Hiking in the Dark

Hiking in the dark sounds bold, dangerous and exciting. And, it is. Anyone can hike Runyon Canyon during the day- but what’s the fun in that? There are hundreds of people around, yes- maybe a celebrity or two, but it’s hard to truly relax and unwind when you’re still having to deal with traffic?

So, with the help of the time change, Bob and I have started hiking about an hour before sunset. The cooler temps make the hike much more enjoyable and the gorgeous slow sunset is the cherry on top. If you travel to Los Angeles, make this a must-do adventure after window shopping Rodeo Drive or eating brunch on Melrose.

Tips for hiking in the dark:
• bring an extra layer because, as you lose light, a cold chill sweeps down the mountain trail
• bring a flashlight (and, no, you’re cell phone light will not do)
• if you’re really prepared, bring a red tinted flashlight because it will help your eyes adjust more smoothly
• wear shoes with good soles to help keep your balance
• don’t go hiking after dark in the rain as the rocks and dirt get very slippery
• bring your cell phone in case you get hurt or lost
• make sure said cell phone is fully charged
• go with a friend
• bring a camera. You’ll capture the progression of an awesome sunset and skyline after dark

And don’t be scared- even though there are significantly less people, there are still a lot of people around.

Have you ever hiked in the dark? (It sounds so sexy!)


Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns TravelMindset.com and iExplore.com.


  • Reply November 27, 2011


    I went for a night trek back in India – the idea was to start the hike at around midnight, and after a couple of hours of hiking, reach a bit before sunrise. The sunrise views were amazing, but it was very very cold at the top of the hill, and all the above tips would have been very useful!

    • Reply November 28, 2011


      That sounds incredible though! Now you’ll be prepared for the next crazy adventure!

  • Reply November 27, 2011

    Craig Zabransky

    I hiked once and found myself still on the mountain, a volcano actually, as darkness descended. I agree, have your camera. You can get some magical sunsets. I captured this one:


    thanks for sharing yours and these tips. Luckily I made it down before I needed something more powerful than my camera light. I wasn’t prepared.

    stay adventurous, Craig

    • Reply November 28, 2011


      Love that photo, Craig! Taking an adventure can lead to great pictures and moments!

  • Reply November 28, 2011


    oh my gosh! you guys are brave! I can barely manage not to fall in broad daylight, let alone in dark!! the views are lovely, though!! love a hike up through Runyon!!

  • Reply November 28, 2011

    Christy @ Technosyncratic

    I could see hiking somewhere to watch the sunset, and then having to hike back in the dark. But just hiking in the dark? You’d miss all the views!

  • Reply November 28, 2011

    Emme Rogers @ Roamancing

    Thanks for the reminder on how relaxing an end to the day this is.

    To add to your tips ~ Avoid trails along cliffs, when hiking in the dark.

  • Reply November 29, 2011

    Scott - Quirky Travel Guy

    I’ve never thought about doing this because in most places it seems dangerous and easy to get lost. But Runyan Canyon would be a perfect spot for it!

  • Reply November 29, 2011


    Never thought of hiking in LA at all, actually, but this sounds cool. I think you would like the St Catherine’s Monastery hike on Sinai in Egypt as well. It usually begins at 2:30 am.

  • Reply November 30, 2011


    I love hiking in the dark, I’ve been spotlighting animals at night with my Dad since I was a kid, It’s so peaceful just you, the wilderness, the animals, the stars and your hiking partner! I’ve done a few early morning hikes in the dark to catch sunrise on the peaks of some of China’s most well known mountains, that moment when the sun rises from the horizon can’t be beat!

    My biggest tip for night hiking is to take a head torch, no chance of dropping it and breaking it leaving you in the dark without a working torch!

  • Reply December 7, 2011


    I love that night cityscape! Nice Work. It’s such a hard thing to capture. I tried in San Francisco in September with little success.

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