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From the glitzy Hollywood Hills to the rustic desert outskirts, Los Angeles is a city full of opportunity for adventure and exploration. And despite the perception that “nobody walks in L.A.,” quite the opposite is true for those looking to experience a closer view of the city and its myriad of hidden gems. L.A.’s many hidden staircases are an excellent way to do some urban exploring and learn a bit more about the city and its colorful history. Read on for more information about a few of L.A.’s most noteworthy hidden staircases.

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Baxter Stairway

Location: Echo Park

Description: The 230-step Baxter Stairway is heralded as the steepest in the city. But the climb is not only favored by those seeking a killer workout. It also offers a breathtaking view of downtown L.A. from the top. The park is also home to a few other historic stairways, including the Clinton Stairway, Curran Stairway, Avalon Stairway, and Laveta Terrace Stairway.


Murphy Ranch Trail

Location: Rustic Canyon

Description: This set of three staircases—the longest of which is 513 steps—beckons history buffs to the site of Murphy Ranch, built in the 1930s by Winona and Norman Stephens, Nazi sympathizers. The Stephens created the place as a bunker for themselves and their followers to wait for the Third Reich to take over the U.S. It was instead shut down in 1941 by authorities, and in the 1960s and ‘70s became a sort of colony for beatnik artists who embellished it with a variety of artistic graffiti. The ranch was demolished in the spring of 2016, but the staircase remains.

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Beachwood Canyon Stairs

Location: 2800 Beachwood Drive

Description: Take a step back in time to old Hollywood. The Beachwood Canyon Stairs consist of about 800 steps winding past beautiful old homes and stunning views of the Hollywood Hills, from Lake Hollywood Resistor to the Hollywood sign.


Music Box Stairs

Location: 936 North Vendome Street, three blocks off Sunset Boulevard

Description: These 133 stairs got their name from their role in the 1932 Oscar Award-winning short film “The Music Box,” in which Laurel and Hardy hauled a piano up the steps.


Bunker Hill Steps

Location: Bunker Hill, from Hope Street to Fifth Street

Description: Since the demolition of many of Bunker Hill’s historic structures in the 1960s, the attempt to maintain a connection between the Bunker Hill neighborhood and downtown L.A. has been an arduous process. In the following decades, development continued to expand, and the old and new downtown areas never quite seemed to meld. In 1990, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin completed the steps as a project meant to remedy the rift. The 294-step staircase provides a walking route from Bunker Hill to the Los Angeles Central Library.

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Pacific Palisades Castellammare

Location: Sunset Highway (beginning by Gladstone’s Restaurant)

Description: Perhaps the most scenic of L.A.’s staircases, Pacific Palisades Castellammare offers a stellar view of the California coastline. The flight consists of about 518 steps, wending from the bustling highway into beautiful neighborhoods and, finally, to the beach.


Angels Flight

Location: Hill Street and California Plaza

Description: The landmark Angels Railway trolley car once provided a means of transportation for stylish Victorian-era residents to make their way from Bunker Hill to downtown L.A. Though the trolley is not currently in operation (it closed in the late 1960s), the 153-step staircase offers a glimpse into history—and provides an excellent workout.



Whether you’re a tourist looking to see the sights for the first time or a new resident thirsting for a fresh perspective, a climb up any one of L.A.’s secret stairways is well worthwhile. From gorgeous seaside vistas to neighborhood scavenger hunts, it sure beats going to the gym! Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive. There are plenty more awesome stairways to explore. Share some of your own favorite spots in the comments!

Is the Big Apple next on your list? Be sure to check out this article for some of the best running and walking trails in NYC.

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Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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