Hiking to the Griffith Observatory

One of the activities that is popular in Los Angeles is hiking.  I feel like its one of those things that it doesn’t matter if you like it or not, you probably do it.  For myself, its been an acquired taste.  I still don’t like to hike in heavily wooded areas.  I’m not sure if that is from growing up in Maine and not wanting a tick to bite me, or if its just simply because I prefer more desert scenery.  Either way, I DO like to hike in places that are pleasant and interesting to look at.  In combination of my interest in the architecture of Los Angeles, I love Griffith Observatory.  Its quintessentially Los Angeles, and its hands down one of the most beautiful in the city.

When I went to the Grand Canyon, one of the things I regretted doing was not preparing enough for the hiking portion of my trip.  Would it have been easier if I had prepared?  Who knows, but it surely wouldn’t have hurt.  So, in preparation of my girls trip to Zion National Park, I thought some hiking was in order.  I found out about the Observatory Trails in researching a visit to the Observatory.  I’ve lived here for over 10 years, and I never knew you could hike to the Observatory on the South side.  There is definitely some truth to the old adage that you learn something new every day.

So, a little about the hike.  There are two Observatory trails, a West and an East trail.  The West Observatory Trail is 2.1 miles (out and back), and the East Observatory Trail is 1.5 miles long (out and back).  For that distance, it was still a good little workout because of the grade.  It is a well worn path, and is well populated, especially on the weekends.  In addition, there is little to no shade, so make sure you wear sun protection.  And the best part of this hike is of course, THE VIEWS.  As you ascend, you get ridiculously great views of the Hollywood Sign, the Observatory and the city below.


I really enjoyed this hike. Because it wasn’t super long, it left enough time to get brunch after and not feel disgusting.  Again, brunch is something that I’ve recently started to see the appeal.   This is especially true when you have great brunch mates.  If you live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend doing this hike, even if to switch it up every once in awhile.  If you don’t live here, and find yourself visiting our city, do yourself a favor and hike up to the Observatory.  You won’t regret it.

Bonus Tip:  The 101 Coffee Shop is one of my favorite places to eat.  It is located on Franklin Ave. (nearest cross street is Gower St.).  It is fairly close to the Fern Dell side of the trail (about a 10 minute drive).  They have great coffee and yummy food.  My favorite breakfast is the Salmon Benedict!

Link to West Observatory Trail on HikeSpeak.

Link to East Observatory Trail on HikeSpeak.


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