Los Angeles is known for its health-oriented residents. There’s a reason that boomers make fun of millennials for loving avocados or hitting the tanning beds. Angelenos like to look and feel good. They have a reputation to uphold! If you visit the city, you’ll see one thing immediately: there are people jogging from one end of the city to the next. And guess what? This is one of the best cities on the planet for getting in that run.
Debt settlement attorney Ryan Johnson said, “It’s kind of stereotypical, but I do most of my running in Runyon Canyon. I’ll meet up with friends or colleagues, and we’ll walk, run, and chat for an hour or two. In a pre-COVID world, we’d go to Jamba Juice afterward. Now we just go home.”
One of our favorite places to run is the Strand. This is a shared pathway built for bikes, so you’ll have to be extra careful. You wouldn’t want to get hit by some biker who was paying more attention to Snapchat or texting. Most people head to the Strand at Santa Monica, but the path runs for 22 miles from Will Rogers Park in the Palisades to Torrance Beach. This is a really easy, straight shot with basically no elevation change and few road crossings. There are plenty of bathrooms and, hey, you get a great view of the beach while you run!
Speaking of Will Rogers Park, this is where you’ll find the entrance to Temescal Canyon. Temescal is a really popular hiking area (and fairly strenuous, too) with a super duper lackluster waterfall. Most people stop hiking at the waterfall, but if you head about five miles into the trail, you’ll find a trail junction called “the Hub.”
This junction connects to a number of fire service roads, which have gradual elevation change and branch out to connect to many of the smaller LA towns. For example, you could hike from Temescal Canyon in the Palisades to Encino. Granted, you’d need to make it back somehow. In any case, the fire service roads are great places for endurance running.
If you live in the San Fernando Valley, you’ll find another hike called Wildwood in the town of Burbank. Many Burbank residents will hike up to the top (about two miles), and then create a loop with the connecting fire service road (seriously, they’re all over the place) to run back down about four more miles. More motivated runners can keep the run going, as this is another very connected network of trails and fire service roads.
If you want something easier, then check out the UCLA Drake Stadium Track. Four loops is a mile. Keep in mind that this option will be no less populated than any of our others, but there’s plenty of space for multiple runners. By the way — if you’re running in LA, prepare to meet the crowds!