Mapping LA Neighborhoods
MAPPING L.A. > Northeast L.A.

Mount Washington

Tell us what Mount Washington means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


I moved to LA in 1999 and began looking for an affordable home in the Santa Monica area. I quickly realized that I wasn't going to find anything in my price range there worth buying. I was looking at the newspaper one afternoon when I came across a listing for a brand new 3 BR, 2.5 BA home in a place called Mt. Washington. At the time, I'd never heard of the area. I drove up and couldn't believe that this house existed and was selling for about $300K. The views were incredible - downtown, Dodger stadium, the observatory, the Hollywood sign, the valleys and canyons. On a clear day, you could see all the way down to Palos Verdes. The neighborhood was lovely and the people friendly. I was told that I would love living there and that it was very safe. I immediately put in an offer and purchased my beautiful hillside home. The only crime I ever experienced was tagging on the downhill side of my house. I quickly understood that I had purchased the best bargain of my life. I owned a beautiful home in one of the best neighborhoods that nobody had ever heard of! I started my family there and enjoyed the convenience of living 5 minutes from downtown but feeling like I was on vacation each night when I walked in to my home and out onto my deck to watch the sunset. I woke up hearing the birds in the Eucalyptus tree outside my bedroom and went to bed looking at the city lights. I enjoyed daily BBQ's on the deck and the fireworks from Dodger stadium. But most of all, I enjoyed my wonderful neighbors. They looked out for me, watched over my son when I traveled, shared their dinner tables with us and gave me rides to the airport. Sadly, we have all moved on now. One neighbor moved back to Canada, one family moved north toward Santa Barbara and we returned to Atlanta. I miss my friends dearly and have such fond memories of my short time living in the greatest neighborhood in Los Angeles.

— Robyn
August 23, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.

I bought my home in 2008 and have feel blessed to wake up every morning to a gorgeous view of LA that stretches from the Griffith Observatory to the West and County USC Medical Center in the East. Visiting friends and relatives love to sit with me and watch the commuter and freight trains pass back and forth and we always enjoy seeing the Dodger Stadium fireworks framed in our living room window onFriday nights in the Spring and Summer. On any afternoon one can step outside and hear laughter from all over the neighborhood and smell good home cooking and barbeques. Festive music often dances around the air. One can also see the 5, 110 and 2 freeways off in the distance and the 134, 10 and 60 freeways are not far off. The Gold Line is also quite convenient, making it easy to get anywhere in Southern California with ease. The neighborhood regularly celebrates different aspects of its ethnic and cultural diversity and we enjoy the local parks and schools. My back yard is Elyria Canyon where one can hike and quickly forget being in the heart of the city. Racoons and squirrels play on the roof from time to time. The area has a great vibe with the Self Realization Fellowship up the hill bringing balance and tranquility. Creativity and individuality are plentiful as each homeowner puts their own stamp on thier home and decorates it with beautiful colors and landscaping. No cookie cutter HOA homes for me! I adore my Mt Washington home and am grateful to have it!

— Johnny Schaefer
May 1, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.

My father, who lives in Mobile, loves to visit us in Mt. Washington. He says it's like vacationing at a Swiss chalet...not too shabby for northeastern Los Angeles!

— ina shumaker
March 26, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.

My husband and I are looking at Mt. Washington to move to from DC -- though I grew up in CA. My daughter, her husband and toddler are also looking at that neighborhood. We like friendly neighbors and a quiet respectful community -- ie: people who care about each other. Thinking of safety for the 18 month old, are there streets to stay away from in terms of traffic? Or, areas that are better for small children? Also, are there any rentals that we could live in while we wait for a house to buy? What are the prices like to rent & buy? I would appreciate any help you can give us. We have never spent a lot of time in LA. so it's a new adventure for us.

Thank you kindly. Judith E.F.

— Judith E.F.
February 18, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.

A friend of mine describes Mt. Washington as a mix between Venice and Topanga, which sort of nails it, but then again, Venice and Topanga could only be so lucky. After living in LA most of my life, I finally bought my house here, and couldn't be happier. This is a real community, maybe one of the few left in our big city. How nice to enjoy the pleasures of a real metropolis and then have a change to come home to this wonderful mountain village just 10 min north of downtown LA!

— Judith
December 25, 2011 at 12:01 a.m.

Grace you will love it! Not only is the top of Mt. Washington safe, but the flat parts have seen drastic reductions in crime over the last decade. - And much of Mt. Washington is above that anyway. The LAPD northeast division just reported a 30% reduction in crime, despite cutbacks to police enforcement. Does crime exist in a big city? Sure! But Northeast LA is an awesome place; truly unique. Congrats!

— Connor Merkely
July 6, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.

My husband and I just put an offer on a property on Etta st. Off of ave 37. We are excited but I have just come across news of a homicide that took place nearby. If you are a resident, can you give your opinion on how safe you feel near the top of the mt? Also, any decent grocery stores close by you'd recommend? We fell in love with mt. Washington last year, and finally found a home we love!!

— Grace bucci
June 6, 2011 at 1:57 a.m.

just read the comments by alba and suzie and it brought back great memories for me . i lived on ave 46 and rome dr from 1955 until 1962 i actually think suzie and her family lived next door to my sister and i remember doing all the things they spoke of playing outside all day long,sliding down grass covered hills on cardboard, lots of fun.i have to respectfully correct suzie on one point . when hoping to catch a ride up the hill it was at the intersection of ave 45 and marmion way there was a big block wall where we waited for a ride up the hill .it was nicknamed the waiting wall. it is a unique neighborhood that i will always remember

May 25, 2011 at 6:51 p.m.

Love the "Jessica Triangle" designtation. The native and drought tolerant landscaping is gorgeous.

— Brian Sandoval
March 27, 2011 at 9:37 p.m.

I have an uncle in Mount Washington. I visit once a year to get my LA fix. After touring LA over a couple decades, I don't think there is a sweeter hood!

From David (British Columbia)

— David
March 11, 2011 at 1:23 p.m.

I've been visiting my partner Tom since 1990 when we first got togother as a couple. I live in Sherman Oaks in the S.F. Valley. The difference between the two hoods is so amazing. In my hood in Sherman Oaks you really don't see people on the streets walking a lot of dogs or washing their cars. It seems that in S.Oaks everyone is behind their doors and afraid to come out. ??? When I come over and spend time on the Mountain it is like a breath of fresh air. Don't get me wrong, cause I go out of my way to greet and meet my neighbors in S.Oaks and they do respond in kind. But I love the mixture of people on the Mountain and the mix. My S.Oaks hood seems stale and vanilla. Mt. Washington is wonderful and I love the mix.

— lupito
February 22, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.

I'm a Canadian who visits my friends in Mt. Washington every year. Great place to get your excercise walking around the nieghborhood. It's amazing the amount of breeds of dogs being walked around! Little gem of LA!

— Richard
January 17, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.

Jack Smith's home. InThe days when the Times was a real newspaper and not just for bird cages and doggy poop.

— bill jones
December 22, 2010 at 7:55 a.m.

Have lived in Mt. Washington for over a year now and I am so happy for choosing northeast Los Angeles over any other location in Los Angeles. I take my dog on all the local trails, bike up and down the arroyo seco, and love the nightlife in downtown, Eagle Rock, Silverlake, and Pasadena! The trees are my favorite part and when I first moved here, I immediately noticed the abundant wildlife. Neighbors are wonderful - lots of young and interesting people joining our neighborhood, along with many who've been here and know its history .

— Reagan
December 1, 2010 at 2:18 p.m.

Mt. Washington is absolutely beautiful!!! The views, trails, and vegetation make it a mountain village in the city. I'll never leave!

— Raymond
October 15, 2010 at 9:04 a.m.

Mount Washington is a quiet community, where neighbors know each others, greet one another and volunteer to lift heavy furniture or change the sudden flat tire. Mount Washington is full of birds, coyotes, raccoon's, squirrels and skunks and I appreciate watching them scurry across the hills. I love living here with my husband and two dachshunds. It's home! :-)

— Araceli Sandoval
October 13, 2010 at 9:58 p.m.

Its a horrible place, don't come up here, you wont like it...lots of bad things..weeds, smog, earthquakes!! (That's just me trying to preserve our beautiful little secret). Its actually (to me) the prettiest spot in the city..I'll never leave. But don't tell anyone!!!

— Matthew Roxx
June 7, 2010 at 5:41 p.m.

I remember going to Mt. Washington elementary school - a small two story building with about 200 students - mid 1950's. I remember endless days playing with my brother from morning till nightfall in the hills and canyons and flattening cartons to slide down the hillsides when the tall grass dried. And we made paths down the canyons to shortcut it home from school. Rolling hills with houses scattered here and there and nature as it was meant to be - with smells of trees and overgrown grass and wildflowers. When nightfall came I'd hear the sound of the Helms Bakery truck approaching and of the driver pulling out the easy ball bearing shelves filled with goodies of fresh bread, cookies and donuts. I even remember the delivery of milk in glass containers. And, of course, the views of the city and canyons. Wish I'd appreciated it then. I've since moved away but as many do, came back - and now there are too many houses and it seems like everyone has discovered my secret Mt. Washington.

— Alba
April 6, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.

Lived there in the 70's. All the advantages of LA and yet you were rural with chickens running around some of the dirt streets. The Firesign Theater boys driving around in their topless VW van, parties that were "raves" before the term was invented, live and let live neighborhood. Used to use the elevator in the Southwest Museum to go down from my house to go to the grocery store in the flatlands. The place is a gem full of characters in the best sense of the word.

— Larry
March 11, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.

Lived there for ten years. What a beautiful little oasis in the middle of LA. Loved the quiet, the wildlife, the great walks up and down the narrow, curvy streets and gazing at Mt. Baldy in the distance. Loved the funky creative atmosphere and most of all the dogs...Fannie, Billie, Zeke, Chloe, Monday, Rusty, Smokey, Spike & Rudy, Wags! & Cooper, Noki...too many to name them all. Bailey sends his love and misses meditating by the lily pond at the SRF. Great people, great atmosphere - but don't tell anyone -- keep it small.

— Patty
January 27, 2010 at 11 a.m.

Mt. Washington is a great place for writers. Sharon has lived in Mt. Washington for about 15 yrs. Dick moved in about 4 yrs ago. We don't know if we'll ever find a more perfect community than the one in Mt. Washington. The only complaint is lack of parking but the benefits are plenty. We have a million dollar view, narrow curvy streets that add to the overall ambience, redtail hawks, owls, raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife, canyons, cliffs, fabulous architecture, homes nestled in trees, and all 5 miles north of the Los Angeles civic center, and minutes away from Pasadena and Glendale. Who could ask for more? We sit in our office where we write for the LA Progressive and are inspired.

— Dick and Sharon
January 9, 2010 at 7:49 a.m.

I lived on the top of Mt Washington in the late 40's and 1950. I remember the canyons that we played in all day, cowboys and Indians. Having to walk all the way to Mt. Washington Grammar school by myself. Looking out over the canyon from home and seeing all the way down to Van de Kamps restaurant and drive in. Best hamburgers ever. A lot of old big homes with guest houses in back, used to be a very wealty type neighborhood I hear. Jack Benny from "Queen for a Day" lived down around the corner I heard. No stores, or transportation, either you had to drive or stand at the bottom of avenue 42 and Marmeon Way to catch a ride up with some you hopefully knew. Lots of wildlife and the I can't remember the name of the religious compound down the street from us, it had big bar gates. People all dressed in long white robes. Self Realization Fellowship Center something like that. Went by there a few years ago and the gates are now open to all, it is actually a very beautiful place to see.The grounds are very nicely kept. There was a big fire up in our canyon that lasted 5 days, smoke, fireman, engines everywhere. Scary for us little kids but exciting.

Thats it

— susie
December 9, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.

710 Freeway, you people need to get a life. You are not even with- in 5 miles of So Pasadena. You need to worry about something that impacts your neighbor directly.

— Bob
October 13, 2009 at 9:22 a.m.

This neighborhood means lots of 'no 710 freeway' signs littering the neighborhood. Look, ok, we get it. Stopwith the damn signs, Arroyo Seco NIMBY's!

— tired of 710 freeway propaganda litter
October 7, 2009 at 9:42 p.m.

******* NO 710 FREEWAY TUNNEL *******

A 710 -Coalition Meeting will be held on

Saturday, August 29th at 10:30a.m. at 3750 N. Verdugo Road, Glassel Park CA 90065 (Glassel Park Community Center)

The community is concerned with the effects the proposed 710 freeway extension will have on the comunities of North-East Los Angeles- (El Sereno , Cypress Park, Mt Washington, Glasell Park, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Eoch Park) and the adjacent cities- Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, South Pasadena, Pasadena

Visit for more information and upcoming events.

— Rafael
August 13, 2009 at 4:07 p.m.

******* NO 710 FREEWAY TUNNEL *******

A 710 -Coalition Meeting will be held on

Saturday, August 29th at 10:30a.m. at 3750 N. Verdugo Road, Glassel Park CA 90065 (Glassel Park Community Center)

The community is concerned with the effects the proposed 710 freeway extension will have on the comunities of North-East Los Angeles- (El Sereno , Cypress Park, Mt Washington, Glasell Park, Montecito Heights, Lincoln Heights, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Eoch Park) and the adjacent cities- Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, South Pasadena, Pasadena

Visit for more information and upcoming events.

— Rafael Moran
August 13, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.

Mount Washington

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Northeast L.A. region of Los Angeles County.
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About This Project
Mount Washington is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.