The 2017/2018 Painted Stairways Tour is a half day, 6.7 mile walk that visits 12 of the gorgeous painted stairways in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. 2016 Painted Stairways Tour info and links are at the bottom of the page. For Advanced versions of the tour, or for additional tour routes, go to this page: Architecture and Art
^ This guide has not yet been updated to the 2018 route
Tour Photo Albums:
All the Painted Stairways in LA County:
Important info about how we run all our group stair-walks:
Special rules for Painted Stairways Tours (and other large groups):
A) No selfies/posing for photos on the stairways! It’s rude and slows everyone down! Please come back later on with your friends to take those great Instagram photos.
B) No dogs. Unfortunately a number of dog owners have created chaos at the rear for the sweeps, and this distracts them from their primary job of keeping the group safe.
C) No hiking poles! We pack together tightly at intersections and on the stairways, rendering poles a hazard to other walkers. Please don’t bring them!
General rules group walks:
1) We are all stair-walking friends, and we strive to help keep each other safe, so please look out for everyone else. If on a narrow street, with no sidewalk, a car is approaching from the rear, please call out “car back”, or “car front” if it is coming from the front, and repeat it down the line so everyone gets the message. So even though it is tempting to “tune out” and just follow and talk to your friends, please be aware of your surroundings, and when you are coming to road crossings. This is were urban hiking differs from mountain or park hikes, you have to be mindful of road traffic. And please treat each other with respect. Think of us as a stair-walking family, rather than a collection of strangers.
2) Look at the pavement in front of you, and watch out for holes, cracks, uneven pavement blocks, and vertical obstructions like pole sockets, which can stick up above the pavement and roll your ankle. When you see a hazard point to it as you walk by, so others will know to avoid it. It also wouldn’t hurt to say hole, crack, etc., so people know what you are pointing at. It’s very easy to talk to your friends and forget to look where you are stepping, and get hurt. So please be aware of your immediate surroundings.
3) Follow, as in stay behind the leader (me), and stay in front of the sweep. What’s a sweep? They are the person who will be at the rear, to make sure no one gets lost, and help people who are struggling, to find a route back or transit if necessary. Please do as the leader and sweep ask, as they are looking out for your safety. If the walk is very small, say 10 or less, we sometimes don’t use a sweep, but that is the exception.
4) Please follow the requests of the leader and sweep, who are volunteering their time to make your walk better. It’s also a good idea to circulate at stops so you are not always at the front, giving others a chance to be there, and similar for the back, unless of course you are struggling.
5) Road crossings at traffic lights. Sometimes the group will be too big to get everyone through on one traffic light cycle, so if you are asked to wait for the next green light by the leader or sweep, don’t worry, we will not leave you behind, even though we will move forward to leave room for the rest of you to have space when you get across. Even if it takes more than two light cycles, it’s ok, we will wait. What we don’t want is people bunching in the street; as this exposes you to conflicts with turning drivers.
6) Road crossings with no traffic lights. We will cross as a group. So a couple of adults, it might be me and and the sweep, or another experienced walker, will stand and persuade traffic to stop (known as ‘corking’), then the when we say “Go!”, the group will cross, and please don’t saunter, do it quickly, but don’t rush. If I ‘cork’ traffic and tell you to go, know that I will catch up to the front after we finish the crossing, and resume the lead.
7) Please don’t spread out wide on narrow streets with no sidewalks, because you will totally shut down local traffic, and that’s not our goal, to have residents call the police. Instead, we want to be good neighbors or at least good visitors, so the locals will see us as friendly and cooperative. So please walk two wide or single file on very narrow streets.
8) Why all these rules? I know this sounds like a lot of rules, but it’s actually pretty easy to do; just follow our lead. Some of my more experienced stair-walking friends, and walk leaders, will be with us on our walks and they know the routine. We have walked many thousands of miles by this method, throughout all of LA County, and it works!