Beacon Hill Fern Canyon Loop Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Los Angeles, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, birding, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The first 30% was the most difficult going up hill for about a mile, but then the rest was easy and rewarding with beautiful views.
The marker on AllTrails is in the wrong spot. Try 3610 Cadman Dr for the real location.
Not a bad trail for right in the city - the views are all of the freeway and the surrounding city, but there are areas where you can barely hear the road noise and it feels fresh and cool.
Everybody I met along the trail was friendly and it took less time to complete than I expected, though with a few fairly steep inclines and declines. Traffic on a Saturday afternoon was moderate, I passed a fair number of groups, but there were stretches where I thought I was the only person left on the trail.
Unfortunately, dogs must be leashed, which is not my preference since my dog needs about 5 times as much exercise as I do. However, for a trail in the city, I get it.. and it was nice to get out into fresh air for a little while.
The trail itself was wide enough for a vehicle for most of the way, except the climb to the top summit and the decline back to the main trail. That decline was steep and rocky, maybe not ideal for older people, but not difficult by any means. I went counterclockwise, climbing on the west side of the loop and descending on the right side. I think the rocky decline would have been easier going up, but I'm glad I went the way I did because it was near sundown and while the first half of the loop was in shade already, the second half was sunny and bright.
Hiked this trail on a nice cool winter evening. By winter evening I mean it 60 degrees outside because this is Southern California.
I've done this trail before, or at least bits and pieces in the past, and it's your everyday run of the mill SoCal paved trail experience. If you've been on one trail in Griffith Park you pretty much know what I'm talking about.
This one takes you on some really nice views of The 5 Freeway (yeah, who wants to see that) and some really clear and wide views of Glendale. There is fair amount of elevation as well if you plan to go for a trail run.
On this particular trip I ran into 2 separate groups of dog walkers which formed into a group of 5 people. They were super friendly and even warned of coyotes up ahead on the trail. This was good because Los Angeles is certainly small dog friendly and these coyotes will probably find interest in them. Either way, they made for some good conversation and even bid us a good night as we parted ways on the trail. Pretty chill peeps which put some good karma on my thoughts of this trail.
Anyway, on the two times I've ventured on this trail I've seen a coyote just meandering on the trail ahead. Never any close encounters with them but until I'm comfortable with seeing them I'll probably always have a heightened sense of awareness in their presence. You may want to keep this in mind but honestly I haven't had any issues.
The trail looks a lot better nearing the evening, maybe about 5 or 6. I suppose this could be said for a lot of trails, but I've been here in the day and the evening and it just a nicer look to it with the sun leaving the sky.
It's got some nice sights as you climb elevation. Nothing awe inspiring but it's not bad either, and with the size of Griffith Park, there always seems like more trails to explore.
Scenery is pretty good but the trail is a bit boring. Good inclines if you're looking to sweat a bit. You can loop all the way around easily but you should keep in mind the trail before venturing out just to ensure that you don't get lost.
Enjoy it, I certainly did.