With over 4,210 acres of both natural chapparal-covered terrain and landscaped parkland and picnic areas, Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness area in the United States. Situated in the eastern Santa Monica Mountain range, the Park’s elevations range from 384 to 1,625 feet above see level. With an arid climate, the Park’s plant communities vary from coastal sage scrub, oak and walnut woodlands to riparian vegetation with trees in the Park’s deep canyons. The California native plants represented in Griffith Park include the California species of oak, walnut, lilac, mountain mahagony, sages, toyon, and sumac. Present, in small quantities, are the threatened species of manzanita and berberis.
Over the years recreational attractions have been developed throughout the Park, however an amazingly large portion of the Park remains virtually unchanged from the days Native American villages occupied the area's lower slopes.
All that appears to be true.
I had a plan to lead Boy Scout Troop 283 on a hike to the Hollywood sign but since I'd never been there I pre-hiked the trail with my buddy Dan. Dan and I had ideal hiking weather: cool and overcast. The following weekend I hiked the trail again with the Scouts, but the weather was warmer and I needed all the water that I brought with me. Dan was also seized by enthusiasm for Griffith Park and met the Scouts on the trail while he completed a much longer Griffith Observatory to Mt. Lee hike. Modern Hiker has a particularly nice writeup on the Hollywood sign hike that I followed both times.
View of the transmitter tower on the top of Mt. Lee, home of the Holylwood sign. The edge of the sign is barely visible in this photo, I think, below and left of the tower.
There! A fence separates you from the sign. It's pretty steep, so the public safety aspects of the fence seems legit.
Surveyer's mark on Mt. Cahuenga.
Fun single track trail up Mt. Cahuenga.
Native plants grow in profusion.
On the second descent, view of Mt. Lee though sycamores.
I'm sure I'll be back to hike some other trails soon.