Hidden Stairway in Silver Lake

Hidden Stairway Hike in Silver Lake Los Angeles

Woman hiking up a colorful stairway with hearts painted on it in Silver Lake Los Angeles

Life in Los Angeles can be vibrant in so many ways, including stairways! This hidden stairway hike in Silver Lake features colorfully artistic and historic steps via 1.5 miles, four unique staircases, and countless local food options for a bite to eat.

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Street park at Sunset Boulevard and Micheltorena Street, just down the way from the namesake reservoir and next to myriad eateries, cafes, and boutique shops. On the south side of the cross-street, find the famous Micheltorena Stairs next to a beautifully painted planter with a poem. The 177 steps of the Micheltorena Stairs are a rainbow of colors, with hearts, messages, and local graffiti. They take you to Micheltorena Street and Winslow Drive. The views here of the downtown skyline to the southeast are awesome as you walk toward it on your way to your next staircase.

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Turn left at Descanso Drive to find the Descanso Staircase, which sneaks down to Larissa Drive. Turn right to reach the Music Box Steps right before the street curves, marked by a sign. This set of 133 is named after the 1932 Laurel and Hardy film The Music Box, in which the comedic duo try to lift a piano up the steps. From the stairs, walk to the aptly named Laurel and Hardy Park, a triangular public space perfect for a picnic.

Woman about to walk down the Music Box Steps in Los Angeles Silver Lake

At the southern end of the park turn left followed by an immediate left to take an interesting stroll down narrow Garcia Walk (also signed). Here, take Verdome Street back to Sunset and turn left to eventually find your last staircase, after a quarter mile, on your right. It’s very clear why these are fondly called the Piano Stairs after a local artist painted them white and black. Scale the keys rapidly for a quick workout before heading back to Sunset.

Set of stairs painted to resemble piano keys in Silver Lake Los Angeles

You can stop at your car up ahead, but we suggest adding another 0.4 mile (round-trip) and heading northwest to get to the Sunset Triangle Plaza to grab a bite at Pine and Crane. If Taiwanese isn’t for you, there are plenty of options nearby with something for everyone (Spoon and Pork for Filipino, Night+Market for Thai, Ramen Tatsunoya for Japanese, to name a few).

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NEARBY NATURE: Head to the Silver Lake Reservoir to tack on some extra mileage in another beautiful (but different) urban setting. It’s also a great spot to picnic and relax after your workout!

To get to the Micheltorena Stairs street parking and the start of your stair/art walk, take the CA-2 to its southern terminus and continue on S. Glendale Blvd. Take a right at Alvarado St. followed by a right onto Sunset Blvd. After 1 mile you reach Micheltorena St. Find street parking; the stairs will be on your left. Dog-friendly!

Story and photos by Matt Pawlik.

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