Week 218: Griffith Park Trails North

October 04, 2020

LA Walks: "Hike this lush, shaded loop near Griffith Park's Travel Town," 3.3 miles. 

Barbara and I haven't hiked Griffith Park for months, so we jumped at the chance to hoof it over to Travel Town to follow Charles Fleming's Sept. 13, 2019 L.A. Times hike. I was particularly excited because it's our first trek on the popular equestrian trails in the park's north side. The 3.3 mile loop is simple to follow, and Griffith Park does a great job of posting markers for its web of trails in the park's 4,310 acres so you really can't get lost. Starting from the Travel Town parking lot, we walked Griffith Park Drive heading south (left) a short distance to Oak Canyon Trail entrance for the first leg of the hike. As promised, the oaks and sycamores kept the trail cool on the sure-to-heat-up morning, and at one bend the trail borders Mt. Sinai Memorial Park for an extra splash of green. Not as busy as the southern GP trails, we passed just a few dog walkers and met our first set of equestrians on the trail. Below us on the left, bikers speed-peddled up and down Griffith Park Drive. Shortly after we passed Mt. Hollywood Dr., Oak Canyon Trail took a sharp rise, short enough but definitely a bit of a huffer after weeks of flat hikes. A right hook at the hairpin marked the start of our second leg, Toyon Trail, and the beginning of sweeping views of the park, Glendale, and the SF Valley. Even with the smoke, the sun and some blue came through. Always bearing right, we passed water tank No.111 at the Toyon Canyon landfill. We left Toyon Trail at Mt. Hollywood Drive, the third leg of the hike, an old road now open only to hikers and bikers. More great views, including the high, red-and-white tower marking the back of the Hollywood sign. This hike is simple to follow, with good views and good company along the way including equestrians and their horses, a few dogs and their walkers, and a sprinkling of bunnies and birds. P-22, Griffith Park's resident mountain lion, wasn't around and no sign of rattlesnakes, so, all in all, it was a good day for hiking. We walked Mt. Hollywood Dr. back to its intersection with Oak Canyon Trail then retraced our steps back to the car. Avoid the crowds and try out this pretty and hassle-free Griffith Park trail alternative. It's good.






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