Explore the most popular birding trails near Los Angeles with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice long trail, would rate this one as moderate not hard. The parking is free unless you pass the stop sign (be sure to fully stop or you’ll get ticketed) and it’s a brief uphill walk to the trailhead. The initial portion is fairly easy with some incline. The trail the takes you down through a Topanga Canyon neighborhood (just a few houses) which is interesting (saw an abandoned car on the trail). Once you get through the neighborhood, the incline begins on a fire road and is steady for about a mile and a half. You can then continue on for just a bit to relax/detour at Eagle Rock at the top. From there we took the descent into Garapito trail which is further down in the canyon and mostly covered. It’s a single track and well maintained. Our group got stung by wasps which hurt like a mother, must’ve hit a nest or something. Watch for poison oak, we passed it a few places on the Garapito. The trail will dump you out into a fire road where you then continue on an incline up towards the parking lot. I drank about 2 liters. Part of the trail is exposed so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. Took us about 4.5 hours with a 15 min break and clocked in a little over 9 miles. Great views, long hike but fun!

hiking
3 days ago

I’ve done this hike twice and it’s one of my favorites. I like that you get a little workout and not pushing too many miles. Perfect place to bring friends from out of town. Once getting to Cuhuenga Peak and passing the Wisdom Tree you can make your way to Mt. Lee to get to the back of the Hollywood sign. Planning on doing it at night for the views.

Creds- Have AllTrails Pro so know on correct path, mileage and time at any point (GPS excellent).

Free designated parking at trailhead.

Started at 11:am since temps now cooler (less than 80F). Went counter clockwise. Trail starts to go into canyon with 2 miles, so don’t be fooled by Trail names such as ‘road’ on map. ~85% on trails (not fire roads or neighborhoods). The neighborhood walk portion was less than 1 mi and was a house here and there-few houses are really away from civilization.

There was one slightly steep section going down, but walkable. Uphill on way back not significant- recommend going counter clockwise. Breeze entire route. Lots of shaded areas but definitely need hat and 2 liters of water.

Entire trail great condition. Never had to sit / use hands going down or up. Never had to duck under trees. Lots of views. Lots of dead/ dried out flora- from drought? Fauna - family of quails, lizards, 1 small garden snake. Saw ~8 hikers.

Great hike!

Fantastic view over LA.

This should be rated difficult. I have pro version of AllTrails so know I was following prescribed trail. Not acceptable in one section -20 to 40’ drop off. Multiple areas had to scramble.

Started counter clockwise. Thought Trail was gorgeous with views to ocean and Catalina Island poking out behind Palos Verdes Peninsula, especially with clouds providing shade.

7.4 mi in when you get to Vermont Canyon Road where Greek Theatre located, across street is where you will have to scramble up 100+ feet (this isn’t shown as an actual ‘dotted line path’ on map). Poles won’t work and forget it if raining. 8 mi in where Trail connects with Riverside Trail there is a 20 to 40 foot drop off. I have a video showing a man against this cliff. This was not acceptable- AllTrails needs to fix this. I took chance by scrambling down then jumping since ~8 mi in for 9.8 mi hike. Check out my photos and video of this ridiculous cliff with man at base so you can see significant drop off.

I do not recommend this hike because of this drop off. Or take an alternative route starting at Greek Theater to Riverside Trail-avoiding 100+ uphill scramble and 20+ foot drop off.

An iconic L.A. hike and one of my favorites in Griffith Park, but you need to prepared for a steep, rocky, unshaded climb. The views from the ridge between the Wisdom Tree and the Hollywood sign are great, with the old Hollywood studios to the south, and the newer Warner and Disney studios to the north. On a clear day, your view stretches from the ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains. On a foggy "June gloom" day, you look down on the marine layer in the valleys and feel like you're deep in the wilderness. Except for the freeway noise. But, like I said, an iconic L.A. hike.

This was a relatively easy trail to the Hollywood sign. The hardest part about this trail is that it is straight up to get to the Hollywood sign. I started from the Canyon Road parking lot and went to the back of the sign first and then the front of the sign. In total that was 7.5 miles. If you only go to the front of the sign it is 5.7 miles. Listen to what everyone else says -go out super early, there is no shade. You’ll need sunblock, a hat, water and sturdy footwear. The ground is not technical at all, it’s a flat hard pack and actually at the very top its asphalt to the front of the sign.

We followed the 8.7 mile trail loop exactly as per map. The description is a little misleading in that there are a number of off-fire road excursions onto narrow, rough and brushy tracks. You have to keep a very close eye on the map because these tracks are often kind of hidden or just not obvious. Had to backtrack a couple of times.

That said, it was a nice hike across Griffith Park, especially at the start when you climb up to the top ridge. The trail ends up behind the Hollywood sign, which is a little anticlimactic, before you turn back and take a slightly different route back.

Love this trail for kids, out of towners

One of the first hikes I’ve done in L.A. Love the observatory so this easy hike is a given. At night you get the full E.T. View from near the top. At the bottom during the day you can stop at Trails cafe. Great spot to take visitors from out of town.

You guys are full of it this gives you a side view of the sign that’s it

Several approaches to the top and we took a pretty treacherous stair case trail. Up top is pretty cool with benches and tables and the history and Amir’s story is nice. I’d definitely try another way up the next time.

Loved the hike! The views were amazing and I got great shots of the sign. It is dry and open trail but if done in the early morning it's not bad at all. Definitely bring apply sunscreen and wear hats and sunglasses. We didn't go all the way up behind the hike, but it isn't much further up the trail (maybe like another mile) if you decide to go further up.

Great for the family. Nice picnic areas, and the actual trail is fairly easy with nice views. On the way to the trail, you can see the horses.

Make sure you grab the pamphlet on the way in.

Slow and steady wins the race.

A good workout. Some nice views, but a large portion of the hike is in the canyons and among the brush with no vistas. The last few miles are punishing in the summer heat—seemingly airless ravines followed by an uphill march up a roasting hot fire road. Bring a lot of water and a wide brimmed hat.

Such a nice trail to do at sunset

trail running
1 month ago

get there early. ..expect delay with heavy foot and vehicle traffic... hike overall is cool...also stay on the trail...lol

Easy hike with good incline. Love this hike up to the observatory for sunset

hiking
1 month ago

I love this trail for early morning hikes/workouts on way to work in DTLA. Even by 6:30 am you run into several mostly friendly hikers perhaps doing the same. It’s become my go-to weekday hikes. Whenever I’ve hiked this trail on weekday evenings, I am amazed as to the amount of people just beginning their hikes as late as 8 pm as I am finishing mine. Haven’t been here on a weekend but I am certain it’ll be a crowded place. By the way, stick to the map and stay on the trails and you should get a good workout in 5-5.5 miles under 2 hours.

it was a great way to break in someone who hasnt hiked before! amazing L.A views

hiking
1 month ago

I LOVE this hike! Not only is it very easy, but it is absolutely gorgeous. I came during sunset, and I felt like I was walking through Sherwood Forest. I am very excited to come back!

Great hike - and easy for kids.

Super easy hike. I usually jog there from my apt since I live nearby. The caves are really to look at. Plus, it is the original BATCAVE

Came early in the middle of the week and was able to find parking pretty easily on Ferndell. Beginning of the hike was nicely shaded, but the majority of the trail up to Griffith Observatory was not. Pretty much a steady incline up to the top, but great views from the observatory and bathrooms at the top! Was a breeze to go back down the hill. Able to see the Hollywood sign and on nice days able to see downtown LA.

walking
1 month ago

Ran the Santa Susana Pass Rd. from Chatsworth to Kuehner Dr. in Simi Valley - about 4 miles. Fun run, going up and then down 700 feet. In a few tight curves watch out for vehicles. Chances of coming across wildlife on the Rd., during the day, appears to be very slim.

This was a fairly easy trail. Gradual incline. It’s really open so hats, sun screens, and at least a liter of water or more if you start late as it will get hotter in the afternoon. We spent about three hours total because we stopped at the Hollywood viewpoint ( front view of the sign) and Mt Lee ( back of the sign) to take in the breathtaking views and for lots of pictures.
There is no trail that will bring you right to the sign as it’s gated and in a protected area, however if you get onto Mt. Lee trail it’ll get you to Mt. Lee just behind the Hollywood sign and it’s as close to it as you could get to the sign. Hope this help, have fun!!!

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