ElevationAscent: 924' 282 m
Descent: -925' -282 m
High: 1,775' 541 m
Low: 959' 292 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)
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“A terrific, short-and-steep option to get to the Wisdom Tree and then Hollywood Sign from the west.”— Zander Göpfert
Continue up the dirt road, looking toward a powerline tower. Around this time, look for the singletrack Tree of Life Trail to branch off to the right side of the road. Though this trail is rated as extremely difficult, the section up to the Wisdom Tree is very manageable, just a short, uphill grind.
Head up this singletrack into the hills. This stretch of trail is hot and dry, like much of the hiking in this area, but it's worth preparing with sufficient water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. From the turn onto the singletrack, this climb is ~0.5 miles to the Wisdom Tree, which marks the end of the steepest climb and provides a great spot to take a break, eat a snack, and snap some shots of the gorgeous view.
From the Wisdom Tree, continue northeast/east along the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail toward Cahuenga Peak and the Hollywood Sign. This is a beautiful, remote-seeming stretch of trail that feels out of place so close to downtown. After a few hundred yards, you'll come to the high point of this hike at Cahuenga Peak. Other than the USGS marker that denotes the top, there isn't anything special about this summit.
After the summit, the trail begins to dive down toward Mt. Lee. Some sections can be loose, so take your time and be sure of your footing. Along this final stretch, there is a clearing with a couple plaques commemorating the private donors who helped conserve this land as part of Griffith Park.
Push on for the last couple hundred yards connecting to Mt. Lee Drive and the view from behind the Hollywood Sign to take in the well-earned views. From here, return the way you came knowing everything you climbed up to get here is all downhill heading back.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background
Local Club: The Trust for Public Land
Land Manager: City of Los Angeles - Department of Recreation and Park