STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
A TOUR OF SILVER LAKE’S PAINTED STAIRWAYS
Nowadays what can be better than an Instagram-inspired workout? Getting your cardio on in the great outdoors while posting popular social media pics is what it’s all about these days. And taking on the Silver Lake painted stairways is just the way to do it.
What was originally a hidden painted gem is now a popular way to exercise while accumulating likes. This is urban hiking at its best and depending on your route, it can be as much as an 8 to 10-mile excursion.
Popular stairways include the Murray Stairway—90 stairs with painted piano keys and red hearts (#StairTempo) and the Micheltorena Stairway, which is 205 colorful steps painted by Corinne Carrey (#StairCandy).
“It’s the stairway capital of L.A.,” Dan Guiterrez, founder of the SoCal Stair Climbers blog, says about Silver Lake and its many stairs. In fact, Gutierrez leads a popular 6.7-mile tour of painted stairways six times a year.
Click here to read a Self-Guided Walking Tour of Silver Lake.
While it seems daunting to take on so many challenging stairs, it’s not as bad as you think. Although according to my iPhone’s Health app, we did closer to 10 miles when all was said and done. But it was worth it and we made sure to hit up nearby Casita Del Campo for margaritas and chips and salsa immediately after our workout. We were the very first customers of the day at 11am but those margaritas so hit the spot.
While some stairs are barely illustrated leaving you wonder their validity as you huff and puff your way up the stairs, it is a cool day outdoors, providing it’s not too freakin’ hot out. By the time you hit the Panorama Terrace / Lanterman Terrace Stairway with its 51 steps of painted hearts, it becomes worth it all over again.
The last two stairways on the self-guided walking tour, the Hoover Walk Stairway and the Manzanita Stairway, seems really out of the way but if you’re taking on this challenge then you might as well do it all the way. And once you’ve completed the supposedly 6.7 mile trek, including 1,000 feet of elevation gain, featuring 11 painted and 1 unpainted stairway, well, you’ve definitely earned yourself a couple of margaritas.
This is definitely one of those cool things to do in L.A. that most people don’t know about. Sure, we love to hike Griffith Park as well as Runyon Canyon but this excursion of painted stairways is pretty bad ass too. We did get turned around a couple of times, adding extra mileage no doubt, and walked a little extra to see the Silver Lake Reservoir but it was well worth the time and effort.
Story & Photography By: Jose Martinez