This is a big moment for my blog, my first post focused on hiking a trail outside of Wisconsin! I was hesitant to write this as most of the feedback I’ve received so far has been from Wisconsinties looking for a trail within the state. I was worried they wouldn’t find this post useful for their own hikes. While this is probably true, the pictures from this hike were too stunning not to share.
In May I had the chance to travel with a friend to visit another friend living in Culver City. After a long day of travel, we were eager to move around, see the city, and get some exercise. My CA friend recommended exploring Griffith Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Knowing little about LA, having only been there once before, I was blown away by the size, landscape, and beauty of Griffith Park. At 4,310 acres, the park is home to several famous and iconic LA landmarks. The Greek Theatre, the Griffith Observatory, the LA zoo, and the Hollywood sign all call Griffith Park home.
Links: Park Map
Entering the park by the Greek Theatre, off Los Feliz Blvd., we began driving up and up on winding roads with sheer canyon drops separated only by a small guardrail. We opted to park near the observatory as this was close to the Charlie Turner Trailhead, a trail which linked to several other trails. The view of the city was immediately stunning.
From the trail head, we hiked north on the Mt. Hollywood Trail. The trail ascends along a wide, sandy path. Steeper in some sections than in others, this trail is pretty much a constant incline. This trail offers plenty of photo opportunities of the observatory, the skyline, and the Hollywood sign.
The observatory acts as a nice landmark or point of reference for how high you have climbed.
See it way down there?
Be aware of wildlife as you hike. Signs posted warn of rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the trail. We didn’t see a rattlesnake, but we did see this guy.
While I am not familiar enough with the park to give specifics on length or elevation of the hike, and the Griffith Park website doesn’t offer more information, I can say this hike was moderately difficult for me, and would be considered difficult for a newer hiker. The trail, while wide, can be fairly steep in sections. As you can see in the pictures, you do gain significant elevation as you hike. Paired with the hot temperature of the day, this hike was enough to cause a decent sweat.
Reviewing the map, Griffith Park has numerous trails on all sides of the mountain. This park, with it’s stunning views and lengthy trails, is definitely worth a first, second, or 100th visit.