Bee Rock in Griffith Park


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  • Location: Merry Go Round Lot 1, Griffith Park. From the south, take I-5 to the Los Feliz exit, turn left and cross the freeway and turn right on Crystal Springs Drive.  Go 1.3 miles and turn right onto Griffith Park Drive. Park in the lot near the merry go round. From the north, take the Los Feliz exit and turn right, then immediately right onto Crystal Springs Drive.
  • Agency: Griffith Park
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 700 feet
  • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty rating: PG
  • Best season: All year
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Cell phone reception: Good
  • Water: None
  • Restrooms: Near the merry go round north of the parking lot
  • Camping/backpacking: None
  • More information: Trip descriptions (including variations) here, here, here and here
  • Rating: 5

Updated February 2019

Named for its resemblance to a hive, Bee Rock is a giant sandstone outcrop that is one of Griffith Park’s most popular and recognizable landmarks. Many visitors opt to combine it with other sites such as the Old Zoo or Mt. Hollywood, but for those who want a quick workout, it is an enjoyable stand-alone hike, as described below.

From the southwest corner of the parking lot, head toward the Mineral Wells Trail, which climbs to a junction with the Upper Old Zoo Trail. Head right and follow the wide trail as it winds in and out of the folds of Mt. Hollywood’s northeast slope. Several pockets of oaks provide some shade.

About a mile from the start, you reach a junction. Head left on the Bee Rock Trail (the right fork is the lower Old Zoo Trail, a possible return route if you want some variety). The Bee Rock Trail climbs steadily up the canyon. In about a quarter mile, look for an obscure use trail on your left. This is the most challenging portion of the hike: a short but steep and loose stretch that gains almost 300 feet in less than a quarter mile. Expect to use your hands as well as your feet. You will need to push branches of chaparral and scrub oak aside – and be careful of roots and metal pipes that stick out from the ground, especially on the descent. The trail splits a few times but rejoins so you can take either path.

Finally you reach the ridge just north of Bee Rock. Head left and walk toward Bee Rock’s fenced-in summit. Despite the barrier, the views – notably the San Gabriel, Verdugo and Santa Susana ranges – are impressive, as are the sharp drops on each side of the rock.

For your return, you can opt for a gentler descent by continuing past the steep use trail, up a flight of stairs to the Bill Eckert Trail. Head right and follow it downhill for 1.5 miles back to the junction with the Bee Rock Trail. This option adds about 1.2 miles to your hike.

Upper Old Zoo Trail, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Upper Old Zoo Trail

Upper Old Zoo Trail, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Oaks on the Upper Old Zoo Trail

Bee Rock Trail, Griffith Park

Start of the Bee Rock Trail

Bee Rock Trail, Griffith Park

Bee Rock use trail

Bee Rock Trail, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

View from the use trail

Bee Rock Trail, Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Approaching the top of the use trail

Bee Rock, Griffith Park, CA

View of the Verdugo Mountains from Bee Rock

Bee Rock, Griffith Park, CA

Northeast view from Bee Rock

Text and photography copyright 2019 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

 

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