Climbing Mt. Washington

Downtown and the glint of the ocean
Yeller
Love thisMoon Canyon
The Craftsmans are unbelievable
Craftsman on Professor's Row
Eldred Street in Mt. Washington, the steepest paved street in LA.
Longest wooden stairs in LABob talks about how Eldred is steeper than any SF street!
View from top of Mt. Washington
Beheaded flamingoDevil's red hot poker (no kidding that is the name)
Dave swingin'
Mural for Highland ParkChico's restaurant
Supposedly John Philip Souza's house, with pool ball gate
Yes Yes Yes.
Former Mt. Washington Hotel

On a brilliantly sunny Saturday afternoon I joined about 40 fellow walkers on a stairwalk hosted by the awesome Bob Inman, who is working on his second book of stair-heavy walking tours for Los Angeles. Our goal: Climb the 940-foot peak in the middle of Los Angeles known as Mt. Washington, then take a six-mile meander all around it, exploring the wooden staircases, paper streets, and hidden trails that weave through this mostly-residential neighborhood.

Highlights on this walk included LA’s steepest street, Eldred, which has a 33% grade (the steepest streets in San Francisco are only 30%), traces of a railway which once ran to the summit, incredible homes (the Craftsmans on this route were to die for), the 1908 Mt. Washington Hotel, now the open-to-the-public Self-Realization Fellowship Center, a guy who passed out oranges from the tree in his front yard, and at least one rope swing (modeled here by stairstreet advocate Dave Ptach). The blue-blue sky also afforded some killer views: In many places you could see all the way to the San Bernardino Mountains, then turn around and see the glittering Pacific. More photos here.

Bob’s got a bunch more walks coming up all over the city, which you can view on his Facebook page (you might need to “like” it to see the tours, which you should!). The one next weekend in Hollywood should be especially fun. There’s also a weekly Tuesday night “Tomato Pie” walk in Franklin Hills that ends with pizza, and Charles Fleming leads regular stair walks from his book. And you can join The Big Parade group (or watch the website) for updates on lots of practice walks as we prepare for The Big Parade (you know, that two-day, 40-mile stair walk) in May!

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  • David Ryan

    I love your pictures. You have a very good eye for the exceptional. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alissa

    Thanks so much, David!

  • Alissa

    Thanks David!