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Ferndell to the Griffith Park Observatory



1.3 mile 2.0 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 622' 190 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 1,128' 344 m
Low: 506' 154 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by John McKinney

Hike from the base of Griffith Park up to the famous Griffith Park Observatory on this route.

John McKinney

Features River/Creek · Views


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.

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Jan 26, 2020
Oliver Shine
Jan 1, 2020
Oliver Shine
May 21, 2019
Jose Canabal
Jan 25, 2019
Adam Ajane
Second hike to the Griffith Observatory. 1.1mi
Jan 23, 2019
Adam Ajane
First hike in Los Angeles. 1.3mi
Jan 21, 2019
Maria Morr
Jan 7, 2019
Gray Schierholt
Sep 26, 2018
Dave Burkhard
Steep hike rewarded with views of Los Angela’s from the Observatory

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in Los Feliz


  3.7 from 7 votes
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93 Views Last Month
2,408 Since Aug 7, 2017



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