Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hike 2017.002 -- Griffith Park, Observatory to Mount Hollywood

Hiked Sunday, January 8. Although the second hike of the year, I thought doing this write-up would be quicker and easier. Yet, it has actually come to be quite long!

Mostly overcast day, and relatively cool. Because this place gets crazy busy in the evening, especially around holidays, I headed up to the Observatory to arrive before 5pm for my 6:30pm shift. That left me time to do a little hike before work.

The early sunset meant I could get some nice city lights/skyline shots. I figured they would complement the DTLA shots I took from Kenneth Hahn State Park (at the end of this post).
The Charlie Turner Trail starts at the north end of the parking lot in front of the Observatory. For most, hoping to park there on a weekend night is an exercise in futility. So, alternatively, you can either park down near the Greek Theater (if there's no concert) and walk up, or take the Observatory shuttle up, for fifty cents (35 cents, with a TAP card, and currently free if you have a Metro weekly or monthly pass loaded on your card). For the same price, shuttles also run between the Sunset and Vermont Red Line Station and the Observatory.
Charlie Turner's a wide dirt road, easily 30-45 feet wide, with a modest grade. It's smooth enough that, with only illumination from the city, you can safely navigate the route after twilight, even without a flashlight. A little under halfway up is a hairpin turn, where I usually stop for the view of the Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) skyline, behind the Observatory. It's also where I set up for the Endeavour flyover.
So the second shot is from the hairpin turn, while the first was from the top of Mount Hollywood. By comparison, these other DTLA were taken from Kenny Hahn State Recreation Area. Those shots aren't really related to this particular hike, other than that I took them recently and wanted to post them.
Kenneth Hahn SRA is in the Baldwin Hills, about 12 miles southwest of Griffith Park. I've been here before, to hike. That first time was part of a County healthy activity thing. I then returned a few years later, both to hike and scout, then to take pictures on post-snow day.

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is the best place to get a shot of the DTLA skyline with a snowy mountain backdrop. A moderate telephoto lens (about 300mm in full frame, or 200mm in CMOS) frames both nicely.
My latest returns were after work. I had no time to take an actual hike, and just came to try to take some pictures. The clouds were too heavy to give me any soft lighting, but the post-sunset nightscape of DTLA looked nice.

3 miles plus for Griffith Park. Only about 1/2 mile on the Kenneth Hahn trips, so I didn't count them as hikes.

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