Descanso Stairway

The crumbling stairs are a main access path for people in the neighborhood and provide beautiful views of the Silver Lake Reservoir.

Nearby Attractions

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The Ambassador Hotel
Before this site was Hollywood High School, the Ambassador Hotel stood here. It's known as the place where RFK was assassinated.
Upper Swan Stairs
One of the most famous murals in Silver Lake is the "LA je t'aime" mural. Enjoy not just this picture-worthy spot, but the views of DTLA at the top
Silver Lake Recreation Center
At the heart of this neighborhood, the recreation center sits on the southern side of the Silver Lake Reservoir.
Lower Swan Stairs
The first part of the three sets of Swan Stairs, all three were painted by Evelyn Leigh, who was commissioned in 2015 by the city.
Middle Swan Stairs
The second installment of the Swan Stairs, the middle set utilizes triangles and bright colors to entertain climbers.
Lower Micheltorena Stairway
Though these stairs are due for renovation, they represent the old and new melding together, as is characteristic of the neighborhood.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Silver Lake's Painted Staircases
Silver Lake is a vibrant and beautiful section of east Los Angeles, with a fun, hipster character. During your three-hour private walking tour of Silver Lake’s Painted Staircases, you will:

  • Meet your guide at the Silver Lake Recreation Center, where you will get a quick introduction to the tour.
  • Immerse yourself in the Silver Lake neighbourhood, where your guide will lead you to the famous painted staircases.
  • Ascend the Swan Stairs, about 287 steps, where you can stop for breaks and photo ops.
  • Descend the Cicero Stairs (90 steps) until you reach Sunset Blvd. Stop for a coffee break and snack at a local coffee shop.
  • Go about 200 steps up the Lower Micheltorena Stairs and head towards the Descanso Stairway, where you will descend another 139 steps to a nice viewpoint, with photo ops along the way. 
  •  Walk the 90 steps up the Murray Stairs, with a short, steep walk up to the Effie/Rotary Stairs, before heading back down to the Recreation Center.
On this private walking tour, you will step past bright swatches of yellow, orange, purple and green; past painted red hearts and other colourful flights of fancy as you ascend higher up Silver Lakes’ famous painted staircases, decorated by local artists. Here you will find a mix of old and new – and part of the neighbourhood’s revival are these fabulous staircases which have become the shining star of Silver Lake.

We recommend wearing good walking or tennis shoes for this tour, but it is not required. Do try to dress in comfortable layers, as you will no doubt work up a sweat! Coffee and a snack at a local coffee stop are included in your tour. And don’t forget your camera or make space on your phone, as there will be many opportunities to stop for photos along the way.


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