Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Secret Stairs #2-Eagle Rock

"Secret Stairs-A walking guide to the historic staircases of Los Angeles" is by Charles Fleming.  "This book is designed to celebrate urban hiking by exposing the semi-secret network of public staircases that lace the hillsides of certain Los Angeles neighborhoods.  The staircases themselves are historical reminders of a time when Los Angeles was not a city of cars.  City planners and developers installed them as direct routes for pedestrians to get down the hills to school, the supermarket and transit lines."

"Each of the walks in the book, with one or two exceptions, begins and ends at an easily located cafe or restaurant that provides food, drink and other comforts.  Each is served by public transport and is measured for distance and difficulty.  One is a gentle stroll and five is a serious hike.  Information is also included as to the approximate amount of time required and the number of staircase steps involved.   There are 42 walks in the whole book.

The one I am writing about is Walk #2, which is in Eagle Rock, CA.  The duration is about  90 minutes and a distance of 3.8 miles with 328 steps.  The difficulty is 3.  The walk starts near the corner of Colorado Blvd and Townsend and heads east on Colorado.  This is the same Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, where the Rose Parade is held on New Year's Day.

Turn right on Los Robles Street and walk to the end of the block.

Turn left at Holbrook Street and at the T-intersection with Mt. Helena Ave., is the first staircase.

The first staircase was built in 1927 by C.W. Ellis and is 31 stairs.  There is a walkway and another eight stairs and another sloping walkway over the crest and then down 21 stairs to the corner of Linda Rosa and Saginaw Street.  Walk across the intersection and down Saginaw for one block, then turn right onto Neola Place.  The next staircase is on Neola  and goes behind a schoolyard.

Go to the corner of Wiota, turn right and walk to Yosemite Drive.  Cross at the light and turn left at Yosemite  and then turn right onto Glacier.  The next staircase is on Glacier and is 20 steps.  Turn left on Oak Grove and then turn left on Figueroa and walk back to Yosemite.  Cross to the other side of Figueroa and head up the hill and find the next staircase on the left.

This is a monumental set of stairs, that is decorated with a mural of Tai Chi students.  There are 64 steps and a concrete slope that lands on Glen Arbor Ave.  Turn right and head downhill and turn right on Buena Vista Terrace.  Back on Figueroa cross at the crosswalk and turn right, heading back downhill on Figueroa toward Yosemite.  Opposite the Tai Chi steps, there is another staircase.

This staircase is at the turning for Eucalyptus Lane.  The houses in this area are old and somewhat ramshackle, and the trees and vines are old and overgrown.  Follow the white wooden fence and Buena Vista  hugs the hillside, remaining shady and pleasantly funky.  There are eastern views to the hills of El Sereno

Turn left onto Tipton Terrace and there is a broken down wooden staircase with a ramp, connecting Tipton Terrace to Tipton Way.  Continue onto Buena Vista Terrace and continue up and over the rise and down the other side and turn right onto Nolden Street. Here is a sidewalk staircase that descends to Oak Grove Drive. There is an elevated tree house on the corner.  As you walk along Oak Grove there are small Craftsman cottages. Turn right onto Avoca Street and walk three blocks and turn left onto Yosemite.  Cross when it is safe.

Turn right onto Floristand Ave and then turn right onto Linda Rose and begin the final flight of stairs, which is another sidewalk staircase.  Turn left as Linda Rosa rises and turns briefly onto Loleta and then bear right as Linda Rosa resumes.  At the first turning to the left, drop onto Hartwick Street, which descends you back onto Colorado Blvd. Along Hartwick, there are a number of nicely preserved older homes.

These are other pictures I took along this walk.  I will share more of the walks as we do them.  If you live in the Los Angeles area, buy the book and enjoy.


  1. Thanks for the nice post with nice photos. If you come back and edit, is the total distance 3.8 miles? 38 miles sounds like I'll need more than 90 minutes to complete the walk (and a sleeping bag!!). Best of luck in your walking, I love it!

    1. Da Lab, thank you for your comment. The distance is 3.8 miles and I did edit the post. I enjoy walking as well and I love the "Secret Stairs" walks. I usually hike/walk 4-5 days a week.