Week 227: Trebek Open Space / Hollywood Hills

January 03, 2021

 Weekend Sherpa: Hike Trebek Open Space in Los Angeles County, 2 miles out and back. 

In 1998, legendary game show host, activist, and philanthropist Alex Trebek bought sixty-two acres of land in the Hollywood Hills and immediately donated them to the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy. With Trebek's last new Jeopardy episodes airing this week, Barbara and I felt like today was a good day to honor his memory by hiking through his gift of nature to the citizens of Los Angeles. Tucked between Mount Olympus to the West, Runyon Canyon to the East, Mulholland Drive to the North, and Hollywood Boulevard to the South, the Trebek Open Space is a wildlife corridor with trail hugging chaparral and a view that outshines the million-dollar+ homes framing it. We started at the trailhead for the Bantam Trail on Nichols Canyon Road for this easygoing hike heading south. At the half-mile junction, the space opened to a view of the Runyon hikers across the canyon, and a glorious show of sunbeams through the clouds over the LA basin. What amazes me the most about places like this is that you can live in LA for decades and STILL discover new treasures in every neighborhood. I've driven through Laurel Canyon thousands of times without knowing about this trail, ten minutes from where I live. After taking in the view, we followed the trail north for another half-mile to the Astral Drive trailhead, stopped for a break, and then retraced our steps back to the car. Visit on clear days for the best view, and there are no trees for shade so avoid blistering hot days. Free, dog-friendly, and absent of the crowds over on Runyon, the Trebek Open Space is as classy and pleasant as the man who left it to us.




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