Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hiking Bronson/Brush Canyon Trail

I have hiked many of the trails in Griffith Park but the park is so huge that it takes awhile to hit up most of them. One area I hadn't ventured into yet was the Bronson Caves area in the lower portion of the park. While this trail has had a sketchy recent history, it as been long known as a filming area, with the Bronson Caves serving as Batman's lair and numerous other settings for film and TV.

I arrived mid-morning at the trailhead and found many people and their dogs already walking the trails.

This is NOT a trail for those looking for solitude.

There are really 2 options from Canyon Drive in Franklin Village (where this trail picks up). Either you can go check out the Bronson Caves or you can hike the Brush Canyon Trail where it meets up with the main fireroads of Griffith Park.

Bronson Caves

So the first thing to note is that the signage at the trailhead is not the best. Despite having done research on the Interwebs I was not exactly sure where the hell the caves were. After some exploration, I found the trailhead.

And then it is a short amble up to the caves (around .60 of a mile). You know you are on the right track as the telephone poles guide the way.

As you make your way up, you will see quintessential California lifestyles. For example, I saw people transporting their guinea pig in a little sling. I also saw a castle.

(its there trust me)

and then you round the bend and the caves come into view:

The caves are not natural but instead were blasted out by humanity decades ago. Still, they definitely have a "cave-like" feel to them

Coming out the other side, you come face to face with steep walls of a rock canyon.

There are also trails that climb steeply up the sides of the canyon to give you better views of the surrounding countryside

but I HIGHLY recommend you NOT taking these trails as I was tromping around there were several mini-rock slides which could injure you or make the footing more treacherous. Also, there are plenty of views from the backside of the canyon which place you firmly in SoCal.

Brush Canyon Trail

This trail starts immediately at the end of the last parking lot and heads up, up, up into Griffith Park. While not super tough, it will give you a bit a sweat by the time you reach the junction with the other trails in the Park.

There are some nice sights on along the trail

and the trail is wide and inviting but very little shade so be prepared on the hot days.

The trail wends its way through the canyon and eventually comes to the trail crest with a sign to cheer on your efforts

There are nice views from the crest and provide a good sense from where you previously came from.

I am not sure about the mileage on this trail but I peg it around 1.5 miles one way.

Overall, Brush is not the most picturesque trail but it gets you out and about and is very close to most of LA which augers well in its favor. The Batcaves are a good little jaunt and part of LA's storied film/TV history.


  1. Here's my write-up from a few years ago. Funny thing is that little sign on the wooden beam in the ground made it on my blog, too.

    Had you continued another mile or mile and a half, you could have made it to either the front or the back of the Hollywood sign.

  2. Thanks Skyhiker, great write up, thanks for reading!


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