Griffith Park January 4, 2007

Okay, two non-crafty posts in a single week isn’t very crafty of me, but I hiked up to the Observatory again yesterday and this time I did schlep my camera:

Griffith Park

I really love it up there — the Observatory is my favorite building in LA (tied with the Capitol Records building and the Disney Concert Hall). And the hike is amazing, and just an hour round-trip door to door from my apartment, which is so nice. Just head up the quiet side streets from Thai Town to Fern Dell and Los Feliz Blvd. There’s the bear statue (I love him) guarding the entrance to the park. You’ll spend your next ten or fifteen minutes on the winding path past the picnic tables and the bathrooms, and then the trail is right in front of you — just look for the sign six or eight people have already tagged — and there’s your first glorious peek at the Observatory.

The view is just beautiful — every time you get tired, or annoyed with a nearby jackass on a cell phone, you round a curve and see the Hollywood sign or the smooth curves of the Observatory. The trees and plants along the trail change every week, from deep greens to parched browns and back again, and lizards run right in front of you. The last stretch can be tough, it’s basically straight up, but by then you can see the dome so clearly that it makes it easy to conquer. And then you’re looking out over the whole city — on a clear day you can see the ocean. The sun setting is so gorgeous. I wish I’d had my camera on New Year’s Eve, I’ve never seen it quite like that.

If you go:

-If you’re driving, you can turn in on Fern Dell (between Western and Normandie) and park anywhere along the road. Follow the paved path off to the right to the wide dirt trail and head up. You’ll see the Observatory up above you and the Hollywood sign will pop up off to your left about five minutes in.

-The nicest time to hike up is first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bring a water bottle along no matter what time of day it is, but an extra layer is always good to have if it’s getting dark.

To visit the Observatory itself:

The official site has all the info on shuttles, reservations, shows, and hours. The City of Los Angeles has mandated that you cannot drive there, so it’s hiking or shuttle only these days. Embrace it.

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