Elysian Park is a 600-acre park near downtown that offers the best longer, traffic-free running in the vicinity of downtown. The park is also somewhat of an enigma. There are miles of nearly untrafficked roads, former roads closed to traffic but open to pedestrians, and some bona fide trails. Parts of the park, especially on the eastern edge, are more dilapidated and somewhat empty. We were on Grand View Dr. early on a gorgeous morning and saw zero cars or people — a bit eerie for L.A. We should also note that signage/wayfinding in this park is awful. And we’ve been unable to find a decent online map. Weird.
All that said, there is wonderful, quiet running to be had in Elysian Park. A few recommendations below. Note: this park is very hilly!
- Road Loop: Grand View Dr. to Angels Point Rd. to the Athletic Fields, then Elysian Park Dr. Good views — and a steady climb up.
- 4 miles of bike trails — Elysian Park Trail is great — but not well signed
- One can do a loop around Dodger Stadium (parking lots) — here is a map of 5k ‘Dodger Stadium’ road race. Note: limited opening hours.
We recommend avoiding Stadium Way — busy with no sidewalks. Access to the park is best by vehicle as there is no public transport. One can run there via public transport, but it’s a gritty couple of miles along N. Broadway or Sunset Blvd.
Add-On: Echo Park Lake, about 1/2 mile west of Elysian Park, is a lovely little oasis with greenery, nice plantings, and dirt trails that are a ~1 mile loop around a lake. Take Echo Park Ave.
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