Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hiking Eastern Griffith Park

I have several SoCal hikes that are on my "to do" list. They are not the highest peaks (I will start with those later this year and next year) but they are tough, challenging hikes that will push my MilePerHike. I was going to do one this weekend but my trailrunners are breaking in my feet rather than the other way around so I was a bit hobbled this week. I was feeling better on Sunday so decided to take an amble around unexplored parts of Griffith Park.

I had a map and a plan. Unfortunately I could not find the particular trailhead I was looking for due to the construction around GP so I pulled off near one of the merry-go-round parking lots and tried to figure out a plan. Of course, I did not bring a full print out map with me, I only brought a map of the area I wanted to hike in. Still, when I kept looking up, I kept seeing this.

Then I tried to figure out how to get there. Would it be going up a coyote path?

That didn't seem to be the way up, just the way to be eaten. Eventually I bushwacked my way onto the typical Griffith park fire roads.

So success! but as I was making my way up I started to to track Southwest and I am like, no I want to go there, Northeast!.

So I spent the first part of the hike wanting to make sure I was going the right way rather than enjoying the nature all around me.

Still, I have a pretty good sense of direction and several compasses on me so I knew I could go say hi to the coyotes and bushwack my way in the right direction if needed.

Eventually the trail came to a nexus, which was welcomed to my addled mind. I think I did partially hike this trail before but it was at night and in the rain so that was hardly helpful.

Still the junction got me going on the Bridle Trail which tracked back to those peaks I was viewing before.

And then more fireroads. There were a lot of dogs on the trail, in fact, the ratio was about 3 to 2, so let me be the first to say, welcome our new canine overlords!

And then over a bridge (?!?)

Across the bridge is where the real gut busting portion happens. Very little shade, all uphill. Whew, I am tired just thinking about it. 

Eventually you get to a notch where you can look out all over LA with some pretty impressive views. Since you have seen many landscapes on this site before, here is another "impressive" view...

I decided not to hike over the ridge to the Griffith Park Backcountry which connects near the ride trail but instead decided to go back down the way I came.

Right by the bridge, I found this interesting sign.

Oh Henry, sorry that you passed on and of course I am going to hike your trail. I am a sucker for hiking history and wasn't going to pass up an interesting little side trail in GP. The trail is little more of a herdpath

and eventually goes to lil ol Glendale Peak where most people decidedly do not visit.

Word of caution, if you do this hike, do NOT hike over the summit and head South running parallel the canoe/wide trail. It leads to a point which you either do a SEVERE rock descent or turn around. I turned around. To help out future hikers, I put a little X made out of sticks on the trail, we will see how long it takes for the coyotes to find them and play around with them.Who knows, maybe someone will think a deity is communicating via sticks and a cult will spring up around them and make me their very well paid leader. One can only hope.

Then the trek down to the parking lot and eventually on my way home. Overall, this hike has a LOT of uphill in it and if you don't plan the sun accordingly, it will take a lot out of you. I am coming around on GP, my favorite "in town" hike still are the Verdugos but GP packs a punch and gives you great views. Definitely worth exploring around more (if I can ever find my way to the right trailhead).

If you want to explore GP, this is THE go to place for maps and general trail descriptions: http://griffithparkmap.com/


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