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Micheltorena Stairs: The Most Instagrammed Staircase in Los Angeles

The Micheltorena Stairs with its bold red hearts and colorful steps is probably the most Instagrammed and Pinned stairway in the world.  You can’t follow any social media thread dealing with cool places to take Instagram photos of check out in Los Angeles without seeing the beautiful painted stairs.

painted stairs
A lesser photographed section of the Micheltorena Stairs

Adding to the popularity of the staircase’s popularity is it is one of the most likely staircases to be spotted by chance.  Los Angeles has hundreds, if not thousands, of staircases combing the city.  They are referred to by bloggers as the “Secret Stairs” of Los Angeles, possibly because if you don’t happen to live in the neighborhood they are in, you won’t know they are there.In contrast, the Micheltorena Stairs can be seen when you are driving down Sunset Blvd in the Silverlake/Echo Park area if you happen to be looking the right direction.  They are across the street from the Micheltorena Elementary School, set back on a pathway a bit but quite visible.  The exact address is 3400 Sunset Blvd.

The steps were painted by artist Corinne Carrey who worked at night to avoid attracting attention to the “illegal” beautification project.  She did it to change the vibe in a neighborhood plagued with homelessness and violence at times… funny how you can always count on an artist to be the one to step forward and make things a little better in the world.

The Micheltorena Stairs comprise 177 stairs.  The first flight takes you up to Larissa Drive.  Cross over and there is another set of steps.  In addition to being a favorite Instagram photo hot spot, the staircase has become a favorite outdoor gym for “leg day”.  We filmed a short video featuring the Micheltorena Stairs along with two other staircases in the neighborhood a while back and found we quite frequently had to wait for batches of athletes to pass through before we could resume our shooting.

Be sure to check out the steps.  We will be bringing you info on the other painted staircases in LA soon!  BTW for travel bloggers the camera gear I use most in photographing and videoing the various cool things to see in Los Angeles are: A Nikon D750.  This is a 24 mp full frame workhorse professional level camera yet its surprisingly affordable.  In 25 years of photography this is by far the best camera I’ve owned.  The Nikon D810 which is quite similar to the D750 but with a 36 mp output.  While both of these shoot both still photos and video, I use actual video cameras for my video work.  There are a lot of reasons for this.  My main is a Sony and then when I need to be able to shoot stabilized handheld video I use the DJI Osmo.

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Narrated by: Zeus Lee
Produced by: Mark Stout
Background Music:
Babylon – Disco Ultralounge by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

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