Saturday, December 1, 2012
Hike 2012.075 -- Griffith Park -- PaDATL Trail, Bill Eckert Trail, Vista del Valle, Five Points and Fern Canyon Trail.
So, by very early in the afternoon, I was pulling into Griffith Park, getting ready for my latest hike. The trees in the lot had turned even more orange than they had been the week before.
Today, I started out by walking along the parking lot, due north, towards the Old Zoo picnic area. Once there, I walked to the left. A fair incline takes you along a slew of cage areas where zoo animals once lived. You also have some nice views up at Bee Rock.
On the eastern end of this clearing is a restroom. Unlike many other restrooms in the park, this one has locking doors that would give you some privacy. However, the toilets are still prison-type toilets, so it's not the most attractive place to use, if you don't have to.
With the gain in altitude come 180 degree views, from down south, towards Glendale Peak, to up north, towards the new zoo. To the northeast is the golf course I walked along on my last hike in Griffith Park. Unfortunately, unlike last time, this day was much hazier than the last.
Topanga State Park, Bee Rock is a more impressive lookout if you're coming from one end versus the other.
As I passed to the north and east of Bee Rock, I eventually reached Vista del Valle Road. From there, a right turn would have taken me north, with a possible detour back to the peaks north of Mt. Hollywood. However, since I've been that way several times this year already, I turned left.
After passing the Bee Rock trail, my paved path swept to the south, then to the west. It brought me to the base of one of those impressive escarpments, where you look up and marvel at how abrupt these hills rise. Earthquake country? Yeah, I'd say so.
I took that trail as part of a different hike, earlier this year. A softer right would send you down towards the Roosevelt Golf Course. You'd also pass the tennis courts and eventually pop out at Vermont, where you could take several paths either up towards Mt. Hollywood or towards the Observatory.
Or you can just pause for a moment, and enjoy the view to your west. The Observatory domes and parking area are to the west, less than a mile as the crow flies, but several miles of winding, up-and-down trail away.
An easy hike, since I avoided most of the major climbs. Lots of new trails covered, too. I'd estimate about 6.5 miles, particularly given the two passes through the Old Zoo.