secret stairs

Hidden Gems: Exploring Secret Stairs in Los Feliz and Silver Lake!

Secret Stairs of the East Side

Hey there, fellow wanderers! If you’re a fan of off-the-beaten-path adventures and love exploring hidden gems, then Los Angeles has a treat waiting just for you – the Secret Stairs of Los Feliz, and Silver Lake. These charming staircases not only offer a unique workout but also unveil a side of LA often overlooked by the typical tourist trails. Locals see them as a something totally unique to the neighborhood and regard the secret stairs as a treasured uniqueness. The secret stairs are so popular there’s even a book written about them! So lace up those sneakers, and let’s embark on a journey to discover the secret stairs in Silver Lake and beyond – the stairway to hidden treasures!

The Secret Stairs in Silver Lake: A Hidden Wonderland

Nestled within the eclectic Silver Lake neighborhood, the secret stairs are a network of hidden staircases that weave through charming residential areas, revealing stunning vistas and a glimpse into the unique local architecture and celebrity homes. Our adventure begins at the intersection of Micheltorena Street and Sunset Boulevard, where we find the first set of stairs waiting to be conquered:

Micheltorena Heart Stairs: Stair Candy

In 2015, three artists, (Carla O’Brien and Mandon Bossi, along with Corinne Carrey), worked in secret to turn the otherwise drab Micheltorena Stairs on Sunset Boulevard, right across the street from where Micheltorena meets Sunset, into a brightly colored, heart-adorned staircase. They ascend into the Southern Silverlake Hills, crossing Larissa, before spilling out onto Micheltorena below Sunset.

Grab a coffee at Alfred right across the street and get hiking!

secret stairs

Mattachine Steps: Your Secret Portal to the Silverlake Reservoir

Between Silverlake Blvd and Glendale Blvd you’ll find the Mattachine Steps. These allow locals on the Glendale Blvd side to easily access the Silverlake Reservoir and its parks. Two for humans, one for dogs. It was dedicated to the Mattachine Society in 2012 in memory of Harry Hay, who cofounded the gay rights group.

Start at 2314 Cove Ave to enter from the Glendale Ave side or 2354 Cove Ave to enter from the reservoir side.

secret stairs

The Three Stooges, Loma Vista, and Earl Secret Stairs

Not far from The Mattachine Steps are three sets of secret stairs in between Glendale Blvd and Allesandro Way near the southern terminus of The 2 Freeway, or The Glendale Freeway. All but one are names after the streets they connect. The Three Stooges Stairs are famous for where the Three Stooges short “An Ache In Every Stake” was filmed in 1941. It is a classic scene of where they have to deliver a block of ice all the way to the top of the stairs and with the stairs being so long, the block melts into a small cube. Hollywood buff? These are the secret stairs for you!

Watch the original skit here!

secret stairs

The Earl and Loma Vista stairs are sure to make you sweat as well. The Earl Stairs are narrow and windy with the Loma Vista staircase being the longest in all Los Angeles!

secret stairs

Quirky boutiques, street art, and cozy cafes dot the landscape of Silverlake and around the secret stairs to provide ample opportunities to take a breather and soak in the surroundings. The secret stairs offer not just a physical workout but also a visual feast of Silver Lake’s unique character.

Discovering the Charms of Los Feliz

Moving on to Los Feliz, another gem nestled under Griffith Park, we find more sets of secret stairs that wind their way through this historic area. Los Feliz is home to a variety of architectural styles, from Spanish Colonial Revival to Mid-Century Modern, making each step a journey through time and design.

Glencairn, Glendower, and Mosaic Secret Stairs

Fancy a hike through multimillion dollar estates and celebrity homes? Follow these steps:

  • Go to the northern intersection of Los Feliz Blvd and Catalina St.
  • Walk up and take in the views
  • Turn right onto Glencairn Rd. You’ll seemingly find yourself at a dead end cul-de-sac. Look to the left at the trellised ivy and find a secret doorway leading to a secret stair case!
  • Go down the stairs and find yourself on Bonvue Ave. Turn left to find the intricate Mosaic Stairs a few feet up. Go up.
  • At the top of the Mosaic Secret Stairs is one of the best views of the Ennis House you’ll ever get! From here you’ll see the beautiful but deadly Glendower Stairs. Your thighs will be screaming by the top!
  • From here take a right and walk all the way up and to the left (Look for the pink house) for a secret access point to Griffith Park!

This local enjoys the above hike all the time!

secret stairs ennis house

One of the highlights of the Los Feliz secret stairs is the hidden paths they reveal. As you climb, you’ll stumble upon tucked-away parks, lush gardens, and even unexpected art installations. It’s like embarking on a treasure hunt, where the prize is the stunning views of the city and the sense of having discovered something truly special.

Local Flavor and Hidden Hangouts

One of the joys of exploring the secret stairs in Silver Lake and Los Feliz is the chance to connect with the local culture. Residents often use these stairs as a daily ritual, creating a friendly and communal atmosphere. Don’t be surprised if you strike up a conversation with a neighbor, or better yet, find yourself invited to a neighborhood event.

As the day unfolds, take a pit stop at one of the local eateries. Whether you crave a gourmet coffee from an indie cafe like Maru on Hillhurst or want to savor a meal at a hidden gem restaurant like Gingergrass on Glendale, Silver Lake and Los Feliz have it all. These neighborhoods are a foodie’s paradise, and stumbling upon these eateries is like finding hidden treasures along your secret stairs journey.

Reaching the End of the Secret Stairs

So there you have it, fellow adventurers – the secret stairs in Silver Lake and Los Feliz, your ticket to a unique exploration of LA’s local charm. These staircases not only offer a fantastic workout but also unveil the hidden stories and breathtaking views that make these neighborhoods truly special. Lace up your shoes, embrace the mystery, and let the secret stairs lead you to a side of Los Angeles that’s waiting to be discovered. Happy wandering!

This blog post was created by Todd Pivetti, one of Los Angeles’ top Real Estate Agents with The Shelhamer Real Estate Group. Todd is a longtime resident of North East LA, (Los Feliz), and he’s unabashedly obsessed with all things East Side. When he’s not writing blog posts or selling homes he’s volunteering at the LGBT Center or looking for the best new thrift stores.

todd pivetti realtor

If you have questions about this blog, or have any Real Estate needs – don’t be shy, say Hi!

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