To the trailhead
Go to the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Crystal Springs Drive in Hollywood in the southeast area of Griffith Park. (To arrive at this intersection from the Golden State Freeway/I-5, take the Los Feliz Boulevard exit. Drive west a short distance to Crystal Springs Drive.) Drive 1.5 miles north on Crystal Springs Drive to Griffith Park Drive just past the merry- go-round and turn left. Drive 1.3 miles to the Mineral Wells Picnic Area and park alongside the road.
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From Highway 134/Ventura Freeway in Burbank, take the Forest Lawn Drive exit. Turn right and drive one block to Zoo Drive. Turn left and go 0.2 miles to Griffith Park Drive. Turn right and continue 1.4 miles to the signed Mineral Wells Picnic Area. Park alongside the road.
At the trailhead is a 3-way junction. The Mineral Wells Trail heads left and right, connecting the Bill Eckert Trail by the Old Zoo with Mount Hollywood Drive. For this hike, bear right and immediately go left onto the unsigned North Trail. Switchback to the left and curve around a water tank to views of
Burbank, Glendale, the Verdugo Mountains, and the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. At a half mile is a trail split. The North Trail continues to the right. First, detour left into Amir’s Garden, a lush oasis on the southeast mountain slope.
After exploring the garden, return to the North Trail and continue uphill. Follow the ridge overlooking the Griffith Park Boys Camp (in the canyon to the left) to a T-junction by a water tank. The right fork leads to an irrigated, terraced hillside, part of the Toyon Canyon Restoration Project. Go to the left, curving around the right side of the water tank. Walk 100 yards to an unmarked junction at one mile. The Toyon Trail, a footpath, goes to the right and heads downhill. Stay on the fire road to the left, now the Mount Hollywood Trail. Head south and climb to Vista Del Valle Drive as views open up across the San Fernando Valley. Walk 30 yards to the left on the paved road, and pick up the trail on the right. Traverse the slope above Vista Del Valle Drive, passing rock formations and admiring the far-reaching vistas, to a trail fork by power poles at 1.5 miles.
Begin the loop sharply to the right on the north flank of Mount Bell. Climb across the north face of Mount Bell to a T-junction. A view spans across Los Angeles, extending from the towering buildings of Hollywood, Century City, and Westwood to the Pacific Ocean. The right fork leads to Mount Hollywood Drive. Bear left and cross the south side of Mount Bell above Brush Canyon. Walk beyond Mount Bell to an overlook by a spring on the right, and drop down to another junction. The right fork leads to Mount Hollywood, which can be seen ahead, and Dante’s View. Go to the left and descend to a trail on the right that leads to Bee Rock and the Old Zoo (Hike 29). Walk straight ahead and continue downhill, completing the loop. Return by retracing your steps.
Hiking distance: 2.8 miles round trip Hiking time: 1.5 hours Configuration: out-and-back Elevation gain: 400 feet Exposure: exposed hills Difficulty: easy to moderate Dogs: allowed
Maps: U.S.G.S. Hollywood and Burbank Map and Guide of Griffith Park Hileman’s Recreational & Geological Map of Griffith Park
Glendale Peak is a 1,184-foot mountain on the southeast corner of Griffith Park between Mount Hollywood and Beacon Hill. From the peak are sweeping vistas that span from downtown Los Angeles to Glendale and from the San Gabriel Valley to the Pacific Ocean. A short, quarter-mile memorial trail climbs to the summit of Glendale Peak. The narrow footpath Henry’s Trail is named for the late Henry Shamma, former chairman of the Sierra Club. (He was also a long-time friend of Amir Dialameh, who created Amir’s Garden from Hike 30.) Henry worked on many of Griffith Park’s trails and gardens. This hike begins on the Riverside Trail, traversing the mountain slopes with views of the nearby Griffith Park Observatory. For an extended hike, the East Ridge (Hogback) Trail connects Glendale Peak to Dante’s View and Mount Hollywood, following the ridge of the steep hillside.
To the trailhead
From the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in Hollywood, drive 0.7 miles north on Vermont Avenue to Commonwealth Canyon Drive on the right. It is located just before the Greek Theatre. (En route, Vermont Avenue curves into Vermont Canyon Road.) Turn right on Commonwealth Canyon Drive, and go 0.15 miles to the parking lot for the Vermont Canyon tennis courts on the left. Turn left and park.
Walk up the paved lane between the tennis courts to a 3-way junction with the Riverside Trail (formerly called the Aberdeen Trail). The footpath straight ahead is a dead-end path that leads to the north end of the canyon. To the left, the Riverside Trail leads to Vermont Canyon Road south of the bird sanctuary.
Take the right fork of the Riverside Trail. Traverse the hillside slope on a gentle uphill grade to an overlook of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills, and the Griffith Park Observatory. Follow the contours of the hillside, and slowly descend into Aberdeen Canyon. At the mouth of the canyon, the Aberdeen Trail, a narrow footpath spur, veers left up the canyon. Stay on the Riverside Trail straight ahead, and ascend the hillside to a junction with Vista Del Valle Drive at one mile. Take the switchback to the left on the East Ridge (Hogback) Trail, savoring the views overlooking the entire Los Angeles basin. Loop clockwise around Glendale Peak to a metal bridge over a narrow ridge at the head of Aberdeen Canyon. From the bridge is a view below of Fern Canyon, Beacon Hill, and the merry-go-round. Just before crossing the bridge, bear sharply right on Henry’s Trail, the access trail to Glendale Peak. Take the footpath and follow the ridge south 0.1 mile to the 1,184-foot summit, where there are great 360-degree views. Return by retracing your route.
To extend the hike from the bridge, the East Ridge (Hogback) Trail steeply climbs the serpentine spine of the mountain 0.8 miles to Dante’s View, then a short distance farther to the overlook atop Mount Hollywood. Throughout the hike are spectacular vistas.
The copper-domed Griffith Park Observatory is a Los Angeles landmark and one of Griffith Park’s most popular attractions. The historic observatory is perched on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood, overlooking the city. The facilities include a planetarium, laser programs, gift shop, and a variety of science displays. An observation deck with telescopes winds around the south side of this architectural landmark, with views across Hollywood and the expansive metropolitan area.
This hike begins at the observatory and descends the mountain slope to the waterway in Ferndell Park. The park is a lush, stream-fed oasis in Western Canyon down the hillside from the observatory. The upper portion of the park is a shaded glen with mature oaks, sycamores, spruce, alders, and coast redwoods. At the southern end of the park is an exotic tropical garden with a stone-lined path, a tree-shaded brook, charming footbridges, small waterfalls, stone retaining walls, a variety of ferns, succulents, and moss- covered rocks.
To the trailhead
OPTION 1: From Los Feliz Boulevard in Hollywood, take Fern Dell Drive north 2.3 miles to the Griffith Park Observatory parking lot. (Fern Dell Drive becomes Western Canyon Road after the hairpin turn.)
OPTION 2: From Los Feliz Boulevard in Hollywood, take Vermont Avenue north 1.8 miles to the observatory parking lot. (En route, Vermont Avenue curves into Vermont Canyon Road.) Both directions offer a beautiful, curving drive through Griffith Park.
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