Looking for a new twist on your daily run or workout? Stair climbing a la Rocky Balboa is a great way to change up your exercise routine. You’ll reap big benefits for your cardiorespiratory system and for your muscular endurance. Also, the plyometric motion used during stair climbing is perfect cross training for runners and other athletes.
If you’re interested in training for tower races — such as the popular Empire State Run Up at the Empire State Building in New York City, which is a whopping 86 stories with 1,576 stairs, or SkyRise Chicago, held at the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), which has 2,109 steps — or simply want to go vertical with your workout routine, look no further than the public stairways in your area. Not only are they free, many of them — like the ones listed below — have beautiful surroundings, which will almost make you forget your legs are on fire. Also, as we reported in the past, being among nature lowers stress and depression and improves work productivity. This makes stair climbing perfect for the early-morning, before-work exercise crowd.
Here's a roundup of epic public stairways in America with enough steps to make your quads cry for mommy:
Location: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
Amount of steps to conquer: 512
Location: Downtown Hood River, Oregon
Amount of steps to conquer: 413 stairs
Amount of steps to conquer: 394 stairs
Location: Under Interstate 5, Seattle
Amount of steps to conquer: 388
Location: Pioneer Park in San Francisco
Amount of steps to conquer: 383
Location: 6,000 feet high in Golden, Colorado
Amount of steps to conquer: 380
Location: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Stairway, Culver City, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 375 steps
Location: Santa Monica, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 188
Location: Laguna Beach, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 220, leading to the beach!
Location: Bisbee, Arizona
Amount of steps to conquer: 229
Location: Mill Valley, California
Amount of steps to conquer: Three flights with your choice of 313 steps, 223 or 150 steps
Location: Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Amount of steps to conquer: 72
Location: Koko Head Regional Park, Hawaii
Amount of steps to conquer: 1,207
Location: Pinnacles National Monument, California
An alternating tread stairway that climbs the steep slope of a pinnacle in National Monument, California.