Type: Trail, Out-and-back
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Altitude: 600 ft
Elev. Gain/Loss: 1,026 ft / 1,026 ft
Dog Friendly: Yes, with leash
Jog-Stroller Friendly: No
Filed Under: Running
With over 4,107 acres of natural terrain covered with California oak trees, wild sage and manzanita, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park and urban wilderness area in the United States. Situated in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range, the park's elevation range from 384 to 1,625 feet above sea level with climates varying from semi-arid chaparral foothills to forested valleys. Over the years recreational attractions have been developed throughout the Park, however an amazingly large portion of the Park remains virtually unchanged from the days Native American villages occupied the area's lower slopes.
Mt Hollywood is by far the most popular hiking trail in all of Griffith Park. One of the reasons for its popularity is access and a million dollar view of Los Angeles, including the Pacific Ocean and eastern San Fernando Valley.
The beginning of the Hollywood trail starts in Fern Dell (Mococahuenga Canyon) at the bottom entrance to the park. A more popular and much shorter trail (2.5 miles round trip) begins at the north end of the Griffith Observatory parking lot at the Charlie Turner trailhead.
From the museum, cross the street and hike north along a canyon trail. About a half a mile from Fern Dell you will come across a split in the trail, stay to the right hiking out of the canyon where you will meet the road to the observatory, cross the road climbing up a short steep hill, where you will catch the trail crossing over a tunnel. From here you will be basically hiking on a fireroad which heads west then switches east to a fork in the trail. Continue hiking left heading west where you will come upon a shaded area with water (drinking fountain) called the Captain's Roost, Continue hiking where the trail begins to wrap around the backside of the mountain, you will pass a water tank and after a short ascent come upon another junction. Bear right and a short distance later you will be at the summit. (If you're confused by the directions, just keep heading uphill. You'll get there, to the highest point around, soon enough.)
With an elevation of 1,626 feet the distance round trip from Fern Dell is 5 miles, from the Charlie Turner Trailhead at the Observatory the distance is 2.5 miles round trip. If you plan to do this very popular hike on a weekend during a popular warm month, it is suggested you arrive early, for parking in the park and the observatory does overfill quickly.
To reach the trailhead take the Hollywood Freeway/101 and exit in Hollywood at Sunset Blvd. Take Sunset east to Western Avenue turning north (left) and follow Western where it turns right becoming Loz Feliz Blvd. Turn left at the first traffic light Ferndell Drive and head north parking near the Ferndell Nature Museum.