Griffith Park is a treasure to behold. Smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles and spanning over 4000 acres, it’s one of the largest urban parks in North America. It’s been called the Central Park of Los Angeles, but luckily for those of us who love hiking and the outdoors, it offers 53 miles of trails that are more rugged and untamed than its East Coast Counterpart. A true wilderness oasis where kids and parents can quickly escape the noise and chaos of the busy city to decompress and re-energize!
Getting to the Charlie Turner Trail is really easy. Drive up to the Griffith Park Observatory and as soon as you enter its parking lot take a left and park. The trailhead starts at the north end of the lot. This hike is 100% stroller friendly, well maintained and if you make it all the way, you’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular 360 degree views of Los Angeles.
It’s about 3 miles round trip, so that means a full day’s hike, if you’re with a toddler! Just kidding! I’ve done this hike with a gaggle of kids and it took us about 3 hours to complete, including many water breaks and lunch at the top of Mt. Hollywood.
I’ve also done this hike with kids where it took us 45 minutes just to make it a quarter mile up the trail, but that’s what hiking with kids is all about; going at their pace, encouraging endurance, engaging them in exploration, exercising listening skills and, most definitely practicing patience. Last time we did this hike, V sat in a newly discovered cave for (what seemed like) half an hour, hunting bears, bats and spiders! Oh My!
Please keep in mind that this hike offers little to no shade, so make sure to lather on the sunscreen, wear your hat and bring lots of water! Picnic tables at the summit provide a comfortable and spectacular place to relax, eat and soak in the views. If you don’t want to go back down the way you came, there are plenty of interconnecting trails and summits to explore, just make sure to use a map!
I would say the second best thing about this hike is that if you’re still up for more discovery once you’ve done the trail, the Griffith Observatory is right there with an entire universe of (free) exhibits to spark the imagination and inspire!
What a perfect way to spend the day!