This is Rustic Canyon Loop in Santa Monica, stair walk #40, from the book, “Secret Stairs,” by Charles Fleming. This is the second time I’ve done this walk. The first time my friend and I got lost and it got dark before we finished the walk. We decided to do the walk again so we can see what we weren’t able to see and to take pictures. When people think of the stairs in Santa Monica, they think of the famous stairs off 4th street and Adelaide. These stairs are popular for exercise and you can see people running up and down the stairs. There is a grassy median on 4th Street where stair climbers exercise and stretch. “Secret Stairs” author Charles Fleming was told that homeowners were so irritated at people stretching and exercising on the grass median that they wanted the stairs to be closed. However, the stairs are part of the region’s tsunami escape system and cannot be closed.
People would be pleasantly surprised at the lesser known stairs on this walk. My favorite is the area known as Rustic Canyon. It was here where it got dark the first time I did this stair walk, so I had to read the map from “Secret Stairs” by the light of a street lamp.
Rustic Canyon has a mountainous look and feel with pine trees and homes that look like cabins. During the Prohibition, a section of Rustic Canyon was owned by cowboy Will Rogers, where he had a private drinking club known as Uplifters Ranch. After Prohibition, this was sold off as individual home sites. My friend and I got lost again on this walk.
There are some stairs off Amalfi that you cannot see until you go right up to them. We were going in circles and the streets are very confusing. Finally we found the stairs and finished our walk while it was still daylight.