Week 170: Griffith Park Cedar Grove

April 07, 2019

A True L.A. Workout: Hiking Griffith Park, 3.8 miles

One could easily spend a year of weekends exploring Griffith Park's 4,310 acres of trails and recreational facilities and never get bored or disappointed. One of the largest urban parks in America, it's one of Barbara's and my favorite mid-city escapes. Today we followed Charles Fleming's hike from the June 8, 2018 L.A. Times, starting at the top of North Commonwealth Avenue above Franklin (if you go early there's plenty of street parking) then walked into the park along Commonwealth Canyon Drive to the Vista del Valle Trailhead. We hiked up the paved road to Cedar Grove, a picnic area sheltered beneath a bank of neck-craning tall cedars surrounded by an expansive, southern view of the city including DTLA, Silver Lake, and cities west to the ocean. Back on the main trail, the path led us past a green water tank to an intersection of trails with a peek of the valley. Following Fleming's easy directions, we took Riverside Trail for our return trip. Griffith Park is generous with its scenery, and as we made our way along the Riverside Trail we were treated with views of the Observatory (built by the WPA during the depression and opened in 1935); the Greek Theater (built in 1930 and used as a barracks during WWII); and the Vermont Canyon Tennis Courts (another depression project, built by the CWA in 1933). The Riverside Trail led us to Vermont Canyon and the 9-hole, walking only, Roosevelt Golf Course. The sprinklers were going full blast, filling the air with the summer smell of wet grass. Throughout the morning, we passed lots of happy dogs, smiling hikers, earnest bikers, and were treated with the stunning views that make you a little bit smug about living in L.A. Guaranteed to elevate your mood. 

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