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 does 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.

Which route to Mount Hollywood peaks your interest?

Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

If you want a closer view of the Hollywood Sign, three recommended hiking routes lead 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 and has fine views over Hollywood along the way.
  • Hollyridge Trail is shorter and easier at 3.5 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation gain, but parking can be limited.
  • Wonder View Trail ascends to the Wisdom Tree before crossing Cahuenga Peak (the highest point in Griffith Park) to reach Mount Lee and is 3 miles round trip with 875 feet of elevation gain.
  • Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign provides a 4th option with a longer 8.8-mile route with 575 feet of elevation change that crosses Mount Hollywood to get over to 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, elevation profiles, 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 Hike471Mount 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 to Hollywood Sign472Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign
This hike travels from one Griffith Park landmark to another, taking a lengthy route across Mount Hollywood.
8.8 miles
575 feet
Ferndell Trail473Ferndell 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
Griffith Observatory hike474Griffith 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
East Observatory Trail Griffith Park475Griffith Observatory via East Observatory Trail
This hike from Vermont Canyon Avenue up to Griffith Park's great observatory delivers excellent views over Los Angeles along the way.
1.5 miles
380 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
Cedar Grove and Vista View Point Loop479Cedar Grove & Vista View Point Loop
This hike on the southeast side of Griffith Park follows paved and unpaved trails to two park attractions, a quiet grove with a picnic area and a helipad with panoramic views.
2.3 miles
400 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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Oak Creek Canyon Loop Trail Los Robles Open Space Thousand Oaks California Santa Monica Mountains
Oak Creek Canyon Trail is a rather special trail in Los Robles Open Space that is designed for the blind as well as the sighted. The all-access nature trail has a dozen and a half signs in English and Braille. While blind hikers will probably want to turn around at the end of the guide fence, for a 0.55 mile hike with 50 feet of elevation change, others may continue on to... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 5, 2017
Cedar Grove and Vista View Point Hike Vista Del Valle Drive Griffith Park Helipad Los Angeles California
Away from many of the tourists drawn to Griffith Park's great landmarks (like Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign), you'll find locals enjoying views of their city from Vista View Point, also know as the helipad site. This overlook along Vista Del Valle Drive presents a broad perspective over downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Griffith Park sites like the Greek... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Hollywood · Dog-Friendly Trails · Griffith Park · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 2.3 miles · Elevation change: 400 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign Directions Griffith Park hike Los Angeles California
Are you trying to get from the Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign? Perhaps Google Maps lead you to Griffith Observatory when you were trying to get driving directions to the Hollywood Sign or maybe you are just eager to hike between Griffith Park's two biggest landmarks. It is possible to walk from Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign. However, the route... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Summits · Griffith Park · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 8.8 miles · Elevation change: 575 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
Winnetka Ridge Trail Santa Monica Mountains hike Woodland Hills Winnetka Avenue Trail Topanga State Park
If you like ridge top views without the effort of hiking all the way up a ridge, make your way to the end of Winnetka Avenue in Woodland Hills. From there, Winnetka Ridge Trail runs south along the spine of a ridge into the Santa Monica Mountains. The ridge stands above the west side of Corbin Canyon and delivers broad views over the San Fernando Valley. After 3/4 of a... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
Corbin Canyon Trail Santa Monica Mountains hike Tarzana California Corbin Canyon Park Hike Woodland Hills Los Angeles
Corbin Canyon Park is a less visited pocket of Topange State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. The 328-acre parcel stretches into the mountains from neighborhoods in Tarzana and Woodland Hills, presenting a small offering of trails that are isolated from longer routes through the Santa Monica Mountains. Corbin Canyon hosts trails for a pleasant and manageable 2.05-mile... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017