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Hollywood Travel Blog› entry 35 of 47 › view all entries
July 25th, 2008 – by: TRE69
To get to the trail we drove north on Vermont Blvd, past the Los Feliz Blvd intersection, up through which I think is the park's southern entrance. Just past the entrance to the right is the 9-hole Roosevelt Golf Course. Further up the road to the left is the Greek Theater. We drove even further up on N. Vermont Blvd through a tunnel then turned left on West Observatory Rd and parked. Vehicles can now park at the Griffith Observatory parking lot but it is often full so the best bet would be to park on East or West Observatory Rd and walk up to the trailhead which is across the road from the parking lot.
I miscalculated how far up the trailhead was so from where I parked, Mar and I had a "warm up" walk. The trailhead is clearly marked. From where we were, we were at the Charlie Turner Trailhead. Apparently, there is an extension of the Mount Hollywood Trail that starts at Fern Dell which I think is the western entrance to Griffith Park on Los Feliz Blvd near Western Blvd.
The start of the trail immediately gains elevation but fortunately under the shade of pine trees. As we crossed over the tunnel structure, the shade ceased and we were under the unrelenting rays of the late afternoon sun. The trail is hard packed dirt.
The trail winds, sometimes steeply, up the southern slope of Mount Hollywood with a few switchbacks. At the start of the first swtichback is a great spot to view the famed Hollywood sign which actually sits on Mount Lee. Today was hot, dry, and smoggy so the few pictures I took were not very vibrant but the sign was visible. Since we went in the afternoon, the view of the Hollywood sign was not great so I imagine hiking the trail in the morning will be better. Along the trail there were still visible signs of the May 16th, 2008 brushfire. Due to the fire prone nature of chapparal, smoking and fires of any kind are prohibited.
We eventually made it to the top of Mount Hollywood which had views of the Griffith Observatory, Burbank in the San Fernando Valley, Glendale in the San Gabriel Valley, the downtown skyline, Hollywood proper, and perhaps on a clear day the Pacific Ocean. At this scenic viewpoint are several picnic tables. Several park trails converge atop Mount Hollywood but be mindful of the way you came up because there are no trail markings other than the trailhead sign. I say this because Mar and I headed down the wrong trail for a good half mile or more so before we realized it so we had to backtrack up to the top of Mount Hollywood then back down towards the Observatory.
Overall, our hike was a fun way to get exercise and to see LA from a whole new perspective!
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