Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hike 2013.030 -- Griffith Observatory to Burbank Peak

Hiked Saturday, June 1. I worked until 5pm last Saturday, and packed my shorts, a t-shirt, and hiking boots for an afterwork hike.

Figured I'd hike from the Griffith Observatory to Burbank Peak. It's my favorite hike in the area. Convenient, 'cause I don't have to drive anywhere, too.

From the far north side of the Observatory Parking lot, head north, past the gate, the water fountain, etc. Here's the view from the trailhead back to the Observatory.

Looking up the trail.

Maybe 50 yards up, looking to the west, at Mt. Lee.

Looking to the northeast, towards the San Gabriel Mountains.

After a brief climb, past the Berlin Children's Forest, you descend towards a "bridge" that crosses over the Vermont Canyon tunnel. You would have driven under the tunnel if you took your car to the Observatory. Also, Marty McFly stole back the sports almanac from Biff in one of the Back to the Future movies here, too.

After crossing the bridge there are several "shortcut," steep, ridge-routes on up towards Mt. Lee. I see no reason why they would be preferable to the Charlie Turner, but some silly people walk up or down them every day. There's also one spot further up where people can "cut" a switchback on the Charlie Turner Trail. However, for 99% of the people, the shortcut will turn out to be longer and harder than just staying on the actual trail. But there's no stopping stupidity.

This is also the trail I walked up to for my Endeavour flyover adventure.

You should walk the Charlie Turner as though you were going to the top of Mt. Hollywood. But DON'T take the last left turn, up to the summit. Instead, turn left, and you'll see this wide dirt road, heading north. Go that way.

Burbank is in front of you. Within 100 yards or so, you'll have a view down to the northeast, and Glendale. Bee Rock is down there, too.

Looking back towards Mt. Hollywood, I saw a group of horseriders, heading down towards Mulholland Highway.

California buckwheat was growing healthy and in full bloom.

When the dirt road reaches the first hill below (Mt. Bell), take the trail that runs along the pipes. It'll take you around the mountain without giving any altitude away. You'll pass around Mt. Bell, then in front of (on the south side of) Mt. Chapel. before descending to the south. When it hits the paved road, cross it.

Looking back from the other side of the road, here's the dirt road you just took.

In front of you is a narrow trail that heads up to what appears to be an unnamed trail. You'll be walking with a sometimes steep drop-off to your left.

In a few spots, you've got a nice view of Mulholland Motorway, below you. Horses and hikers walk that path, which will also eventually hit Mt. Lee Road. However, their way requires giving away a lot of altitude. This way does not.

Stick near the ridge line, and you're rewarded with nice views back.

When the ridge route becomes untenable, drop down to the right. That path will soon intersect with the paved Mt. Lee Drive. When you hit the pavement, make a right. This road will continue east, behind Mt. Lee.

When the pavement makes a hairpin turn to the left, that's the way to Mt. Lee. Meanwhile, in front of you is a stone monument to Cahuenga Peak. And just to the left of the monument is a narrow trail that will take you to Cahuenga Peak. Climb it. In about fifty yards, you'll be rewarded with a nice view. To your east-southeast is the Hollywood Sign.

Peeking between some foliage is Cahuenga Peak. You can see the sometimes-steep, always narrow trail that climbs to Cahuenga, and will continue from there to the east, to Burbank Peak.

Along pretty much this entire segment, "Lake" Hollywood (reservoir) is to your south.

As I made my way towards Burbank Peak, I saw a vintage DC-3, with United Airlines livery, making its through the Cahuenga Pass, and to Bob Hope Airport.

The evening sun gave a soft light to the dead tree, and a dove that was enjoyed the view (though, at this moment, it was staring right back at me).

One of only a handful of yucca stalks I saw on this hike was right near the dead tree.

Meanwhile, this mariposa lily appeared almost translucent, with its stamen and pistils casting their silhouette against its petals.

There'a lone tree at the top of Burbank Peak, which you can see at the top of this post.

After chatting with the guys there for a few moments, I headed back. It took me two hours (with lots of stops for picture taking) to get here. This meant it was going to be plenty dark by the time I got back.

With darkness falling, clouds rolled over Mt. Lee and Cahuenga Peak. I boosted my camera's ISO to get this last shot, before I packed the camera into my backpack, and walked down a very dark (but wide and easy) trail to my car. Got back there about 9pm. Four hours of blissful hiking on a perfect day for hiking in Griffith Park.

Figure about 8 miles roundtrip.

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