Week 233: Griffith Park Vista View Point from Cedar Grove

March 07, 2021

 Discovering Griffith Park #19: Vista View Point from Cedar Grove, 1.8 miles. 

Casey Schreiner combined two familiar trails for a gorgeous hike on an overcast day. Barbara and I can always count on Griffith Park to deliver panoramic views of the city cloudy or bright, but overcast days keep our eyes closer to our path allowing us to commune with fellow hikers, happy dogs, and Mother Nature. Greens are greener. Birds get our attention. We find secret spots. Our hike began at the Commonwealth Avenue entrance to Griffith Park. Keeping to the left inside the park, we walked Commonwealth up to Vista Del Valle Drive heading east with a view of the Commonwealth Nursery below and our first destination, Cedar Grove in the distance. Maybe a quarter mile to Cedar Grove, a world of its own. This "mystical micro-forest" is dense with towering trees, rocks for sitting, a table for picnicking, and a bench with an absolute killer view of the city. I stopped to hug a tree before we left to rejoin Vista Del Valle and continue hiking east. Best sighting of the day—a red-tailed hawk on a branch. Once he caught us staring he took off flying in circles, flaunting his red tail and 3–4 foot wingspan before he swooped down to join a pal on a branch below. He actually drew a crowd. Hard to top that. Other ground-level sights along the way included the lovely Los Feliz water tank (as opposed to the usual green blobs); and the utterly charming Sweetpea Retreat you have to watch for to find just north of the tank. Vista Del Valle does a major U loop at the Joe Klass Water Stop, changing direction from east to west to take us to our next destination: Vista View Point. I'm not exactly certain where the Point is—whether it's the helipad east of the intersection of Vista del Valle and Riverside Trail, or the intersection itself—but the view from both, from DTLA to the Observatory to the Valley was impressive even on a cloudy day. At the green shack intersection we joined the Riverside Trail and hiked south to Commonwealth. At Commonwealth we were supposed to turn left but...well, we were talking and followed it right, adding another half-mile once we realized our error. No problem. We just retraced our steps along Commonwealth and back to the car. Great adventure.






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