I love hiking in Griffith Park, and spring is my favorite time. I heard in the news recently that the Hollyridge Trail trailhead to Mt. Lee would be closed for about six weeks while they construct a new gate. So I figured I’d check it out and use an alternative route to the popular summit with its iconic Hollywood sign. Brush Canyon seemed like the ideal starting point and is one of my favorite locals in the park to hike.
I leave my office in Echo Park at 3:15 and navigate the 101 to Frankin Avenue and head north on Beachwood Drive. My first stop will be to check out what’s happening at the Hollyridge Trail trailhead. Sure enough, the street is closed off at the junction of Hollyridge Drive, a block shy of the trailhead.
Once I reach Canyon Drive in Brush Canyon my next task is to do some investigative work. Recently John from the UK emailed me some photos from the 1950s TV show Highway Patrol and wondered if I knew where the locations were in Griffith Park. I quickly deduced they were from Brush Canyon near the Bronson Caves. So my goal now is to replicate the several shots. Even without the lenses to get the exact composition, I’m pretty pleased with the results. Now it’s time to hike.
1955 - Highway Patrol, Art Robbery
2014 - Canyon Drive, Griffith Park
I park my car in the parking lot at the head of Canyon Drive in Brush Canyon. There are only two spaces left in the small lot that holds 14 cars.
I don’t really have a specific plan for the hike. I reckon I’ll end up on Mt. Lee and figure out the rest as I go. In all my hikes in Griffith Park over the years, I have never repeated one. I always managed to put various combinations of segments together to make each hike unique.
I turn right (northwest) and continue up the ridge. The views toward Hollywood and beyond are shrouded with marine haze but I’m enjoying the rugged surroundings. Stop to take pics of ceanothus and wishbone bush, the most common plants in bloom today. Aside from the mustard, there is not much else in bloom.
wildlife camera is no longer there. I see a rabbit but he moves too quickly and my photo is a blur. Eventually I need a good rabbit photo to add to my Animals in the San Gabriels page. The sun peeks out and lights up the Verdugo Mountains and Burbank to the north.
Epilog - Another thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding hike in Griffith Park. Every hike offers a new adventure, a different experience. And to be at atop Mt. Lee and the Hollywood sign with virtual solitude was a real treat. What a gift this park is to Angelinos.
- See Hiking Griffith Park at Dan's Hiking Pages (including links to other blog posts for hiking in Griffith Park)
- See Mt. Lee hike description at Dan's Hiking Pages
- See Brush Canyon hike description at Dan's Hiking Pages