One of my favorite walks in LA is a secret stairs walk in Los Feliz up to the Griffith Observatory. It takes you up some lovely and historic stairs, by some beautiful homes, including a huge Frank Lloyd Wright landmark, gives you some great views and leads to one of my favorite places, the Griffith Observatory. All that, and lacking the crowds that climb up the dirt trail through the park. I will say that I haven’t found many good posts online detailing exactly where to go on this walk, so here’s my play by play.
The first set of stairs, the Los Feliz Heights stairs, start on the north side of Berendo St and Cromwell Avenue (map below). You can park in this neighborhood as long as you abide by the signs, or you can park on Vermont just north of Los Feliz and walk a couple of blocks.
The stairs are lovely, and have a sitting area half way up if you’d like a break. Once you reach the top, take a right and walk up the hill to the next staircase.
The next staircase it at Glendower and Bonvue on your left. It runs right up next to a tan house and you’ll see a tile mural at the top of the first flight.
This set of stairs will end briefly, just for you to cross the road and head up another set. Keep going up!
There’s a really nice view from the second flight of stairs. Take a deserved break and soak it in.
If you’re facing going up the stairs, turn to your right to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis house, also know as the Mayan house. It’s most famous for its use in Blade Runner, and is pretty amazing to look at while you catch your breath. Once you’ve taken in the view, finish the last bit of stairs and take a right on Glendower.
You’ll come to this corner, which points hikers to the left (that’s us!). Turn left here and walk a short ways to the gate.
Believe it or not, you can go through this. As you can see to the left of the gate, there’s a small space for walkers to squeeze through. This path leads you up to the Observatory and has some great views, too. And almost no people!
Eyes on the prize! You’ll drift to the left and hook up with a dirt path.
Once on the dirt path, take the sharp right to finish heading up the hill. In the meantime you get some nice views of downtown and the Hollywood sign and then boom! you’re there.
Take some time to explore the Observatory if you haven’t already, it’s pretty great. It opens at noon most days, be sure to check their hours.
When you head down, you can retrace your steps or take a slightly different route. Head down the same dirt path from the Observatory, but instead of heading right to the paved path, continue straight on the dirt path which leads to Vermont near the Greek Theatre and the golf course. Then you can stroll leisurely down Vermont towards Los Feliz Blvd and save your knees from going down all those stairs.