Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hiking The Hills of Beverly
Everyone knows Beverly Hills. Whether you followed the travails of Brandon and Dylan all of those years ago or are keeping up with the stupid K's (whose names will NOT be uttered on this blog), we are all familiar with our conception of Beverly Hills. However, as the name implies, there ARE hills out there and amazingly, I found some when I went hiking at Franklin Canyon.
The trip beings in a rather otherworldly fashion as you drive up a rather mountain-ness, one way road that winds its way from Sunset to the park.
(this is how high up you get right out from BH)
Eventually you make your way along several pullouts to potential hikes although there are main lots near the Nature Center which is where most people seemed to park.
Considering how much land there is between Sunset and Mullholland Drive where the park ends, it was rather surprising how short the trails are. I think I put in 4 miles around the park and was pushing through most of the trails.
I started off on the major North/South trail, a rather pleasant straightforward affair.
Soon thereafter you can bear left (East) and track up the mountain to a lookout
Oh yes, you will have to take the stairs. In fact, you encounter stairs a lot in this park. Nature is clearly been tamed in the name of man.
Just a side note, I have commented on man's relationship with nature before but this place really takes "user friendly" to the next level. I am not sure if all of these stairs are needed but it was a clear choice by the trail designers. Its a choice I don't agree with. Sure you want to put some railroad ties in on a particularly loose, steep section, fine. But there is a fine line between support and too much support and this place certainly straddles that line.
Whatever you think of stairs, they get you to the top of the lookout and from the lookout you see a nice alpine lake
errr Beverly Hills? The foliage and lake really make you think you are somewhere other than Los Angeles.
However, you are never that far away from the mansions that dot the other ridgelines.
The trail wends its it way down to a little side trail system that is overgrown but weirdly, reminded me of a jungle.
Kinda like the jungle Pee Wee biked through on the WB backlot. Good times eh?
The trail eventually winds back to the lake and you can take the trail 'round the lake and really get that alpine feel.
Of course you can still tell you are in SoCal somehow. I can't quite put my finger on how you can tell but you can.
As you wander around the lake there are hints and allegations and promises of a "redwood grove" but after much searching I got a picture of the "grove" for your enjoyment.
I am not trying to be too down on the place. Sure the trails under-utilize the area and sure the "grove" consists of one tree but at the end of the day, this is a nice little bit of shaded wilderness in the heart of LA. Not too shabby.
I decided to poke around a bit and found quite the little tester straight uphill
It was on the Berman Trail
and I said c'mon Berman, give me the best you got and boy did it give me some. Its not the highest elevation gain but in the sun, whoa nelly is it a little tester uphill.
At the end of my jaunt I stopped by the nature center in Franklin Canyon
Its a beautiful little place with the neatest 3D relief map of SoCal you have seen.
So, if you are looking to get your hill on Beverly, this map is a good starting point: http://www.lamountains.com/maps/franklinCanyon.pdf
However, be warned that the map is not the most accurate, you should really consult the maps at the Canyon, they paint a more accurate picture.
ONE WORD OF WARNING
This area is rife with cameras making sure that you stop at every stop sign. So when you get in the park, stop FULLY at each stop sign. Also, Yelp is rife with comments about rangers pulling you over for going more than 15 MPH so make sure you go the speed limit.
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 9:30 AM