I am so incredibly lucky to have a place like Griffith Park within a 15 minute drive from my home. It's a gem of greenery in the middle of my crazy city, Los Angeles, that truly has something for everyone within it's 4200 acres and 50+ miles of trails. You want flat road to run on, trails to hike, historic sites, or picnic areas? Check! check! check!
The 11 peaks of Griffith Park create a recognizable ridgeline from several vantage points around LA, with the Hollywood Sign as the crowning exclamation point! Burbank Peak (home of the Wisdom Tree), Cahuenga Peak, Mt Lee (with the Hollywood Sign), Mt Chapel, Mt Bell, Baby Bell, Taco Peak, Mt Hollywood, Hogback Peak, Glendale Peak, and Beacon Hill.
At the time of this writing Burbank Peak and Cahuenga Peak are closed to avoid crowding
on the narrow trails (darn you COVID). These two are the most challenging portion of the course because they involve single-track trail and steep climbs. This section is less than two miles but can take over an hour to complete if hiking (there's not much running at this section).
GRIFFITH PARK - 9 PEAKS WITH RETURN ALONG VISTA DEL VALLE
This 13 mile course included 9 of the 11 peaks and involved over 2,200ft climbing. It reached all the peaks within a 6.5 mile stretch that started at the Rangers Station lot (bonus concrete bathrooms at the Visitor's Center) and headed up to Beacon Hill first. Most of this hiking is on fireroad and passes BY the peaks. To truly reach most of the peaks, you'll need to take a quick scramble up and back down (listed below are some things to consider at each peak)
This course ended with Mt Lee/Hollywood Sign. From there, I returned on Vista del Valle, an asphalt service road above the park. There are many other return options, but this has the best views and it's runnable if you want that option.
There is a bathroom at the beginning of the course only. There are water fountains at the top of Hogback Trail, along Vista del Valle, and at the Joe Klass Water Stop. Sometimes fountains don't work so carry water and fill up as needed.
About the Gutsy Runner!
Lucie is a runner, hiker, and fitness coach who follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for her ulcerative colitis. She is currently on a year long birthday celebration that includes covering 2021 miles on foot and exploring some of the areas most iconic and beautiful trails. Read more