Sunrise in Los Angeles is an exotic sight giving you the experience of a fresh day, a mesmerizing start. Whether you are vacationing in this city or just need to unwind after your fervent night out, LA with its beautiful parks, beaches, reserve forests, mountains and lakes offers plenty of soothing sunrise views. For most of the year, sunrise in Los Angeles occurs between 6:30 am to 6:52 am as the sky is tainted with a kaleidoscope of the warmest, most aesthetic hues.
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- 1 Sunrise in Los Angeles from the East, West and South
- 2 The 12 Best Places to View Sunrise in Los Angeles
- 2.1 1. Griffith Park Observatory
- 2.2 2. Runyon Canyon Park
- 2.3 3. Mulholland Drive
- 2.4 4. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
- 2.5 5. Cahuenga Peak
- 2.6 6. Palisades Park
- 2.7 7. Elysian Park
- 2.8 8. Hollywood Sign Hike
- 2.9 9. Santa Monica Pier
- 2.10 10. Ocean Avenue
- 2.11 11. Signal Hill
- 2.12 12. Angeles National Golf Course
- 3 Tips to Remember For Watching Sunrise in Los Angeles
Sunrise in Los Angeles from the East, West and South
The most interesting sunrise in Los Angeles is when the sun lights up the plain basin floor of the city, over buildings, hills and transitioning freeways. If the weather is foggy, the sun begins to add glow to the mist near eastern San Fernando Valley and Tujunga. Moving to the west where the sun rises towards your back, it casts a jaw-droppingly bright stretch shining through the gaps between Hollywood Hill and Verdugo Hill. The urban settings at Century City and Baldwin Hills are first hit by the sun from the west and southwest.
The 12 Best Places to View Sunrise in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is soaked in sunshine for nearly 300 days every year. We have curated a list of 12 handpicked places to view sunrise in LA, the entertainment capital of the world: –
Runyon Canyon ParkMulholland DriveBaldwin Hills Scenic OverlookCahuenga PeakPalisades ParkElysian ParkHollywood Sign HikeSanta Monica PierOcean AvenueSignal Hill
1. Griffith Park Observatory
Griffith Park Observatory is an astronomical observatory on the south-facing slope of Hollywood Hill. On entering through the west gate at Ferndale Nature Center, you can hike up to the observatory. The path is filled with gigantic sycamores and brooks. Grab a telescope on their broad deck and enjoy panoramic views of the entire Hollywood circle as the sun rises over the surrounding basin, valleys and glens.
Location: Los Geliz Boulevard, Los AngelesElevation: 1,135 feetTimings: 6:30am – 7:30amTickets: USD 3 – USD 7
2. Runyon Canyon Park
This well-protected state reserve park has amazing trails with several vantage points for viewing sunrise in Los Angeles. It is also a popular hiking destination in LA where the rising sun casts a glowing effect on the Santa Monica Mountains to the park’s east and Catalina Island to the west. Climb up to one the park’s lofty tropical peaks flanked with migratory birds, chaparrals and oaks to enjoy sweeping sunrise views even in foggy weather!
Location: Runyon Canyon Road, Los AngelesTimings: 6am – 6pmAdmission: Free
3. Mulholland Drive
You have probably heard of this influential road on blockbuster flicks, but what most people don’t know is Mulholland Drive with its exclusive celebrity homes and rich mansions is also an ambient spot to catch broad sunrise vistas. This extensive neighborhood on the east ridge of Santa Monica Mountains becomes a glorious sight when the sun rays slip through cracks between dense canopies and buildings to light up Cahuenga and surrounding valleys.
Location: Santa Monica Mountains, Los AngelesTimings: 6 am – 7am
4. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Situated towards the south of Culver City, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a steep hill offering a unique perspective of LA’s north basin. There are scenic trails and steps carved into the lush tropical terrain, known as Culver City Stairs which makes the hike up the hill easy for climbers of all aptitudes and breathtakingly beautiful. You can enjoy amazing sunrise views over greater Los Angeles from the peak as well as the foot of Baldwin Hills. Also, there is a plethora of casual restaurants in the area to grab breakfast.
Location: Hetzler Road, Culver City, Los AngelesTimings: 5:30am – 7am
5. Cahuenga Peak
Cahuenga Peak is located towards the east of Mulholland Drive, so you can walk down the boulevard and climb Cahuenga Peak for a 360-degree panorama of San Fernando Valley and LA basin. It is the 12th highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. As the sun rises on the west, it fills Cahuenga Peak with charming, soft glow with the main focal rays on the Hollywood sign. It’s a glorifying angle of sunrise in Los Angeles, worth the hike.
Elevation: 555 metersLocation: Santa Monica Mountains, Los AngelesTimings: 6 am – 7am
6. Palisades Park
There’s nothing as alluring as watching the sun rise along the horizon beyond the ocean. This 26.4 acre coastal park in LA provides dynamic sunrise views over the Pacific Ocean. Lovely, wide bluffs create an iconic spot to curl up with a book and watch the sunrise over Los Angeles. Palisades Park also has plenty of shady palms and manicured, grassy playgrounds for the winter times when dipping your feet into the ocean might not be appealing.
Location: Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, Los AngelesTimings: 6am – 7am
7. Elysian Park
Parks are a rare find in downtown LA but Elysian Park is an underrated, hidden gem. This tropical park has low-lying hills with vantage points which you can climb to watch sunrise over the neighborhood. There is a beautiful, secret spot on top of one of these hills where a large swing is tucked into wildflower groves. If you go early, you will find it empty. So sit on it and catch elusive views of the city’s sunrise.
Location: Central Los Angeles, CaliforniaTimings: 6:30am – 7am
8. Hollywood Sign Hike
Hollywood Sign is a majestic landmark that alone represents American culture across the globe. There are 3 trails that lead to the Hollywood sign namely Mt Hollywood Trail, Cahuenga Peak trail and Brush Canyon trail. Meandering through rolling chaparrals, the peak offers magnificent skyline views as the sun rises over LA city and Pacific Ocean. In summers, you can witness exquisite warm colors fill the sky during sunrise.
Location: Mount Lee, Los AngelesTimings: 6am – 7amHiking time: 2 hours
9. Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica Pier is the only double-jointed pier in Los Angeles and its amazingly huge. There’s a small amusement park by the beach where you can ride the ferris wheel for a very unique and unforgettable view of sunrise in Los Angeles. It is visible from the west end of the pier where sandy beaches and restaurants with alfresco diners are also available early morning. Owing to the Pacific Ocean, the sunrise here is never shaded by urban terrain.
Timings: 6:50am – 7:30amLocation: Santa Monica, Los Angeles
10. Ocean Avenue
Mornings at Ocean Avenue are beautiful, straight out of a frame. This boulevard of upscale hotels, restaurants, mansions and shopping centres is the most tranquil at sunrise and has an abundance of vantage points, whether you’re strolling the sidewalk or sitting atop a fine highrise. Locals often go here to exercise at the green parks where sunrise views in summer are exemplary, densely vibrant and unparalleled.
Location: Santa Monica, Los AngelesTimings: 6:30am – 7am
11. Signal Hill
Incorporated into LA rather recently, this city is a mix of urban and suburban residential areas with pristine beaches and nature parks. The entire city is sculpted on a hill and offers sunrise views over the southwestern side of Los Angeles as well as the crystal-clear Pacific Ocean. The beach is never too crowded. It is a great spot for enjoying the sunrise and a picnic afterwards.
Location: Los Angeles County, CaliforniaTimings: 6:45am -7:30am
12. Angeles National Golf Course
Renowned to be the best golf course in LA with a picturesque driving range for the public, Angeles National Golf Course rests on the foothills of Angeles National Forest. The signature sunrise views across this Spanish-style course is accentuated by the luscious greenery, rare wildflowers and mature oaks on site. You can sit by the lake and famous agave tree or walk along the picturesque driving range here to watch the sunrise in Los Angeles.
Location: 9401 Foothill Boulevard, Sunland, Los AngelesTimings: 6:30am – 6pm
Tips to Remember For Watching Sunrise in Los Angeles
While watching the sunrise is a simple yet great pleasure in itself, you can make your morning more eventful with these tips: –
Tips for enjoying the sunrise in Los Angeles
Carry water, umbrellas and sunscreen when climbing peaks or taking hiking routes. While the foothills of peaks in Los Angeles are often carpeted with tropics, the top of the hills can get barren and sunny.Always check for parking and pet-friendly zones since all areas in certain parks and beaches in Los Angeles might not be open to pets and cars.You can’t enjoy LA’s sunrise without grabbing some delicious American breakfast afterward. Do visit the restaurants and street vendors for some lip-smacking breakfast bites.If you have a telescope of your own, bring it with you!If you are not familiar with an area, ask the locals where the vantage points for sunrise views are. They’re often very friendly.Whether it is choice, tourism or profession that compels you to be an early bird, waking up during wee hours of dawn to watch sunrise in Los Angeles is a rewarding experience that makes you want to come back for more. Have you visited any of these sites before or are planning to? We would be happy to hear from you in the comments below.