in the “off-season” from concerts.
Beachwood Canyon Stairs | ~800 Steps
These stairs take you up and through Hollywood history in the form of old homes along the stairs and killer views of the Hollywood Hills from the Lake Hollywood Resistor to the Hollywood sign. This stair hike is nothing short of nonstop views.
Angels Flight | ~153 Steps
While most folks are familiar with the landmark trolley car (not currently in operation) there is also a set of stairs that bridge Hill Street and California Plaza. Go up and down just a few times and your glutes will really start to feel it!
Pacific Palisades Castellammare | ~518 steps
This set of stairs are located in Pacific Palisades and offer a scenic view of the California coastline. If you map it right, your stair hike can end up on the beach.
Bunker Hill Stairs | ~294 Steps
The Bunker Hills Stairs were designed by architect Lawrence Halprin and completed in 1990 as a pedestrian connection of the Bunker Hill neighborhood to the Los Angeles Central Library.
Looking for more ways to explore stairs in Los Angeles? Here are a couple helpful resources:
Obviously the 10 stairs highlighted above aren’t the only ones in Los Angeles. Let us know your favorite staircase spots to climb in the comments below!