Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Friday, August 27, 2010

Walk #1: Pasadena - La Loma Road

Distance: 2.7 miles
Steps: 996
Difficulty: 3
This is a green, leafy walk through one of Pasadena's westernmost neighborhoods, filled with charming stairways and a virtual arboretum of mixed tree varieties. It is one of the city's shadiest walks, too, and an excellent choice for a hot day." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.

This was definitely a great walk to do on a hot day! I was surprised yet again to see this part of Los Angeles. Route 66 was at onetime the main highway for vacationers heading to Los Angeles but those days are long gone and Routes 66 is more of a curiosity.
I worked in Pasadena for many years and have been to Eagle Rock as well but I had never been to this neighborhood where Pasadena and Eagle Rock share a border. Willie, Carlos, and Alice joined Charles and me on this walk which began at Figueroa and Colorado. What was unusual about this walk is that many of the stairways overlapped. We went up/down several stairways only to revisit them later on. Sometimes there just aren't enough of them to make a loop.
There is a reason they call this 'La Loma' - it's Spanish for 'the hill.' After walking uphill for a few blocks we encountered our first stairway on Elmwood Drive. 98 steps and then we crossed the street only to find another one - this 2nd one had 100 steps.

We then landed in front of this interesting home at Tamarac Drive. Almost immediately we came to yet another staircase but this time we went down 86 shaded, leafy steps.

At the bottom we crossed the streets and right away came these. At first they appeared to be part of the house on the left but they were a public staircase with walkways in between.
99 steps
We don't mean to snoop but sometimes on these stairways you get to see backyards that you would never see from the street. You can see pools and secret gardens and sometimes just lots of junk!

Each walk usually contains an intereting mailbox - this one had 2.

A Streamline Moderne home - this was a late type of Art Deco dating to the 1930s.

This street had a wide array of styles - Art Deco and English Tudor to name a few.

We walked right past this staircase but we would later climb it.

One of many grand trees found on this walk.

The owner of this home was very nice. I guess she is used to Stair Walkers getting lost on this portion of the walk and guided us to the right corner.

Mailbox #2.

44 easy, shady steps.

We climbed up the stairs we had seen earlier.
Down the 99 stairs we already climbed!
Up the 86 stairs we already climbed.

There was a USC flag too but why waste my blog space on that?!

19 steps to a walkway that led us to 71 going down.
A view of Glendale and the 2 Fwy from the top.
A natural arch of Oleander plants.
The final 98 steps down.
Intersting front lawn art.
The end of the walk.
Back to 'civilization'.

Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 24 stair walks.
Steps walked to date: 9,533
Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA


  1. We walk and we climb, always seeing something new and interesting. Thanks for the reminder of this walk -- another great one, and a nice write up.

  2. I've just started walking with the guide, and blogging about it. I'm glad to be able to read about someone doing it before me. I've linked to your blog in my initial Stairways post.

    We both started with the same walk - the Music Box Steps.

  3. Thanks Aunt Snow! You will enjoy it - you'll run into fellow walkers holding the book and find a new appreciation for our beautiful SoCal! I also welcome guest walkers.