Griffith Park on Black Friday

Nov 28, 2009 by Lisa Newton

Hollywood

In the spirit of “Buy Nothing Day,” I went hiking on Black Friday. I did wake up early–not for the Early Bird Specials– my plan was to go to Griffith Park for a hike to the Hollywood Sign. Although I’ve been there before—and wrote about it extensively– Griffith Park never fails to amaze and mesmerize me.

This morning, the views, although not perfect, were much better than the last time I was here.

Burbank

Although for many who live in major metropolitan cities throughout the world, not having visited a city’s landmarks, popular places, and attractions would seem odd.

In Los Angeles, though, we’re always doing what’s interesting for us and what we deem our passion. And in that, unfortunately, we do miss many of the great things that define Los Angeles. During my hike I briefly spoke with a fellow hiker–who was among the other 40 or so people hiking—who has lived in LA for over 10 years. Despite living here for over a decade, this was his first visit to Griffith Park. I’d hiked to the Hollywood Sign before, but obviously never took this particular route.

Park Ranger Ernie Ybarra led us on a vigorous; and mostly single-file trail hike of 5 miles in length. Done 2x, or in other parlance–up and down–the hike was ten miles long.

Ranger Ybarra

Although 10 miles doesn’t seem like a lot, it is. Especially when you’re going up an incline of 1,400 feet, which this scenic pathway does. I’ve already highlighted several of the amazing vistas on the trails to the Hollywood Sign, today I wanted to feature the Griffith Park Visitor’s Center, where today’s hike started.

Griffith Park Visitor's Center

Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Its land mass consists of over 4,000 acres, and included within that is more than 50 miles of hiking and equestrian trails.

The entrance to Griffith Park’s Visitor’s Center greets you with an earnest festoon of artistic representations of the Park’s important, extensive, and culturally rich history:

History Wall

Griffith Park–like many of our early land acquisitions–was essentially gifts, by early Los Angeles philanthropists; but sometimes I really think that they were visionaries.

In this particular case, Griffith Park is eponymous with the generous donation of over 3,000 acres by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. According to Ranger Ybarra, it took the city of Los Angeles 6 years to accept the donation because they thought it was too far away from the city– 6 miles!

To truly understand just how valuable this land is, and to help you gleam the now laughable notion that Griffith Park was “too far” from City Hall, or should I say “how far” today’s current Metro Los Angeles is from Griffith Park, below is a map of Los Angeles County. Within the map, I’ve marked the approximate location of Griffith Park:

Map of part of LA county

You can clearly see just how “far” Griffith Park is from downtown, but you can also see that Griffith Park is in the center of it all.

Ranger Ybarra told us he would be conducting more hikes during December; however I was unable to find a list, but if you’re interested in more information please email Ranger Ernie Ybarra at ernie.ybarra at lacity [dot] org.

It’s my pleasure to take this opportunity to thank Ranger Ybarra for the being a fantastic tour guide. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to the next hike. If you’re interested in the route we took and a few more pictures, below is the GPS of our hike:

Griffith Park

Griffith Park has plenty of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, concerts, and a myriad of other things to do and places to go within its very own confines.

While Travelin’ Local, I hope you find time to make sure this holiday weekend to try and visit some of the places and areas of interest that we have here in the great city of Los Angeles.

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Burbank, Griffith Park, Hiking/Walking, Parks, Recreation, SoCal
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