The most popular route up Mt. Hollywood, the second highest peak in the park, is suitable for families with children. It begins at the Charlie Turner Trailhead, named to honor a longtime park volunteer. You can use the restrooms at the Observatory and ask a park ranger about conditions on the trail.
Summer can be scorching up there, so be sure and carry plenty of water. Sandals and flip-flops are not the best footwear in snake country. The trailhead sign and landscaping are at the north end of the Observatory parking lot. The hike begins with a short, easy ascent along a ridge.
Look for the Mt. Hollywood trailhead sign and landscaping at the north end of the Observatory parking lot. The hike (where leashed dogs are legal but unleashed ones common) isn’t likely to cross paths with P-22, the mountain lion that traversed two freeways to take up residence in the wilds of Griffith Park in 2012. Start walking up a short, easy ascent along a ridge through authentic wild chaparral where you may spot purple and orange wildflowers in the spring and red Toyon berries on California Holly bushes in the fall. In less than a half- mile, you come upon a cooling grove of pine trees called the Berlin Forest, planted by real Berliners to honor their sister-city status with Los Angeles. There are tables and benches, and a beautiful view of the Hollywood Sign framed by pine boughs. Be on the lookout year-round for Zorro-masked Mountain Chickadees in the conifers and orange and yellow flame-headed Western Tanagers in the scrub.
After another gently up-sloped half-mile, you reach a four-way crossroads. The left fork goes around the west side of Mt. Hollywood toward a rest stop called Captain’s Roost. The right fork leads around the east side to a well-kept “folk” garden called Dante’s View. The Friends of Griffith Park have recently been planting and nurturing more native plants around the rest stop gardens, which were severely burned in 2007. Both provide shade (there’s also a water fountain at Dante’s View) and restorative views of the Observatory and the city to the south and the Hollywood Sign to the west. The 1,625-foot Mt. Hollywood summit is about one-quarter mile beyond both stops and consists of a coastal sage scrubby knob with protective railing. The slightly cockeyed view of the letters in the Hollywood Sign is from a perspective just a few degrees off dead center, and almost directly at eye level.
2 h 38 min