The most epic U.S. public stairways that give you a killer plyometric workout


Woman running up steps at Red Rocks

Related Articles

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:

Murphy Ranch Trail

Location: Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles
Amount of steps to conquer: 512

Gil's Stairs

Location: Downtown Hood River, Oregon
Amount of steps to conquer: 413 stairs

56th Street Steps

Amount of steps to conquer: 394 stairs
Location: Pittsburgh


Howe Stairway

Location: Under Interstate 5, Seattle
Amount of steps to conquer: 388


Filbert East Stairway

Location: Pioneer Park in San Francisco
Amount of steps to conquer: 383

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Location: 6,000 feet high in Golden, Colorado
Amount of steps to conquer: 380

Culver City Stairs

Location: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Stairway, Culver City, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 375 steps

Santa Monica Canyon

Location: Santa Monica, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 188


Thousand Steps Beach

Location: Laguna Beach, California
Amount of steps to conquer: 220, leading to the beach!

Spalding-Rose Stairway

Location: Bisbee, Arizona
Amount of steps to conquer: 229

Dipsea Stairway

Location: Mill Valley, California
Amount of steps to conquer: Three flights with your choice of 313 steps, 223 or 150 steps

Rocky Steps

Location: Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia
Amount of steps to conquer: 72

Special mentions:

Koko Crater Railway Trail Stairway

Location: Koko Head Regional Park, Hawaii
Amount of steps to conquer: 1,207

Alternating Thread Stair

Location: Pinnacles National Monument, California

An alternating tread stairway that climbs the steep slope of a pinnacle in National Monument, California.