Posts tagged canyon

Franklin Canyon is a quiet hike on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. There are a number of trails here, but for this post I'm focusing on the reservoir loop. This hike is fairly easy but offers beautiful views and scenery that will make you question whether or not you're really still in Los Angeles. 

You will begin your hike at the intersection of Lake Drive and Franklin Canyon Drive. You will know you are in the right place when you see the old abandoned spanish home. This is where you should try to park (detailed directions are at the end of this post) - if there are no spaces available you can typically park just north or south on the road. 

The trailhead begins just past the wooden fence along the edge of the tree-line. There is a small wooden bridge that will lead you across a creek bed and up some rocky stairs. This part of the trail is so lush and green magical that, like I said before, makes it hard to believe the busy city is just down the hill from there. 

After you make your way up the stairs you will find yourself at a trail intersection - make a hard left and follow the trail north. You should be able to make out Franklin Canyon Drive down below. This trail will lead you to the Upper Reservoir - it's a fairly level hike with a good amount of coverage from the sun here and there. It offers some great views of the hills and lush landscape throughout the canyon as well. 

Around 1/4 mile in you might notice another offshoot trail - ignore that and continue on your current route. This route will eventually spit you back out to Franklin Canyon Drive. Cross the intersection here and you will have made it to the Upper Reservoir! 

Just past the chain link fence you will notice a wooden stairway. Take the steps down to the trail that follows along the shore of the reservoir. It's pretty straight forward from here - the trail simply loops all the way around the water. If you happen to pack a picnic, you'll find a few nice shady spots to set up shop and relax while overlooking the peaceful scenery. We noticed a lot of ducks, lizards and even a turtle! The lush atmosphere here calls for a lot of wonderful wildlife. 

As you follow the path to the north side of the reservoir you will have to cross over some large "boulders" (cement) and continue on to the west side of the reservoir. Head south and make your way down the path. Eventually you will find your way back to the paved road and another parking lot. From here you can follow the road back down to your car, or you can make a pit stop at the Heavenly Pond, a small duck pond just west of the reservoir. 

I highly recommend the Franklin Reservoir trails to those of you who are looking for a quiet, more secluded hike compared to that of Runyon Canyon or Kenneth Hahn. Franklin Canyon is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle and is still just a stones throw from the city.

How To Get There: From the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills, head north on Beverly Drive. In about 1/2 mile, continue left in order to stay on Beverly Drive. A short drive later you'll reach an intersection at the entrance to Coldwater Canyon Park on your left. Take a left at this traffic light to continue on up Beverly Drive. In about another mile Beverly Drive will turn into a more residential street. After that mile, you'll come to an intersection with a stop sign. Take a right at the stop sign to make your way onto Franklin Canyon Drive (you'll eventually see a sign that reads Road Closed in 1600 feet). Follow Franklin Canyon Drive as it makes it's way up and into the park. After about another mile of meandering up the hill and  then back down you'll come to an abandoned spanish style building. Take a right Lake Drive past the building where you will find a small parking area just to the east of the house. This is where you can park and your trail will begin. As mentioned above, if there is no parking, make your way either north or south and you will be sure to find a spot.

Address: 2600 Franklin Canyon Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210

sorry this route map isn't interactive - unfortunately there was a problem with the code when i tried to embed it on the site.

sorry this route map isn't interactive - unfortunately there was a problem with the code when i tried to embed it on the site.

Runyon Canyon - Los Angeles, CA

Chances are, if you live in Los Angeles you've heard about Runyon Canyon. This is one of the most popular canyons in Hollywood, and with good reason; the trails offer great workouts, incredible panoramic views and some of the best people watching you could hope for!

If you live in the Hollywood area I definitely recommend these trails as an alternative to working out indoors. Runyon offers a number of different routes with different levels of difficulty - perfect for just about everyone (and their four legged friends). Whether you're looking to take a leisurely stroll or really work up a sweat - you will definitely be satisfied. 

There are a couple different ways to get into the park - this is sacred information because parking can get seriously competitive up there depending on where you decide to begin your hike. 

Fuller Street Entrance - Personally, I think this is the most popular area to enter the park, and by no coincidence, the most difficult area to snag a parking spot. If you find yourself circling the blocks with no luck, my advice would be to head down closer to Hollywood Blvd. on one of the side streets - but READ THE PARKING SIGNS - there is nothing worse than coming back to your car after an excellent hike to find a $75 dollar ticket. 

The Fuller entrance is closest to the Yoga area and you'll find a nice little vendor with water and snacks that are priced based on the honor system. 

N. Vista Street Entrance - Parking in this area is a little less stressful - but as mentioned before, keep your eye on the parking signs. Vista, Gardener and Sierra Bonita have some restricted areas.

To enter the park from here, just take Vista all the way up the hill until it dead ends and you're forced to hang a right - you can't miss it. This entrance drops you at the base of the both the easier and most difficult of the three main trails. 

Runyon Canyon Road Entrance - Okay, I'll be honest. Never been to this entrance, mainly because it's just not convenient for me from where I live, but also because I like to make my way up to the top from the bottom. However, I can imagine it's great for those of you who are looking to experience Runyon as more of a scenic / leisurely trip rather than a workout. 

I pulled the below map from the Runyon Canyon website. It offers some really great insight on all three of the main trails and also has some great tid-bits about other areas of the park. If you haven't been to the Runyon Canyon website it's definitely worth a visit - they have great information on other activities in the park like yoga, group work outs etc. and also offer some great health and wellness tips and even an area to shop!

View Runyon Canyon Park in a larger map

While Runyon is a great workout spot and place to unwind after a long day at the office, if you're looking for a more serene, secluded hike, these probably aren't the trails for you. You will almost never find yourself alone on these trails - and it only gets worse on the weekends. You often find yourself caught between dog walkers and tourists (which leads to some great people watching and eaves dropping) - still I find myself on these hills on a regular basis, and I hold a fond place for this park in my heart. It's a must if you're new to LA or just haven't gotten around to doing it. 

Let me know what you think and feel free to leave your own insider tips and tricks on this Hollywood staple.