Here comes the sun: Rocking the early morning hours in LA
Watching a serene sunrise is an angelic way to take a break from the constant hustle and bustle of daily life. With near-perfect weather year-round, visitors can revel in the beauty of the sun rising over the City of Angels.
The sun rises early in Los Angeles. In spring before daylight saving time, it begins its ascent as early as 5:45 a.m., beginning just after 5 a.m. in June for the summer solstice, and as late as 6:30 a.m. for the winter solstice. Check the Griffith Observatory sunrise times before you make the trip.
Los Angeles is known for its heavy traffic, which can make a 30-minute drive much longer. And the city is spread out, which also can make trips take more time than anticipated. Make sure to leave extra time to navigate traffic.
While Los Angeles can have dry, beautiful weather for much of the year, be prepared for "June gloom." A weather pattern that often occurs in May, June or July, it means cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. Bring extra layers for the early morning chill and check the weather ahead of time, since cloudy skies can prevent the spectacular views of the sunrise.
A drier climate puts the area at risk for wildfires. Check Cal Fire's website for a list of active fires, which may close roads and affect traffic in the city.
Best places to view the sunrise in Los Angeles
- Griffith Park contains more than 4,210 acres of land in the north of the city. Home to the Griffith Observatory and the LA Zoo, this area has 53 miles of hiking trails open to the public. The park opens at 5 a.m., giving you ample time to get to a good viewpoint of the city and the Hollywood sign for the sunrise. Open fires, such as cigarettes, are prohibited because of the risk of wildfires. Bring plenty of water on the hike in both winter and summer, as the dryness can be difficult for people coming from more humid climates.
- Point Dume is up the coast in Malibu off the Pacific Coast Highway. This state beach offers a gorgeous view of the sunrise framed against the rocky cove and nearby cliffs. Between December and April, visitors may have the chance to see whales off the coast. Because this beach is not in downtown Los Angeles, take extra time to arrive by sunrise. There is a fee to park. For more information, visit the Department of Beaches and Harbors website.
- Just around the corner from the famed Chinese Theater and Hollywood Bowl, Runyon Canyon Park offers a fantastic view of the city as the sun comes up. Hike to the summit on Runyon Canyon Road in the park to get the best perspective. There is a small parking lot at the Mulholland Drive entrance, but only street parking at the entrances at Runyon Canyon Road and North Fuller Avenue. Read the signs to avoid getting a ticket.