Exploring the hidden passage between Echo Park and Silver Lake one step at a time

View Loma Vista-Cove Passage in a larger map

The Loma Vista Passage is what David Kimbrough calls the public stairways that make up much of Loma Vista Place as it courses up and down the steep hills of Silver Lake and the Elysian Heights section of Echo Park. The stairway and nearby streets form a hidden and almost off-road route (mapped out in in blue) between the two neighborhoods.  If you don’t have the time and energy to climb and walk this route, Kimbrough, who grew up in Echo Park, put together a video montage of photos of the Loma Vista stairway as it runs underneath a canopy of trees and between bungalows. Kimbrough, who now lives in San Gabriel, said he has vivid memories of the stairs and pathways of his old neighborhood:

I grew up on Curran Street which has steps on the back side down to Valentine.  It seemed that there were steps everywhere, public, private, and unknown.   Sometime even today, at age 52, I dream about stairs climbing, twisting up to the sky … We ran up and down them as kids.  I would walk to school along them all the time.  Some of course are private and unpaved, hidden among the Arundo donax or cut into little goat paths.  At the time of course I thought nothing of them, it was as natural as the blue of the sky to walk along public stairs.

The Loma Vista Passage ends about a half block west of Glendale Boulevard.  But a short walk south on Glendale Boulevard quickly leads to Cove Avenue and a  stairway (mapped out in red) that extends the Echo Park-Silver Lake passage up and over a hill to the Silver Lake Reservoir.


  1. I almost rented a place at the Silverlake end of the passage and then I thought: “If I move in, I will never move out of here, and never get groceries.”

  2. There are a lot of these old pedestrian walkways throughout the east side that are all but forgotten about. There is a good series of connecting walkways and tunnels along the 110 connecting Chinatown to Elysian Park, Radio Hill Gardens, Chavez Ravine and ending at N. San Fernando road at Riverside Drive if anyone cares…..

  3. I wish I could live up one of these streets, they are so beautiful! As to carrying everything up the stairs; why shouldn’t you be doing that much physical activity every day? It would be a great work out that is integrated in your day to day lifestyle. It is unfortunate how it does exclude people who are physically disabled from enjoying the scenery though. But what a great way to live in a secluded setting while getting in shape without going out of your way to join a gym etc!

  4. I’m in love with LA!! I’ve lived here all my life and STILL can’t get enough of things like this! The “behind the scenes” part of LA. Yeah, yeah about Hollywood. I love that too, but I’m not a star struck person. I want to live right smack dab in the middle of all this so if anyone knows of a reasonable place that’s safe, let me know!! I have two GREAT jobs. One is part time LA County EMT, (the other is full time). I do because I love it, not because I need two jobs. My other one is well enough by itself. I’m very blessed!!. Anyway, I’m in no hurry, I’m in Burbank right now. I’d love to live much closer to downtown. Silverlake, Downtown, Echo Park, etc…I’m looking for a place that feels right and fits me. I have a small car, a small truck, and a motorcycle I’d rather not park on the street. Anyone??

  5. Lovely, but after spending the first 1:10 on the first 75 wooden feet of the stairs, he skips over the rest, including my cute little house at the bottom of the stairs, to gaze at a sweet yellow bungalow that isn’t on the stairs. Darn! My one shot at 15 minutes of fame, too.

  6. @ Jim – Too funny! Your green gem deserves its 15 minutes of fame.

  7. I would actually pay MORE to purchase a house up a stair street, as opposed to one that is on a normal street.

  8. Jim Kelly, if you had been out there with water or gatorade, your house may have made the video….sheesh…LOL.

    I used to walk this way many a day walking home a girlfriend from Marshall who lived on Cove. I grew up on Altivo Way, and the videographer is my oldest friend. We ran and played on all these places as kids in the 60’s.

  9. Did you guys clean the stairs for this video? I live right above Jim and thought some magical broom fairy came along and swept all the oak tree leaves away one day! Thanks for that <3 I love this house and the stairs are so charming! Bringing groceries up hasn't been a bother, one adapts 🙂

  10. Hello all you stair street aficionados. Check out my marvelous listing at 2245 Loma Vista Pl, http://www.2245LomaVista.com. A piece of heaven right in our backyard !


    Judy: I was just about to reply: “Look up Judy Orshnik” when I saw you had beat me to it! I’ve seen several of your listings I would go for if I was 40 years younger and $400,000 richer!

  12. @Jake ~ I know most of those that you speak of except the Radio Hill ones. WHere are those located, Id love to know

  13. @SCPOP

    Hun, it’s probably the ones I was pointing out on the way to the on ramp the other day 😛

    110 connecting Chinatown to Elysian Park – that on a rainy day with camera in tow is an excellent walk. the tunnels and the spiral stairs, see photo link below:

  14. At age 15 I would walk from John Marshall High School to King Jr. High, I would then walk my girlfriend to her Silverlake home and after us kissing in her carport for an hour or so, I would walk home to my Echo Park residence. I took this route most every day. If I had bus money I would sit on my skateboard and zoom down the Micheltorena hill to Sunset Blvd. and hop on the RTD bus, then transfer up Echo Park Ave.

    Good times! Great memories!!

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