Rochelle & Barbara with Charles Fleming.
Like many amazing adventures, this one began at a bookstore. On the hunt for unique locations to use in a mystery set in L.A., a book titled Secret Stairs caught Rochelle’s eye. (“Aha! Secrets!”) She bought the book, flipped through the hikes and, not willing to go it alone, set it aside. The lure of out-of-the-way locales beckoned, and one morning Rochelle asked her gym buddy Barbara if she liked to hike. Barb’s “yes” launched a plan and the following Sunday morning, Rochelle Staab and Barbara Beck did their first hike through the El Sereno Circles. That was in April of 2015 and since then, Barb and Rochelle completed over a hundred hikes up hidden staircases and along famous, infamous, and out-of-the-way sidewalks and paths throughout Los Angeles streets, parks, mountain trails, and along the shores of the Pacific. Exploring the history of Los Angeles from the sidewalk up and mountain trails down became an addictive, visually stunning experience.

The hikes in this blog come from several sources, identified by hike, including Charles Fleming’s Secret Stairs and Secret Walks, Erin Mahoney Harris’s Walking L.A., Paul Haddad’s 10,000 Steps a Day in L.A., and Fleming’s “L.A. Walks” series for the Los Angeles Times. Maps for each hike are located inside the source books.

Barb and Rochelle are amateurs and hike for pleasure. They never hike alone, sick, or injured. They carry water, snacks, and a cell phone with them, stop to rest when they’re tired, and don’t take unnecessary or dangerous chances. But they do take a lot of photos.

Barbara Beck is a native Angelino, currently working in the entertainment industry. Rochelle Staab, an Angelino since the 1970s via NY and the Midwest, is a retired entertainment professional, current student, and mystery writer.

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