The City of Angels happens to be a topographical wonderland, offering a wide variety of sights and surfaces to suit your running preferences. From the vast, flat expanses of its sandy shorelines to the rigorous, precipitous climbs of its mountain trails, L.A. has something for every level of running enthusiast. How do you think all these people stay looking so good? (Wait, don't answer that.)
Check out our favorite places below and find out more ways to Boost Your Run.
THE CITY’S BEST URBAN RUNNING TRAILS
Silver Lake Reservoir
The reservoir’s lower body of water is named for former L.A. Water Board Commissioner Herman Silver, and also gives the Silver Lake neighborhood its name. A truly picturesque setting for your daily runs, this route features views of gorgeous hillside homesteads on all sides. The reservoir’s loop is a sizable 2.2 miles in circumference (roughly .7 miles more than the Central Park Reservoir), and the city recently opened the Silver Lake Meadow, a new public park right along the water (dogs are not allowed, but runners are). What’s more is there are a large amount of local offerings within running distance, from coffee to craft beer to fresh oysters and more.
The reservoir path stretches along parallel routes Silver Lake Blvd. and West Silver Drive, between Van Pelt Pl. and Tesla Ave. W.
Venice Beach Running/Biking Path
Part of the larger Marvin Braude Bike Trail, which stretches 22 miles from the Pacific Palisades to Torrance County Beach, the Venice portion is its own little world. It’s a wee bit safer than the Santa Monica stretch—which is to say that it’s mostly devoid of bikers who would rather plow into a runner than slow down even in the slightest. It’s also a bit quirkier, much like the neighborhood it resides in. The path offers ocean views and a flat, winding thoroughfare that takes you by the iconic Muscle Beach, replete with bodybuilders and other wildly interesting characters, before dumping you out amidst a string of interesting local establishments and access to the heart of the Venice neighborhood.
The path between Santa Monica and Venice covers approximately 8.5 miles; just head as far west as you can and you’ll find it.
Dog lovers rejoice! Runyon is one of the city’s only off-leash parks, and offers a physically demanding trail for you and your pup to conquer. Located in the hills between Hollywood and the Valley, Runyon is a hub for hikers, runners, and dog-loving celebrities alike. Its very steep climb brings you to an apex that boasts amazing views of the entire city, from Downtown to the Pacific Ocean. In fact, it may be the best spot in the city to see the city itself.
South entrance is on Fuller Ave., north of Franklin Ave. The northern entrance is off the 7300 block of Mulholland Drive.
Located on the vast property adjacent to Dodgers Stadium, Elysian is somewhat of a well-kept secret, even amongst Echo Park locals. Its trails are reminiscent of the ones in Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park, albeit without the extreme incline of either. It’s a calmer, often shadier path with far less foot traffic, tucked away in one of L.A.’s fastest-gentrifying hipster neighborhoods.
Take Echo Park Ave. until the fork; bear right on Morton Ave. Turn right on Academy Road to enter the park, then take two lefts onto Stadium Way and Elysian Park Drive to find parking near the trail’s entrance.
Opened to the public nearly nine years ago, the Chandler Bikeway is a 1.91-mile pathway for both runners and bikers. Its flat, concrete thoroughfare stems through the Valley’s Burbank and North Hollywood neighborhoods, and boasts a series of public art works in the form of bronze sculptures and painted murals. Once a month, you can also find one of the “Sidewalk Astronomers” doing some informative, interactive stargazing.
Runs along Chandler Blvd. from Clybourne Ave. to Mariposa Street.
Mammoth Half Marathon
One of SoCal’s treasured ski communities launches its inaugural half marathon on a “breathtakingly scenic course.”
June 23rd. For more info, click here.
Shoreline 5K/10K/Half Marathon
Three different race distances all in one event, and all along the beautiful Pacific shoreline of Ventura County. The race is for all levels of runners (and walkers).
July 14th. For more info, click here.
Endure the Bear 5K/15K/30K/50K
What’s not to love about nearly every distance of race imaginable for every level of running ability along the incredibly beautiful trails of Big Bear Lake?
September 6th. For more info, click here.
Nautica Malibu Triathlon
This race is second only to the L.A. Marathon in popularity, and always fills up fast, so be sure to register ASAP if you’re interested.
September 6th-8th. For more info, click here.
A new take on the "Zombie Run" where entrants flee from angry Hillbillies instead of the undead. Trust us, it’s much more frightening (and fun).
October 5th. For more info, click here.
Muddy Buddy Mud Run
This adventure series, which benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation, boasts a mud-filled obstacle run (with additional biking options) in the hometown of Bill & Ted.
October 26th. For more info, click here.
It’s Hollywood, baby, and there’s no shortage of celebrity running enthusiasts. Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard (who admittedly spends more time in Seattle these days) has become a marathon runner in recent years, as has Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. Other notable personalities who have recently gravitated to marathon running include: Shia LaBeouf, Freddie Prinze Jr., Gordon Ramsay, David James Elliot, Adrian Grenier, Sean Astin and Chris O’Donnell. Meanwhile, Jerry O'Connell, James Marsden, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Drew Carey have taken it slightly easier by participating in half marathons (no wonder Drew is looking so trim). In this city, you’ll even find the (now former) Mayor out for a morning jog.
BOOSTING YOUR RUN
adidas Sport Performance Stores have all the footwear, apparel and gear that runners of all levels need. Here are the nearby locations for those near L.A.
Third Street Promenade: 1231 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica
Located near the iconic Santa Monica Pier, this store is in the heart of one of L.A.’s most well known shopping districts.
Irvine Spectrum Center: 71 Fortune Drive Space #920, Irvine
Nestled in the heart of Orange County California's premier dining, shopping and entertainment destination, you can make an entire day out of a trip to this location.