Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Walk #31: Franklin Hills West - Radio/Prospect Loop

Distance: 2.7 miles
Steps: 684
Difficulty: 4
"Here's a relatively short, but demanding, East Hollywood hike, with lots of elevation change - a serious workout for the calves and quads. It includes stretches of two of the city's few officially designated walk-streets, Radio Walk and Prospect Walk." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.

What a great way to start out the 4th of July! The LA 'June gloom' is alive and well in July but I prefer it that way so as not to get too much sun. On this walk we had a new walker - Julie Wolfson. Julie is Lifestyle Editor at If you are not familiar with this site you should really check it out as it is full of useful information about LA. I keep up with them via Facebook. Our two regulars (Willie and Vlad) came along as well. We met up at the Vista on this busy stretch of Sunset Blvd. The Vista dates to 1923 and is one of the last remaining single screen theaters in Los Angeles.

Vlad, Charles, Julie, Willie
Across the street is a place we know very well - EL CHAVO. This Silver Lake Mexican restaurant serves the basics in a no-frills, kitschy environment. After a 'remodel' the large Dolly Parton picture remained in a corner of the bar. It's an institution and really worth a visit.
We headed for the hills and on the way was this very old brick structure. It is now part of the KCET (a local PBS station) campus and is one of the earliest movie sound stages in SoCal. Of course there were 4 Emmys in the window. Sooo LA!

Our friends Vladimir and Willie have joined us on at least 4 walks each and by now a routine has developed. You are not allowed to walk in front of any stairway until I have photographed it and then it's Willie who goes first. If it's a really harsh one he will let us know when we are near the top. The first stairway dates to 1923 and there is a plaque noting the historic Hoover Walk. Recently we saw a mural on the wall (the TaiChi steps on Figueroa) but I haven't see the stairs themselves painted for the full effect. Soon we came upon Prospect Studios. The facility dates to 1915 and has been owned by ABC/Disney for quite some time. I know that General Hospital was filmed here and this location served as the KABC news studios before they moved to Glendale.

Yet another treehouse we've come across on these walks.

The next staircase formed the bottom of Prospect Walk and consisted of 57 shady steps.
At the top we crossed the street only to encouter 71 more steps.

Interesting furniture placement.
Wait! We were not done yet. We crossed the street again only to find another 168 steps which took us all the way up to Franklin Avenue.

Happy Walkers: Vlad, Julie, Willie
We walked for a bit before encountering Radio Walk. Thankfully we walked down these 127 stairs.

Griffith Observatory with the Hollywood sign barely visible behind it.
Notice the ivy growing inside the lamp.
After walking down the 127 steps we crossed the street and continued our descent, this time 97 more stairs.

The playing fields of the Lycee International de Los Angeles, a bilingual French/English K-12 school.
Charles & Mr. 4th of July (Vlad).

Soon we encountered this wide, shaded 85-step staircase which dates to 1926.
At the top we encountered the Shakespeare Bridge which dates to 1926. I have driven across this bridge in Franklin Hills many times but did not expect to run into it. I had no idea there was a staircase nearby.

Lost Kittens.
Yet another house I wish to own.
A garage with a VIEW.

Our final staircase consisted of 41 easy steps.
As we neared the end of the walk we encountered many small worker's cottages, many dating back at least 100 years.

We had a cat sighting at the very end of the walk.

I'm a huge PBS fan and am a supporter of the local station.

Alas, this walk did not end with a meal but it was not for lack of trying. All the eateries within walking distance were closed as it was the 4th..

Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 29 stair walks.
Steps walked to date: 5,817
Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA


  1. I like how we now have a codified set of rules - most important to any organization. This was another wonderful walk. I don't think I could name a favorite anymore - they've all been unique and amazing each in their own way. On to the next...

  2. So much fun! When's the next walk?

  3. Love your posts! I can live and walk vicariously through you with no stress on my knees! Keep up the great work!

  4. @norah nick. Next walk is in 2 weeks. Location tbd.

  5. Thanks so much for inviting me to join- such a fun way to celebrate the 4th of July. See you soon!

  6. Looks like we have the same idea! I started a group on Meetup called Secret Stairs LA. We are going to tackle all the 42 walks in the book. Check us out: I love discovering new places! Good luck to you and your group.

  7. Thanks for your comment! It is so much fun to discover LA this way. I will definitely check out your site and you are welcome to join any of my walks. We usually do them on Sundays at 9:30.