Thursday, June 25, 2015

Secret Stairs #10

Secret Stairs #10 is called Happy Valley and Montecito Heights.  This was a level 5 walk, which is the highest of the difficulty range and we did it on a very warm day.  Mr Fleming states that "this is an astonishing walk-very long and very rigorous", and that is so true of this walk.   I am glad I am in better shape than when I first started doing these, because I would not have made it up a certain street.

Start of Secret Stairs #10

First staircase

We begin our walk near the intersection of Huntington Drive and Monterey Road and headed up Browne Ave., past Our Lady of Guadalupe and its Rose Hills school.  The first staircase was on Browne and rose 103 stairs.  At the top of the stairs we made a left and headed downhill, past Rose Hill park and low-income housing.  We stayed on Florizel to the top of the next rise, where it meets Boundary Avenue.  From there we turned left and found the next staircase on the right.
Garage art


Stairway to nowhere

This staircase is relatively new and has 27 stairs and ends up on a dirt path, which we took to the left and found another newer staircase that led down to Mercury Avenue.

Stairway down

Crossing Mercury, we turned left onto Sardonyx Street, which wraps around the hillside and turns into Galena Street.  We followed Galena Street past several gemstone or mineral named streets, until we found the next staircase.  This staircase rose 106 steps and is one of the older staircases that has been updated with lights and handrails.  When we got to the top, we headed straight ahead.  We made one mistake of heading up the hill of Raynol Street, instead of heading down Esmeralda Street. Once we realized our mistake, we came back down Raynol Street and continued on course, until we reached Pyrites St.  We turned right and found our next set of stairs.  This was 22 stairs, which took us to a raised sidewalk serving the uphill side of Pyrite.  We followed the sidewalk to its terminus and then headed up another set of 191 stairs.  This staircase was narrow with multiple landings and fitted with heavy-gauge handrails and lighting.  There was a beautiful view from the top.  There was more hills to climb on an unpaved section of Tourmaline Street.  This was a rough hill to climb, but we got to visit with a husky and its owner.

Lots of stairs


Reading and stairs

Stairs next to a street

Street signs

At the top of the rough hill, we came to an intersection with Amethyst and walked a block and took a short break, by walking downhill to look at the views.

We headed back up the hill and then headed south and then turned left on Paradise Drive and headed downhill.  Taking a left onto Rising Drive and a right onto Forest Park Drive.  This is a steep decline. We turned left onto Commodore Street or at least we hoped we did, which we did, as there was no street sign.  Followed Commodore Street to Onyx and made a right and found our next staircase heading down.  This staircase drops 123 steps with partial handrails.  At the bottom we headed downhill until we reached Mission and turned left.  Mission is a busy street with construction.  By this point, the three of us had run out of water and fortunately, we found a place that sold cold drinks, including water.  After we got hydrated, we continued on Mission, until we got to another section of Tourmaline, which was paved, but steep.  We found the final staircase of 32 stairs, which landed us on Pyrites.  We turned right and headed downhill following Pyrite all along until we got to Topaz and turned right and then turned left and continued again on Pyrite.

At the corner of Pyrite and Yorba, there were two shotgun-shack bungalows.  From here we headed back to the car and air conditioning.  It was a hard walk, but well worth doing!

Address and wall art

Broken stairs


Old Metal Gate

Shotgun house

Shotgun House

Dead tree

View of LA


Wall art

Wall art


  1. I'm impressed that you find these places!

  2. Eydie Stumpf, I have a book called "Secret Stairs". That is how I find these places.