Hikes in Griffith Park

Griffith Park preserves over 4,200 acres at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains and is one of America’s largest urban parks. Griffith Park is just five miles from downtown Los Angeles, protecting an area of the “Hollywood Hills” between Interstate 5 and the 101 Freeway. Griffith Park is a cherished recreation hub for Angelenos and tourists alike, offering something for everyone. The park has many miles of trail, tennis courts, golf courses, a zoo, a merry-go-round, museums, trains, and landmarks like Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory, and the Greek Theater.

Griffith Observatory
A hiker’s view of Griffith Observatory

Discovering Griffith Park Hikes

Griffith Park caters to hikers with a variety of interests. Want to explore the Batcave from the 1960s Batman series – Hike to Bronson Cave. Want to learn about the stars that aren’t memorialized on Hollywood Boulevard – Hike to Griffith Observatory. Want to picnic in weird abandoned zoo exhibits (of course you do) – bring lunch to Old Zoo Picnic Area. Need to mellow out on a shaded path, stroll through Frendell or Amir’s Garden. For higher views, Mount Hollywood and Mount Lee (home of the Hollywood Sign) make great hiking destinations.

Griffith Park Walk
Ferndell Trail in Griffith Park Park

Mount Hollywood

Rising over the center of Griffith Park behind the Griffith Observatory, Mount Hollywood has the most panoramic views over Los Angeles. While it isn’t the park’s highest peak, Mount Hollywood dies rise to 1,625 feet. Picking a hike to the summit is a bit like deciding how much ice cream you want: one scoop, two scoops, or three scoops. For a single summit serving, hike up to Mount Hollywood from Griffith Observatory or Western Canyon. For a two-summit circuit, start near the Greek Theater and hike Glendale Peak – Mount Hollywood Loop. To get the most exercise, make the three-summit selection, exploring a cluster of peaks named Mount Chapel, Mount Bell, and Mount Hollywood. Which route to Mount Hollywood peaks your interest?

Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

If you want a closer view of the Hollywood Sign, there are three more hiking options, each leading to the summit of Mount Lee, just behind the big white letters. Brush Canyon Trail is 6.4 miles round trip with 1,1050 feet of elevation gain. Hollyridge Trail is shorter and easier at 3.5 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation gain, but parking can be limited. The last option is Wonder View Trail, which is 3 miles round trip with 875 feet of elevation gain, and ascends to the Wisdom Tree before crossing Cahuenga Peak (the highest point in Griffith Park) to reach Mount Lee. Read more about these Hollywood Sign Hikes.

Hikes in Griffith Park

These hikes are listed from west to east, but may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you find the hike you’re looking for. The listed hikes link to write-ups with complete descriptions and directions as well as GPS maps and lots of photos. Even through it is more of a Griffith-Park-adjacent outing, Hollywood Reservoir is included on this list. Dogs are allowed on all trails in Griffith Park. Bikes are not allowed on dirt trails, but can use paved roads.

Cahuenga Peak Hike450Cahuenga Peak from Wonder View Trail
This out and back hike ascends a dirt single track to Cahuenga Peak and the adjacent Mount Lee, home of the Hollywood Sign.
3 miles
875 feet
Hollywood Reservoir Trail452Lake Hollywood Reservoir Walking Trail
This easy loop circles a peaceful fence-enclosed reservoir in the hills below the Hollywood Sign.
3.5 miles
50 feet
Mount Lee Hike455Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign via Hollyridge Trail
This hike ascends from Beachwood Canyon to the summit of Mount Lee behind the Hollywood Sign.
3.5 miles
750 feet
Mount Chapel Hike460Mount Chapel, Mount Bell, and Mount Hollywood
This undulating loop tops three prominent summits on a panoramic tour of Griffith Park.
5.7 miles
675 feet
Hollywood Sign465Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign via Brush Canyon Trail
This out and back hike crosses Griffith Park from Canyon Drive to the top of Mount Lee, directly behind the landmark Hollywood Sign.
6.4 - 7.1 miles
1,050 feet
Bronson Cave470Bronson Cave
This short easy hike visits a man-made cave recognizable as the Batcave from the Batman TV series and hundreds of other locations on TV and film.
0.66 miles
50 feet
Griffith Park Mount Hollywood Hike472Mount Hollywood
This 1,625-foot peak is a star of Griffith Park with panoramic views that can be reached from Griffith Observatory on a steep 1.4-mile hike or a scenic 2.65-mile trek and from lower in the park in Western Canyon for a hike of around 4.2 miles.
1.4 - 4.8 miles
500 - 925 feet
Griffith Observatory hike473Griffith Observatory via West Observatory Trail
This partial loop goes from Western Canyon up ridges to Griffith Observatory, getting sweeping views over Los Angeles and Griffith Park along the way.
2.1 miles
540 feet
Ferndell Trail474Ferndell Trail
This relaxing hike goes through a tropical garden in the lushest little canyon in Griffith Park and can be extended to explore more of Western Canyon.
0.5 - 1.75 miles
65 - 260 feet
Glendale Peak Mount Hollywood Griffith Park477Glendale Peak - Mount Hollywood Loop
This hike tops two summits in Griffith Park that both have awesome views.
4.15 miles
765 feet
Glendale Peak Griffith Park478Glendale Peak
This hike visits a less known summit on the southeast side of Griffith Park with views that deserve more attention.
2.55 - 3.3 miles
330 - 405 feet
Amirs Garden480Amir's Garden
This hike reaches a relaxing garden on the east side of Griffith Park that is a pleasant retreat for hikers.
1 miles
275 feet
Old Zoo Picnic Area490Old Zoo Picnic Area
This short hike explores the abandoned exhibits and animal cages in the ruins of the old LA Zoo in Griffith Park.
0.5 miles
50 feet
Bee Rock492Bee Rock
This hive-shaped point on the east side of Griffith Park can be reached via a pair of loop hikes.
1.7 - 4 miles
600 feet
Beacon Hill495Beacon Hill
This out and back or loop hike in Griffith Park climbs 500 feet to the easternmost summit in the Santa Monica Mountains.
2.75 - 3.9 miles
500 feet
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Arroyo Sequit Park Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Arroyo Sequit Nature Trail
Take a trip to Arroyo Sequit Park to hike a short loop through a tucked-away pocket of the Santa Monica Mountains, The park is situated along Mulholland Highway inland of Leo Carrillo State Park and below the range's most rugged peaks. The surroundings for this 2.05 miles hike are beautiful. Arroyo Sequit Nature Trail has 285 feet of elevation change, winding over and... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Nicholas Flat Trail Willow Creek Trail Ocean Vista Hike Malibu Leo Carrillo State Park Scenic Loop hike Santa Monica Mountains
At the west end of Malibu where Mulholland Highway meets PCH, you'll find Leo Carrillo State Park. Well known for its beaches and surfing, this park has offerings for hikers too, like the trek up Nicholas Flat Trail to an oak-wrapped grassland with a small pond, which is 7 miles round trip or more. For a shorter hike, combine the bottom of Nicholas Flat Trail with Willow... Read more.
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Tagged with · California State Parks · Leo Carrillo State Park · Malibu · Ocean Views · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 2.05 miles · Elevation change: 620 feet
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Nicholas Flat Trail Hike Malibu Leo Carrillo State Park Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve Santa Monica Mountains California
Nicholas Flat Trail is a three-mile long 'ocean to mountains' trail beginning within Leo Carrillo State Park, just across PCH from a famous beach at the west end of Malibu. The single-track trail travels up a coastal ridge past two vista points (and lots of other ocean views) to reach Nicholas Flat, where grassy meadows are rimmed by oak trees. A small network of trails... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Dixie Canyon Park Hike Sherman Oaks Santa Monica Mountains
Dixie Canyon Park preserves twenty tucked-away acres in the Santa Monica Mountains on the north side of the range west of Coldwater Canyon. The park can be accessed from Sherman Oaks for a micro hike that is 0.55 miles round trip with 175 feet of elevation change. This partial loop follows a dirt single track that is narrow and sometime overgrown, finding shade from walnut... Read more.
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Tagged with · Sherman Oaks · Dog-Friendly Trails · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 0.55 miles · Elevation change: 175 feet
By: Published: Last updated: August 2, 2016
Glendale Peak Hike Griffith Park Riverside Trail East Ridge Trail Henry's Trail to Glendale Peak Trail Los Angeles California
Mount Hollywood and Mount Lee might get the bulk of the summit-bagging hikers in Griffith Park, but Glendale Peak is a fine target of its own, hosting grand views of downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, and the San Gabriel Mountains. The 1,190-foot peak pokes out above the southeast side of Griffith Park at the end of a ridge that runs down from Mount Hollywood. ... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Hollywood · Summits · Dog-Friendly Trails · Griffith Park · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 3.3 miles · Elevation change: 330 - 405 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 16, 2016