Whether for exercise or just for something to do on the weekends, hiking up to the Griffith Observatory is one of my faves. Although, not as often in the winter months, cause I don’t DO cold.
Take Franklin Ave. to Los Feliz Blvd, park on the street and walk north. There’s a cool man-made nature trail, gated, that I like to duck off into before I get to the actual hill. It’s got a lake and a few benches. Plus it’s shaded. I sound lazy huh? Let’s just say, I like to be calm and rested before I hike!
Once I head out of the nature trail and get started on the uphill battle, that’s it for shade! There may be two trees the whole way up so I try to avoid going in the heat of the day cause that sun makes the trail feel less like a hike, more like a triathlon (been there, done that, not recommended)!
There are two paths you can take up to the observatory. First couple times, I took what I call the tourist path. It’s the most apparent way up and takes about 25mins (at a steady pace). Its the shorter yet most vertical way up. So for the lazy, [ehem] I mean the experienced, we take the alternative path. Kinda hard to explain how to get to but I found it following someone one day, which is kinda dangerous now that I’m thinking about it [shrugs]. Neither of the paths are that difficult; however, there are always little kids and elderly people passing me up so I may not be the best judge.
Once I get to the top, I have to sit my tail down and breathe for like 15mins (so out of shape). The observatory is pretty cool. A bunch of science-ey stuff about the sun and other stuff that happens at observatories [only really had to experience that once]. The best part to me is the view! I always find my way to the Wolfgang Puck Café. Not for the food [elk!] but to sit on the patio and enjoy the view. There’s nothing like a cool Gatorade while you chill on what feels like the top of the world!
After a few minutes (or hours) of chill-time, I head back down the trail. Usually taking the tourist path cause at that point, I’m ready to get home and lay down!
Pros: There’s something to do once you do all that work to get to the top; the observatory is free; the view is spectacular
Cons: food in the café isn’t great but the Wolfgang Puck Lucky Charm Rice Crispy treats might be worth the hike (wait… think this is a pro-con).