Most people associate stairs with function. For example, many staircases in Echo Park were built to assist Angelenos from Red Car stops to uphill homes. Now staircases bring people to city views and give people a no-cost exercise alternative to gyms and fitness studios. Read on and learn about 14 great staircases across L.A. County.
Baldwin Hills Stairs Scenic Overlook
Total Steps: 282
Jagged, uneven outdoor stairs surrounded by dirt and brush rise from an industrial stretch of Culver City steps to a circular hilltop terrace. From this vantage point, it’s possible to enjoy 360-degree views of vast swaths of L.A. on a clear day. To the north, you’ll find Ballona Creek and Hayden Tract in the foreground and the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance. To the east, expect Downtown L.A. skyscrapers and out west, the Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the best stair workouts in the area.
Baxter Street Stairs
Total Steps: 231
This towering staircase hike lies just up Baxter Street from Elysian Heights Elementary and Fix Coffee in the hills of Echo Park. Climb concrete stairs that are flanked by hay-covered dirt and find a residential area along Park Drive. Walk across the street to find a wealth of succulents and Elysian Park below. In the distance, expect more hills and the Downtown L.A. skyline.
Broadview Terrace Stairs
Total Steps: 249
Just south of the Hollywood Bowl, take Camrose Drive west, turn right on High Tower Drive and you’ll find a five-story tower. Right before the tower, take a left on Los Altos Place, go up 23 stairs and down a shady cacti- and fence-lined alley. At a T, take a left down 49 Broadview Terrace stairs with green railings to reach Yeager Place. We suggest turning right up 37 stairs to reach a plateau with huge cacti and Hollywood views. Continue up 52 stairs and find the tower’s entrance. Take the next right down a path. After a long descent past a series of colorful home fences, descend 18 steps and hang a right. Four steps down, take a left past more homes, navigating tiers that total 66 steps. Take a left in the Highland Camrose Park lot. Pass south through the park, past dozens of picnic tables, to reach Camrose. Take a right to return back to your starting point.
Bunker Hill Steps
Total Steps: 101
Start at the base of U.S. Bank Tower, across from the Central Library. Sure, there's an escalator, but the Bunker Hill Steps let you slow down and experience interesting Downtown L.A. people-watching. Wide stone stairs, divided by a fountain, climb from tier to tier, passing terraces and plants. Exit at the top of Bunker Hill amidst office towers. Stone block benches ring a circular fountain with Robert Graham’s sculpture of a nude woman standing on top of a textured cylinder. Turn around to see more of the DTLA skyline.
Total Steps: 369
This system of stairs resides above the beach in Pacific Palisades. Start at Breve Way and Castellammare Drive, where you’ll find a set of 92 shady steps with red metal railing. Climb and take a right. At the corner of Revello Drive and Posetano Road, climb 86 steps, dead-ending at the dirt and a manhole. It’s worth the climb to look back and see the Pacific Ocean and passing boats. Descend Posetano, which is not a through street, but does yield another staircase after about a block. Find a staircase with 32 steps to your left, which leads to a private home. Take them for exercise if you like.
Otherwise, take a right down 68 steps with a green railing. Pass a terrace with flowers and stones painted rainbow colors to reach Castellammare. Take a left and a quick right down stairs framed with concrete and fencing. It takes 40 steps to reach a caged overpass that crosses Pacific Coast Highway. A final 51 steps deposit you in the sand in front of crashing waves and squawking seagulls.
Clermont Street Stairs
Total Steps: 155
These stairs are located near Carlin G. Smith Recreation Center on a steep Mount Washington hillside. Start just south of 4507 Clermont St. (at Canon Crest Avenue), with a view of Glassell Park hills. If you want to extend, a 22-step staircase descends into the pine-shrouded park. Otherwise, climb these shady steps, passing succulents, trees, flower-lined hills, backyard pools and patios to reach bucolic W. Avenue 46.
Total Steps: 133
These stairs are located alongside the Glendale Freeway, starting at the base of a bare dirt hillside. The first leg has 43 steps and a railing on the left side. Hang a right and climb a rail-free, 90-step staircase hike to a massive log structure tucked away in a Silver Lake neighborhood. Your climb reveals views of the freeway, surrounding Echo Park and Glassell Park hills.
Eldred Street Stairs
Total Steps: 196 Steps
One of the steepest hills in L.A. County resides behind Aldama Elementary School and registers a grueling 33% grade. Park below where the grade begins and climb the hill to reach a rickety staircase hike that has barren hillside on each side and connects with Cross Avenue. Look back to see palm trees and panoramic views of Highland Park and Eagle Rock hills.
Total Steps: 171
The Santa Monica steps that connect with 4th Street are more popular, but the twisted concrete can be tough on joints. Walk two blocks north to the intersection of Entrada Drive and Amalfi Drive, across the street from Canyon Charter Elementary School, to find 171 wood stairs that are more forgiving. These Santa Monica stairs provide wider clearance to Adelaide Drive, a green street that snakes across the clifftop with views of the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Mattachine Steps
Total Steps: 161
Harry Hay founded the Mattachine Society, one of America’s first gay rights organizations, on this hillside on Nov. 11, 1950. Find a plaque and retrace his steps on Cove Avenue, just south of Silver Lake Reservoir. Climb the concrete staircase. Homes give way to cacti, palms and brush. Stairs spit you out in a residential cul-de-sac. About-face for a view of the reservoir's shimmering water and homes on an opposite hill.
Micheltorena Silver Lake Stairs
Total Steps: 177
The photogenic Silver Lake staircase is located across Sunset Boulevard from Micheltorena Elementary School. You might think of them as rainbow stairs since the sides of the bottom steps are decorated with hearts and rainbow colors. A plant-lined walkway with palm trees and flowers climbs 40 steps to Larissa Drive. Cross the street and find a second leg that spans 59 steps. Cross the street to reach the last of three legs, a shady fence-framed 78 steps. You'll see the occasional cartoon on the pavement or fence, including Space Ghost, before arriving at Winslow Drive.
Murphy Ranch Stairs
Total Steps: 529
This is the only staircase in this guide that requires a short hike, but it’s worth the trouble. At the end of ritzy Capri Drive, take a left on Casale Road. Wrap around and reach a yellow gate. Pass through the gate and continue on a graffiti lined road lined with the occasional hollyhock. A green ridge is visible in the distance to your left, a rock face to your right. Take the stairs through a hole in the fence. Descend 529 steps and be rewarded with a dirt path lined with pines. Continue down the trail to reach Murphy Ranch, the graffiti-covered, fenced-off remains of an encampment that Nazi sympathizers constructed during World War II.
Total Steps: 298
Located just east of Prospect Studios, three consecutive stairways climb up Los Feliz hillside streets. The first 58-step stage is shady, with homes on each side and vines on soil and initial fence. Cross Deliz Avenue to reach the second stage, with 71 steps and flower lined fencing. Cross Hollyvista Avenue for the final leg - at 168 steps it’s by far the longest and steepest. Pass backyard gardens, walkways, pleasant terraces and towering pines. Look back and watch Hollywood Boulevard extend into the distant hills.
Total Steps: 397+
The Saroyan Stairs are located on Woodshire Drive, just west of Beachwood Drive. The two rows of 148 granite steps were built in 1923, with planters serving as dividers and doubling as benches. Take a left on windy Belden Drive. Wrap around the hills and find stairs on your right, just past the turn for Rodgerton Drive. Climb 20 steps and bear left past pink flowers to reach 105 steps that pass a bald hill to the right and houses to the left. Stairs spit you out at Durand Drive. Immediately reverse field. At the bottom of the staircase you’ve already taken, turn right on Belden. Take a left down a narrow staircase that lasts 124 steps. Take a left on Woodshire Drive to reach Beachwood Drive.
Looking to extend your staircase tour of Beachwood Canyon? Cross the street and look for a lamppost and canary yellow fence, where you’ll find 143 granite stairs that ascend the hill past assorted succulents to reach a stone wall and homes along Westshire Drive.