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runyon5

Smoggy view from halfway up the trail

Runyon Canyon is no secret gem of Hollywood. In fact, if you live in Hollywood you have either been to Runyon, been invited to Runyon, done a boot camp at Runyon, gone on a date to Runyon, done yoga in Runyon, or avoided Runyon because everyone you know has talked about it and you are the type of person who likes to avoid all things trendy and faddish. So, no, I am not revealing some hidden treasure that is known only to me and the coolest kids in town; but none the less, I am compelled to write about my rekindled love for this often overrated Hollywood hiking trail.

I have to admit, I have not always been a steadfast lover of Runyon Canyon. In fact, I stopped going altogether a couple years back because I just didn’t find it to be that enjoyable of an experience. First of all, parking anywhere near the park is RIDICULOUS! You’ll circle around for at least 30 minutes before you can find a spot and even then there is no guarantee that you are not missing some “no parking” sign that is going to leave you with a ticket when you return from your adventures. Secondly, everyone and their dog (literally…every dog in Hollywood) is there and don’t even bother trying to go on a weekend. Thirdly, everyone runs around the trail like they are auditioning for their next big break; guys with their shirts off, overly tanned and oiled, girls wearing as little clothing as they can possibly get away with in public, everyone in Ray-Bans, and everyone looking as if they spent hours trying to look like they didn’t try at all. It’s all a little silly to be honest, but, hey, we’re in Hollywood right?! Needless to say, I stopped going and I didn’t miss it at all!

But then I got Nina…well, and moved close enough to walk there!

runyon2

Look at that face!

The thing about Runyon Canyon is that it is one of the few, if not only, hiking trails in the area that is not just dog friendly but off-leash. This means that my sweet little Nina puppy can run around to her hearts content without having to be confined to her slow and often breathless mommy. It wasn’t until I had a dog of my own that I realized what a joy this is, not just for the pup, but for the owner as well (and I know those of you who don’t have a dog are rolling your eyes at me…I get it, I used to be you). Nina looks so happy prancing around with her tongue hanging out, fetching sticks, running all over the place and sometimes playing with other dogs (she’s a little anti-social, not sure where she gets that from…) And I get to enjoy some fresh air and exercise and some of the greatest views in town.

runyon3

Now that I am walking distance from the canyon, I don’t have to deal with the issue of trying to park, which honestly makes a HUGE difference. Also, I will usually go at around 10 or 11am on a weekday because this tends to be a less busy time to go. (Except for today, today was SUPER BUSY! Doesn’t anyone work in this town?!) And with a sweet thing like Nina as my companion, I pay less attention to all the “beautiful people” walking the trail and more attention on her cuteness! The best part about it is that Nina gets herself so nice and worn-out that she will happily sleep for the rest of the day.

runyon6

So, my love for Runyon Canyon has been reignited but only under these specific criteria. If you don’t have a dog or are not a dog lover and you don’t live close enough to walk there, I would say you shouldn’t even bother. There are plenty of prettier, quieter, and less trendy places to enjoy a little outdoor workout. Or, you can always stop by mine and come along with Nina and me!

runyon1

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