Elysian Park: Portola Trail from Park Row to Stadium Way
- Location: Corner of Park Row Drive and Grand View Drive in downtown L.A. From the south, take I-5 to the Broadway exit. Turn left, go 0.4 miles and turn right on Casanova St. Make another quick right on Park Row Drive and go 0.3 miles. Park on the street just above the intersection with Grand View Drive. From the Valley, take I-5 to Broadway (follow the signs for the 110 freeway). Turn right on Pasadena Ave, go 0.3 miles and turn right on Broadway. Go 0.3 miles and turn right on Casanova St and take a right on Park Row.
- Agency: City of Los Angeles
- Distance: 2.8 miles
- Elevation gain: 200 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: Los Angeles
- More information: here; YELP reviews here; trail guide here
- Rating: 2
To continue, carefully cross Grand View (cars coming from both sides don’t have good visibility), and continue along the trail. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of graffiti and trash in this area. The trail runs parallel to Interstate 5, so obviously peace and quiet are not in the cards, but some hikers might enjoy the great aerial view of the freeway, and there are also nice views of the San Gabriel and Verdugo Mountains.
Soon, you come to a split where the trail heads sharply downhill; the only tricky section of the hike. Poles may come in handy; small kids will probably need a hand here. The trail dips into a wooded area and climbs quickly to join a fire road. The last section of the trip heads away from the freeway, so it’s much quieter, although there’s still some traffic from Stadium Way. Soon, you reach the turnaround point, the intersection with the paved Angels Point Road. There are more trails across Stadium Way in the Grace Simmons section of the park, but since there’s no crosswalks, it’s best to drive there if you want to explore them.