Los Angeles Weather

Distance: 5.00 mi
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

  • Currently 2.98/5
3.0/5 (587 votes)

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.

Posted by: tradkelly and last modified on Feb 02, 2006 by thoos


no photo On December 6, 2007
loco said ...

how much does this cost?

no photo On December 6, 2007
loco said ...

whe are you going to answer?

no photo On April 1, 2008
noriko said ...

It's free to park @ Fern Dell.

no photo On June 12, 2011
Bill said ...

Parking, park access and trail use are all free. I first did this trail at age 13 during a visit with my father. I did it again, for the second time, at age 73 a few days ago, with haze and low clouds spoiling the view, but it was still worth the effort. At my age, it was a pretty rough hike. I look forward to doing it again on a clear winter morning, with family members. There were a lot of joggers and toddlers on the trail. Trail junctions are poorly marked. There is a Geo Survey marker at the top but it does not name the mountain. There are about four picnic tables at the top and some along the way.

no photo On July 27, 2011
Joseph Morales said ...

Parking is pretty much free. I hike here at least twice a week in the mornings which i found to be the best time to go and hike/run, the cool air and breeze works best. You will find trails all around the park not to mention lots of people

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