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Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park

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Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory

Mt. Hollywood at 1,625 ft is the second tallest peak in Griffith Park, with amazing views of the Griffith Observatory, downtown LA, the Hollywood Sign and much more. There are many trails that lead to Mt. Hollywood, but my favorite trail begins near the Ferndell Nature Area. This trailhead has plenty of parking, and some shade, particularly in the morning. As you climb, you have options to visit the Berlin Forest and Dante’s View en route to the summit.

Trail Details
Distance: 4.2 miles
Time: 90 min.
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation gain: 1,185 ft
Dogs: Yes
When to go: Year-round
Griffith Park has 53 miles of hiking trails, but this trail up Mt. Hollywood is one of the best. The trail begins up Western Canyon, accessible via Fern Dell Drive. This entrance to Griffith Park is located right off Los Feliz Boulevard, and it’s famous for the bear statue. Ferndell itself is popular with families, containing over 50 varieties of ferns planted along a shady, man-made brook and plenty of picnic areas. For this hike, follow Fern Dell road to the large trailhead parking area.

The West Trail is a broad fire road that climbs up the canyon.

Looking back down West Trail

At 0.8 miles, you’ll cross Observatory Avenue — a public road used by cars and bicycles to reach the Griffith Observatory. Cross directly over the street to pick up the trail again.

Berlin Forest in Griffith Park

When you reach the ridgeline, take a short detour to the right to visit the shady Berlin Forest. This is a great spot to catch your breath and enjoy the views, and there are restrooms nearby at the Observatory parking area.

Head back to the ridge and over the Canyon Road tunnel, towards the highest nearby point.

Crossing the Canyon Road Tunnel

The trail to the left gives you two options. For this hike, take the single track spur that heads up hill.

Single track trail

At about 1.15 miles turn left and head north. At 1.25 miles, you’ll reach a major junction where five trails converge. Take the second trail on your right (more or less straight). This is a fairly level fire road that leads past Dante’s View.

Dante's View

Dante’s View  is a shady garden started in 1964 as a volunteer labor of love by Dante Orgolini. The garden is still a small oasis worthy of a detour.

Back on the fire road, bear left at the junction with the East Ridge Trail, and left again in a dozen yards as you head to the summit of Mt. Hollywood.

The summit is not so much a peak, as a rounded shoulder. There are picnic tables and a fence along the steeper slope overlooking the city. This is a popular destination for it’s views, and a great spot at sunset… as the city of LA begins to light up for the night.

Mt. Hollywood

On the day that I took this photo, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was making it’s final flight to Los Angeles. The crowds lined the trails to catch a glimpse of the history fly-by.

Space Shuttle Endeavor fly-by of Griffith Park

On the route down, stay to your left for views of the Hollywood Sign. You’ll eventually meet back at that five-trail junction, where you’ll take your first right — the Charlie Turner Trail. This is named after a retiree who volunteered many hours maintaining trails and also the gardens at Dante’s View. This fire road leads back to the tunnel overpass, and you retrace your path back to the trailhead.

Mt. Hollywood Trail Map

Download file: RK_gpx-_2012-10-14_0915.gpx

Photo Gallery

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Mt. Hollywood Hiking Tips

  • Bicycles are only allowed on paved roads in Griffith Park
  • Dogs are allowed on leash
  • There is no smoking allowed anywhere within Griffith Park
  • This hike has lots of exposure. Wear sun protection, and bring plenty of water.
  • Hiking trails in Griffith Park officially close at sunset, but there are lots of folks who stay up on Mt. Hollywood until then. Just be sure you know your way back, and bring a headlamp or flashlight.

Mt. Hollywood Resources

Griffith Park Weather Forecast

[forecast width=”100%” location=”90068″]

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