Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles

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This article is about the canyon neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. For Laurel Canyon Boulevard, see Laurel Canyon Boulevard. For other uses, see Laurel Canyon (disambiguation).
Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles
Neighborhood of Los Angeles
Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles is located in San Fernando Valley
Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles
Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles
Location within Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley
Coordinates: 34°07′02″N 118°22′31″W / 34.117275°N 118.375281°W / 34.117275; -118.375281
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Los Angeles
City Los Angeles
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)

Laurel Canyon is a neighborhood located in the Hollywood Hills region of Los Angeles, California.


Laurel Canyon is focused on its central thoroughfare, Laurel Canyon Boulevard. However, unlike other nearby canyon neighborhoods, Laurel Canyon has houses lining one side of the main street most of the way up to Mulholland Drive. There are many side roads that branch off the main canyon, but most are not through streets, reinforcing the self-contained nature of the neighborhood. Some of the main side streets are Mount Olympus, Kirkwood, Wonderland Avenue, Willow Glen, and Lookout Mountain Avenue. The zip code for a portion of the neighborhood is 90046.[citation needed]

Laurel Canyon Boulevard is an important North-South route between West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, specifically Studio City. The division between the two can roughly be defined by the intersection of Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive. In early 2005, the first section of the road on the Hollywood side was partially washed away in a heavy rainstorm, and traffic was redirected to a normally quiet residential side street.[citation needed]


The Laurel Canyon area was inhabited by the local Tongva tribe of Native Californians before the arrival of the Spanish. A spring-fed stream that flowed year-round provided water. It was that water that attracted Mexican ranchers who established sheep grazing on the hillsides in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. After the Mexican government was ejected, the area caught the attention of Anglo settlers interested in water rights. Around the turn of the 20th century, the area was subdivided and marketed as mountain vacation properties.[citation needed]

Between 1912 and 1918, a trackless electric trolley bus ran up the canyon from Sunset Boulevard to the base of Lookout Mountain Road where a road house served visitors. Travel to the newly subdivided lots and cabins further up the canyon was at first made on foot or by mule. As the roads were improved access was possible by automobile.[citation needed]

Around 1920, a local developer built the Lookout Mountain Inn at the summit of Lookout Mountain and Sunset Plaza roads, which burned just a few years after opening.[citation needed]

Among the famous places in Laurel Canyon are the log cabin house once owned by silent film star Tom Mix that later became home to the Zappa clan,[1] and another (directly across the street) that magician Harry Houdini may have lived in.[citation needed]

Laurel Canyon found itself a nexus of counterculture activity and attitudes in the 1960s, becoming famous as home to many of L.A.'s rock musicians, such as Frank Zappa; Jim Morrison of The Doors; The Byrds; Buffalo Springfield; and Love. Joni Mitchell, living in the home in the Canyon that was immortalized in the song, "Our House", written by her then-lover Graham Nash, would use the area and its denizens as inspiration for her third album, Ladies of the Canyon. Crosby, Stills, and Nash first met each other in her living room.[2]

John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas took inspiration from their home in Laurel Canyon in the song Twelve Thirty a.k.a. Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon), released in 1967.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dowd, Vincent (28 September 2011). "Frank Zappa: the clean-living hellraiser". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2014.  Interview with Pauline Butcher, Zappa's live-in secretary.
  2. ^ Sheila Weller, Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation, Atria Books, 2008, ISBN 0743491475.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°7′2.19″N 118°22′31.01″W / 34.1172750°N 118.3752806°W / 34.1172750; -118.3752806