Last spring, before I started this blog, Dan and I went on a very cool excursion and I've been meaning to write about it. It's a great day out for both locals and tourists.
Dan found out about LA Active Adventures when they were selling discounted tours through Living Social. He bought a voucher and we used it for the Hollywood Secret Stairs Tour.
I am a Los Angeles native, but I had never heard of the Hidden Stairs that are sprinkled throughout the residential parts of the Hollywood Hills. If I had not been on this tour, I probably wouldn't have ventured up them. The appear to be on private property, running right between homes and backyards and are often very steep and narrow.
We started our tour by meeting our guide and company owner, Hargobind Singh, in a side street off of Hollywood Blvd. It was a short walk from the Hollywood and Highland mall, where we had parked. We lucked out and had a private tour. Hargo took us in his Van to base of Beachwood Canyon, where we continued the two hour tour on foot.
I can't remember how many staircases we climbed or how many steps we walked, but it was a good work out. We were sweating and out of breath! Hargo confessed that he has had a few people bail on the hike, but Dan and I are not super fit and we handled it just fine. If you are in moderate to good shape, it's worth the effort. The views are spectacular and there are some beautiful homes in the area. Even though it was local, I might as well have been visiting a foreign country as the area looked so different from other parts of the city.
We had some great views of the Hollywood sign.
Hargo was a fun guide. He knew all of the stories and trivia about the neighborhood, including information about the History, architecture, wildlife and plants. This is definitely not a tour of celebrity homes, but he pointed out where Moby lives and a bunch of homes of stars of bygone eras. What I really liked about Hargo as a guide, was he didn't just look out for our enjoyment, but was very respectful of the residents in the neighborhood, many of whom knew him and greeted him. I felt like we were on a hike with a friend, rather than on a tour. It was not intrusive to the neighborhood at all.
Dan and I very much enjoyed this tour and look forward to going on other adventures with Hargo as our guide. If you are looking for a new adventure in the city, check out his website. He offers a lot of different tours and packages, including wine tours!