If you are in the Los Angeles area of California, you don't want to miss out visiting Griffith Park and its 53 miles of hiking trails. Several of the Griffith Park hiking trails lead up to the Griffith Park observatory and the famous Hollywood sign.
Griffith Park Location and Hours
Griffith Park is located in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles, California, near the Los Angeles Zoo and Forest Lawn Cemetery. To get to Griffith Park from the Golden State Freeway, exit on Los Feliz Boulevard. If you are taking the Ventura Freeway, exit on Forest Lawn Drive or Zoo Drive. All streets leading to Griffith Park are marked with signs that lead the rest of the way. Griffith Park is open to the public from 5:00 am to 10:30 pm. Hiking and horseback riding is only allowed on trails from sunrise to sunset.
Hiking Trails in Griffith Park
Griffith Park includes trails specific to hiking as well as fire roads and bridle paths that can be used for hiking. In all, there are over 53 miles of hiking trails in Griffith Park. Popular hiking trails in the park include:
Mount Hollywood to the Observatory
The most popular Griffith Park hiking trail starts at the Griffith Park Observatory and leads up to the highest point in the park, the summit of Mount Hollywood. You can get lost in Griffith Park, so it is best to use a map of the park when planning your hike. Either download the map from online, or go to the visitor's center at Griffith Park for a comprehensive map.
Mount Lee to The Hollywood Sign
This hike begins at the Equestrian Horse Ranch and uses the paved fire road. Follow the road up until you reach the famous Hollywood sign. Enjoy the spectacular view of the city.
This trail begins in one of the most exclusive Los Angeles neighborhoods. To get to the trailhead you drive through the Beachwood Canyon residential area which was home to Humphrey Bogart, Madonna, Aldous Huxley and other rich Californians. Take Beachwood drive and park your vehicle near the stone gates and guard tower. Find the trailhead nearby and hike up to the Hollywood sign.
What To Do Before You Hike in Griffith Park
Hiking in Griffith Park has the same risks as hiking anywhere in back country, so be prepared with all the right hiking equipment. A day or two before your intended hike go to the Griffith park visitor's center and pick up a map of the hiking trails. Plan to hike early in the day during the summer hours and remember hiking is only allowed from dawn to dusk. Bring plenty of water to drink, because the primitive trails do not have drinking fountains. Watch out for rattlesnakes and other wild animals, as well as poison oak and ivy. Remember to wear sunscreen, as the California sun is very hot. It is best to call the Griffith Park Ranger Station (323-913-4688) before you set out on a hike to make sure the trails are open.