Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hike 2013.057 -- Griffith Park -- Between Mt. Hollywood and Fern Dell

Hiked Saturday, December 14. I had business to take care of at the Observa-tory (which turned out to be undoable, so I combined it with a hike. As a result I started in the middle, hiked up to Mt. Hollywood first, then went down past the Observatory to Ferndell, then returned up the same trail to my car.

I've hiked up to Mt. Hollywood probably a half-dozen times now, and down to Ferndell at least twice: In April and in in July. Could have sworn I also went there in the fall, but I don't see the hike posted.

Despite my previous trips here, I still made a new discovery: There's a "George Harrison Tree," right on the north edge of the Observatory parking lot. That's it, right there. Of course, I shot it with sun peeking out from behind the tree, as in, "Here's Comes the Sun."

There's also the James Dean statue, on the west walkway as you approach the Observatory, the side facing the Hollywood sign.

The Charlie Turner Trail starts right behind the George Harrison Tree, on the north end of the lot. There's a drinking fountain right near the start. Head on up the trail, and you pass the Berlin Children's Forest within about 100 yards, then come over a rise and descend to the passage over the Vermont Canyon tunnel. On the other side, the Charlie Turner bears to the left and makes a long climb to the west, then loops back for a long and shallow climb as it heads to the east.

Stupid people cut the switchback, risking injury to themselves or those below them, and speed erosion along the trail. Here, a bunch of Boy Scouts, (with "777" on their shoulders--the nearest Pack 777 is based in Diamond Bar) are slip-sliding their way down a steep descent. Stupid pack leader.

At the end of the sweep back to the east, you reach a junction. Either "up, left" or "up, right" will take you to to the top, but, today, there was construction on the "up, left," which would be the Charlie Turner, so you had to go right, past where you soon passed Dante's View.

Also at this junction is where the two other "trails" (one seems to be a formal, somewhat steep, but not all that difficult trail, while the other runs along the ridge and ends where the Scouts were struggling down towards the Vermont Tunnel.

Nice 180- to 270-degree views from around this section, where celebrating hikers can be seen either on the nearby ridge here, or on the slightly more-distant Glendale Peak. The "tiny" people making their way up, or posing at the top, of Glendale Peak puts some perspective on the size and distances involved.

A hawk zipped quickly past me here. I didn't have time to try to reset for a higher shutter speed, so the picture is only moderately sharp.

Dante's View is where you begin rounding the bend on Mt. Hollywood. You've still got some distance to go, so you may wish to sip some water at the fountain here. If you have dogs, let them get their fill, too.

One more turn, and it's on up to the picnic tables atop Mt. Hollywood. I've taken plenty of pictures from here in the past on clearer days, so took none, today.

Instead, after literally a moment, I turned on back down. I originally intended to call it a day, but from the top I could see what looked like the brown-rust of oak leaves in Ferndell, so I decided to walk past the Observatory and take the trail that runs down from immediately to the east of the Observatory. I assume this is called the "Observatory Trail," since if you follow it down (making a right at your first junction), it later splits into an "East Observatory" and a "West Observatory" trail.

I took the East Observatory Trail, which is slightly more direct if your goal is Ferndell. As usual, I walked on down to near Los Feliz, then turned around.

Alas, the colors were not as nice as I had hoped. And, given the near-noon-day sun, there were lots of bright spots and shadowed area, which makes photography without filters or post-shot manipulation unappealing.

Once at the end, I looped back around and headed back up to the Observatory.

Up near the top of Ferndell, across the street from the park, is "The Trails" cafe. I've never managed to actually find the place, though I've also never seriously looked for it. It seems invisible from the Ferndell Trail, so you'd have to walk down Ferndell Drive/Western Canyon Drive to find the place, I think

Anyway, back to the car much later than I planned. Figure on about five miles total for the hikes today.


  1. I really should get over there and walk thru Ferndell again. Did that many years ago.

  2. Running water always makes a soothing sound, so it's a nice little walk, that you can make as long or as short as you want, depending on how far away you're willing to walk.

  3. Odd tribute, but, apparently, George Harrison died in Hollywood.

  4. Skyhiker, are you still traveling to New Mexico from time to time?

  5. No, my last few times in New Mexico were just on the way to and from that job in Murray, Kentucky, back in 2011. Now, my most frequent out-of-state trips are to the Las Vegas, NV area.

  6. The George Harrison Tree died in 2014; a replacement tree is to be dedicated on Wednesday, February 25, at 4pm.