Panorama from Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood SignView All Sizes
JOURNAL : March 4, 2009
|Series||Griffith Park - the Heart of Los Angeles|
Nestled in the sprawling city of Los Angeles just north of Hollywood and south of Burbank is a vast chunk of wilderness bordered by the Hollywood and Ventura freeways, Interstate 5, and busy Los Feliz Boulevard.
Within its 4,210 acres are —
Nearby, on Riverside Drive, you can rent horses to explore the park's wilderness trails. This was a great way to spend an afternoon one day.
Forest Lawn Memorial CemetaryView All Sizes
In Front of Griffith Park ObservatoryView All Sizes
Griffith Park resembles a Heart
The City of GlendaleView All Sizes
At its feet sits the celebrity-stocked Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn memorial park, and several prized Disney properties including ABC, Imagineering and Disney Parks & Resorts where I used to work. Mulholland Highway begins its fabulous journey as a mere dirt road squirreling near the summit of Mt. Hollywood.
Hoopsters on the Helipad
Over 10 million folks visit Griffith Park every year. Any given weekend it's swarming with people recreating: hiking, biking, walking, playing, picnicking, hula hooping, drumming, golfing, motorcycling, horseback riding, etc.
So far I've done all those except drumming and golfing.
Equestrians on Mulholland HwyView All Sizes
With its close proximity to Hollywood, Griffith Park has provided the stage for numerous movies including Rebel Without a Cause, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Birth of a Nation, Earth Girls are Easy and Back to the Future I and II.
The setting is remote yet metropolitan. It's an oasis within the endless urban spread of Los Angeles and a great place to see panoramic views of Hollywood, Glendale and Burbank. On a clear day after a good rain even Catalina Island is visible. To the north are the Verdugo Mountains and San Fernando Valley, to the west are the Santa Monica Mountains. Vital freeways wrap around like arteries. The Los Angeles River flows lovingly along two sides.
If L.A. has a heart, it's Griffith Park.
Vermont CanyonView All Sizes
The area has a long and colorful history dating back thousands of years. Artifacts from a town of indigenous people have been recovered in Fern Dell Canyon. Around 1800 it became Rancho Los Feliz and passed through various hands until it was acquired by its namesake Colonel Griffith J. Griffith who bequeathed it to the City of Los Angeles.
Walkers & Bikers on Mt. Hollywood DriveView All Sizes
Eucalyptus Grove near Mineral Wells TrailView All Sizes
One Sunday afternoon we gorged on Subway sandwiches at Mineral Wells Picnic Area and then hula hooped for a bit to aid digestion. At the top of a hill near Mineral Wells Trail we came upon a Eucalyptus grove decked out with a remarkable diversity of flowers, herbs, shrubs and succulents. This hidden treasure sported fantastic views of the golf courses and Glendale.
Travel Town Railroad MuseumView All Sizes
Mt. HollywoodView All Sizes
Entering Fern DellView All Sizes
The next Sunday hoop guru Isaac Prado presented us with two hand-made hoops and we hiked up to the helipad high above the cityscape and hula hooped late into the afternoon.
What a Workout!
Jennifer discovered many herbs growing along the grassy paths we trekked. I'll have to get her to write them down. She makes an herbal salve and breast massage oil from organic and ethically wildcrafted herbs and is very knowledgeable about these things.
Jennifer finds herbs
Me, I just like the greenery.
A nice grassy path
Photos here are from various visits during the spring. Regular rains have flooded the scenery with greenery. A nasty fire in 2007 scorched thousands of trees, spurring overgrown undergrowth.
Jennifer & Windsong
Lush Fern Dell
Jen in Fern Dell
This is certainly one of the most beautiful features of Griffith Park. This lush tropical garden resembles Kauai more than dry Southern California. Walkways follow a meandering stream as it pours gently over several waterfalls and feeds the hydrophilic flora. In the photo below are three of my favorite plants — prehistoric Australian Tree Ferns, delicate Maidenhair Ferns, and the leafy monstera deliciosa.
In Fern Dell you never know when an orange-clad monk will come walking down the path to Enlightenment.
Hillside Patch of Orange DaisiesView All Sizes
About this day
March 4, 2009
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