Utilizing the Ferndell Trail
, the East Observatory Trail
, and the Griffith Park Observatory Spur
, this hike takes you up to the iconic Griffith Park Observatory, from which point you'll have stunning views of the entire L.A. Basin.
This hike starts at the trailhead for the Ferndell Trail
on Fern Dell Drive. From here, follow this historic trail to the north by the creekside. Along the way, you'll hike over old-fashioned bridges and by classic handrails that are scattered through the park.
After just a 1/2 of a mile of gradual hiking underneath tree cover, the trail will come to an intersection with a group of trails that can take you to the Griffith Park Observatory. At this point, the Ferndell Trail
ends and you'll continue straight to follow the East Observatory Trail
The East Observatory Trail
then climbs up the hillside to the northeast. After briefly climbing, you'll start to get great views of Mt. Hollywood, Mt. Lee, the Griffith Park Observatory, and downtown L.A. The trail then bends north to reach a juncture with the West Observatory Trail
, at which point the trails merge and continue further to the east as the East Observatory Trail
. Soon after this juncture you'll reach another, this time with the Griffith Park Observatory Spur
Turn left here to hike up to the observatory. After a brief, steep hike, you'll reach the observatory and have the chance to take in the iconic building and all of the L.A. views that the lookout offers. Once you've had your fill of the observatory, you can turn around to follow the same route back to the Ferndell Trailhead.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store