Hike | Runyon Canyon

Fence with locks over-looking downtown Los Angeles skyline on the Runyon Canyon trail.
Fence with locks over-looking downtown Los Angeles skyline on the Runyon Canyon trail.

RUNYON CANYON | LOS ANGELES, CA

What You Need to Know!

Los Angeles is a positive place. There is sunshine so you can be outside a lot. I have good friends there. There’s lots to do. Great hikes. Great yoga. Great restaurants. It’s a great place to watch people.

All of it makes me feel good. I also thought it would be a perfect place to test out my new compression pants in many different situations, like yoga, hikes, and out to town.

When I had a couple of free days, I flew to Los Angeles to visit some friends. I told them the reason I was visiting was to test out some new compression pants I designed. I’m very excited. I wanted to know if they were good or not. There is a new men’s version and new women’s version. I was going to test out a pair and my buddy and his two female friends were going to try some others. My friends were ready to share in the experiment.

Can I be honest with you? I wanted to test out my latest compression pants because I wanted to see if they were any good. I don’t know about you, but I’m really picky. I want the clothes I wear to make me feel good. I want my clothes to make me feel alive. I want customers to feel alive. That’s why I designed these clothes. That’s why I started this company. These compression pants have to be the best compression pants in the world. I think they are awesome and I wanted to test them out in the real world.

Looking down from the trail to city view of Los Angeles skylineSwitch back trail on Runyon CanyonLooking at LA skyline

Morning light

When I’m in LA, I like to wake up early. On the first morning of my trip, I woke up before there was any light.
I was staying with a friend on Mulholland Drive where he lives in the hills above Los Angeles. His place has a deck and it was warm outside and I went outside on the deck and had some coffee and stretched in my new compression pants. This was the first test.

When I put on the new pants, they felt great. I immediately thought, I’m going to do my yoga. I have a sequence of yoga positions I go through. In the morning I like to meditate and stretch before I exercise. This is especially true because I hurt my back a little while ago, and I need to take it slow and stretch before I go for a hike or run.

For my first pose I put my legs up the wall with my back flat on the ground. I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. I imagined how each breath traveled my spine.

Then I rolled onto my side and drew my knees in and took ten breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

After that, I faced the ground and got on my hands and knees. I aligned my hands with my shoulders so that my hands were directly beneath my shoulders. My legs were parallel and they trailed directly behind my knees.

In the same pose I moved my hips in a circular motion. I loosened my hips counter-clockwise and then I loosened my hips clockwise.

In the cat pose I took a deep breath in and I arched my back and I looked at the sky. Then in the cow pose I exhaled a deep breath out and I arched my back down. With each set I worked on extending each breath to help with the flow of the body. Each breath flowed through the body.

I went into a neutral back and in the child’s pose I shifted my weight onto my calves and knees for a lower back stretch. Then I changed it a little and pushed my knees apart to stretch my hips.

Then I finished up by resting and breathing. I breathed in through the nose and breathed out through the mouth. Each breathe was a revelation. Breathing brings peace. By the end of the sequence I feel relaxed. I was blissed out. I felt alive.

I thought about how the new compression pants felt while I practiced yoga.  

Gate at Runyon Canyon.

Hike Runyon Canyon

With this kind of start to my day, nothing can be bad. It’s all good. I was ready to go for a hike. I didn’t want to wake up my friends so I Ubered down from Mullholland to Runyon Canyon. There was some blue light in the city. It was the first light from the sun. We were headed west on the road through turns and curves along the ridge. I could see the clouds coming in from the Pacific Ocean being lit up by the sun. It was very peaceful, I felt very good, and my mind wandered through a lot of good thoughts and good memories.

I’ve hiked Runyon Canyon quite a few times. When you go to Runyon Canyon Park, remember that there is one entrance at the top of the park in the North area and two entrances at the bottom of the park in the South. I usually start at one of the bottom entrances so my hike begins with a climb and ends with a descent. When you start your hike at the bottom of the park you will need to choose if you hike the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise.

The two hikes are a little different. The clockwise route takes you up to Clouds Rest and then up the steps to Inspiration Point. If you go counter-clockwise, it’s a little more difficult because you will climb steps and slopes as you gain elevation from Inspiration Point to Clouds Rest. This means that the counter-clockwise direction is steeper. At the beginning of the trail there is a sign with a map that shows you the trails you can take. I should also say that if you happen to enter from the Mulholland entrance on the North side of the park, you can also take a short hike up to Indian Rock, which is the highest point in the canyon, so you will have the best view possible. No matter which route you take, I’d plan to spend about 30-45 minutes for your hike.

I arrived when full morning light was just beginning. It was perfect timing. I stretched for a few minutes. Then I hiked the trail in the counter-clockwise direction because I wanted a challenge to test out my new compression pants. The pants felt great. My main concerns all along have been the quality of fabric and the shape of the pants. I wanted the compression pants to feel great against the skin and feel great when I move. Taking the steep route helped me to see how the pants worked under pressure. They were smooth along my calves. They were comfortable on my quads and inner thighs. They fit around my body in way that did not hinder my movement or hold me back. The waistband held them tight to my waist. I really liked how the pants fit my body as I hiked up the hill. They felt great.

There weren’t very many people on the trail because it was so early in the morning. I was alone in the park so I was able to think. I thought about how it was always interesting to be in a park when you were actually in a city. I noticed how Runyon Canyon is basically a small natural landscape of chaparral and evergreen trees in the hills. Then you can look out at one the biggest urban areas in the world. From various points on the trail I saw famous sights throughout the valley. To the east I saw the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. I looked toward downtown Los Angeles and I could see the city skyscrapers and Park La Brea and Wilshire Boulevard. Very close to the park I saw Sunset Boulevard, the Capitol Records Building, and the Chinese Theatre. Looking west I saw the Pacific Ocean. I’ve heard that you can maybe even see Catalina Island on a very clear day. The view was awesome. The contrast between nature and city made it especially interesting.

I love the trail. If you’re looking for a great workout in a short amount of time, I would highly recommend it. You’ll get a real workout on your legs and glutes. It also gets you outdoors in nature even though you’re in the city, which is always awesome. Make sure you wear sunscreen and bring water because there is literally no shade. I’ve hiked the trail when the temperature is above 80 degrees and it can feel very hot.

After my hike I sat on a bench and wrote a few notes about the pants. I felt very good about them. I was pleased. I was happy. Most of the time I can be critical, but there was nothing to be critical about. The new compression pants felt good with every movement, whether I was hiking or running. They felt good on my skin when I stretched. They weren’t too hot or too cold, which meant they felt like they were adjusting to the temperature of my body. From my perspective, they looked good too. All in all they made me feel good about my workout and so they made me feel good about myself. That’s what I was aiming for.

RUNYON CANYON PARK
2000 North Fuller Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90046
818-243-1145
www.laparks.org/park/runyon-canyon

Welcome sign for Runyon Canyon trail.Trail sign for Runyon CanyonRolling hills along side Runyon Canyon trail.

Practice Yoga in Los angeles

After the hike I joined my friends for yoga. I met them at Modo Yoga on La Brea to try out the new compression pants. They love that place. They practice hot yoga. They like Modo because it’s clean, friendly, and welcoming.

I’ve tried hot yoga before. I like the challenge of the hot yoga environment, yet I have always felt a little uncomfortable because of the heat. I’ve tried a few hot yoga styles like Bikram and Moksha. I want my new compression pants to handle the heat so we designed them to feel good in any condition with any workout. I also wanted each of my friends to try the new compression pants too. They’re big fans of hot yoga, so they’ll give me a good assessment. I also value their honesty and I know they will tell me the truth.

The problem with hot yoga is that if I feel uncomfortable, I cannot concentrate on my breathing or my poses. If I’m too hot, I cannot forget about the real world. For me, one of the reasons I practice yoga is to find the focus to slip entirely into thought while challenging my body.

I met my friends at the studio. Modo Yoga on La Brea is a great place. The staff is friendly. The studio is super clean. We were all there early to get set up. Being prepared is part of the relaxation process for me. It’s also nice to get used to the temperature gradually. We were taking a Hot Yin Yoga class. The instructor was great. She welcomed us into the studio and made us feel comfortable right away. If you’re looking for a good first experience with hot yoga, I strongly suggest Modo Yoga.

I brought towels, I brought water, I brought a good mat. I drank plenty of water before the session. I was hydrating all morning, before my hike, during my hike, and after my hike. I had a few bites of food early in the day, but not too much. I want to feel prepared and light and comfortable. My new compression pants were the final touch. I’ve tried all kinds of athletic clothing in the past, and I just didn’t feel comfortable.

My friends were ready to go too. The girls weren’t wearing makeup and they had their hair pulled pack in pony tails. My buddy was dressed in tank top. They were all wearing the new compression pants. I mention all this because everyone prepared to be as comfortable as they could be. If you try hot yoga, don’t worry too much how you look. We were there to see if the new compression pants passed our test.

Before the session, I started in the child’s pose, something easy and familiar to get used to the temperature. I let the heat take over my body. I let my body slip into the pose. I started breathing. I found the focus I search for. I forgot the world. During the session, the instructor had us hold our poses for up to five minutes or so, and I felt each pose work my muscles and my tissue. The heat was powerful. It felt challenging but I did not feel uncomfortable at all. I felt restored. The new compression pants felt so flawless that I forget them. I was able to find the feeling I was looking for.

MODO YOGA LA – LA BREA
340 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, California
323-938-5000
www.los-angeles.modoyoga.com

Peak view at Mount-SiPalm tree and the skyline of Los Angeles.

Breakfast With Friends

After practicing yoga, I met my friends, Hank, Angela, and Jennifer, at Square One over on Fountain. We wanted breakfast together to be social together, to catch up on small things from our lives, and to share good food. There is nothing like sharing a meal together with friends who you can be honest with. Square One has the best breakfast in LA. We were seated on the patio in the sun where we sat and shared stories and told jokes and gossiped.

After we ordered, I was dying to know what my friends thought about the new compression pants. I had given them a second pair of compression pants to wear to our lunch. I wanted to see what my friends thought about wearing the compression pants out for casual wear. They loved them. While they discussed what they thought about how the compression pants performed in the yoga session, they acted out the poses and pointed out their favorite elements like the seams, the waistband, the lines, and the fabric. It was a great show and tell.

Hank said the new compression pants were awesome. The new compression pants that he tried were black. He liked the feeling of the fabric. He knew that we had tried about a dozen different fabrics while designing these pants, and he said we picked a great fabric. He said they felt very light and smooth and strong. He said that while he was practicing hot yoga, he also felt strong. I liked this thought because I want the new compression pants to help people feel confident while they exercise.

Angela said she really liked how the pants looked on her body. She’s athletic and super picky. She says she wants her workout clothes to fit a certain way. She wants to feel good and she also wants to look good. The new compression pants that she tried were white. She said they had good lines, she said the seams fit her body shape, and she said that she liked how the pants moved when she moved.

Jennifer said the pants helped her to be mindful. I asked her what that meant. She said that she always feels too constricted while she practices yoga. She said she often feels too hot whenever she tries hot yoga. She doesn’t enjoy it. With these new compression pants, she wasn’t uncomfortable or too hot. Because the pants fit well and felt good, she didn’t get too hot. She was able to concentrate on her breathing and become mindful, which is her word for the moment when she finds peace from yoga practice. She said the pants helped her body and mind feel good. I liked that idea.

These friends are a critical bunch, so I knew they would be harsh if they needed to be. But they loved the new compression pants! I was very happy about their feedback.

After our conversation about the new compression pants, we ordered breakfast. Square One has amazing breakfast options like buttermilk pancakes or brioche French toast butter and maple syrup, and you can add vanilla whipped cream, seasonal fruit, or banana citrus caramel, all of which are worth it if you go that route. After our yoga session, we wanted to eat clean. I ordered huevos rancheros with farm fresh eggs, crispy tortillas, refried beans, cherry tomato, queso fresco, guacamole, salsa verde, cilantro and pico de gallo. Amazing! Hank had steel cut oatmeal made with almond milk, maple syrup, and bourbon pecans. Angie and Jennifer shared an omelet that looked really good. It had garlic-lemon thyme chicken sausage, roasted tomato and gruyere. Square One is awesome. If you go on the weekend, go early or be patient with the wait.

SQUARE ONE FOUNTAIN
4854 Fountain Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90029
323-661-1109
www.squareonedining.com

View of Los Angeles from trail on Runyon CanyonView of Los Angeles from trail on Runyon Canyon

The Rest Of The Day

I was very excited about my day. After getting up early and stretching, then going for a hike, and practicing yoga, I felt awesome. The day was going to be great. I was really encouraged by my friends. Our lunch was filled with laughs and stories. Most of all I appreciated their willingness to collaborate on my new compression pants.

I liked their feedback. I’m always asking for advice and looking for new ideas, and I think it’s fun to be open-minded to learning and improving. I like the feeling I get from trying to do better.

I hope you’ll try the new compression pants and let me know how they make you feel alive. I’m always looking for stories, collaboration, ideas, and more. Let me know how the new compression pants make you feel alive!

Lush green trees and bushes lining the Runyon Canyon Trail.
Green grass hill leading up-to the Runyon Canyon TrailSplit in the trail on Runyon Canyon.
East trail lookout on Runyon CanyonChristmas ornaments on a fence in the sun
Wood steps up the sand on the Runyon Canyon trail.Hiking trail path on Mount-Si trail

Frequently asked question about runyon canyon.

Directions to Runyon Canyon.
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Written by: Matthew Konsmo
Send me your favorite hikes! Matthew@konsmoclothing.com

@konsmohike

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