- Location: Mineral Wells Picnic Area, Griffith Park. From L.A. and points south, take I-5 to the Griffith Park exit. Cross over the freeway to Crystal Springs Drive, turn right and go a mile, just past the parking area for the merry go round, and turn left on Griffith Park Drive. Go 1.2 miles to the Mineral Wells Picnic Area and park where available near the North Trail Head. From the 134 Freeway, take the Forest Lawn exit, go south and take the first right on Zoo Drive. Go 0.2 miles and turn right on Griffith Park Drive. Go 1.4 miles to the Mineral Wells Picnic Area and the North Trail Head. Park where available, noting posted restrictions.
- Agency: Griffith Park
- Distance: 4.1 miles
- Elevation gain: 800 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: Year-round but hot during the summer
- Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days)
- Cell phone reception: Good for most of the route; weak to fair in some spots
- Water: Fountains at Mineral Wells Picnic Area and Amir’s Garden
- Restrooms: Available at Mineral Wells Picnic Area
- Camping/backpacking: None
- More information: Griffith Park trail map here; Map My Hike report here
- Rating: 4
Updated October 2018
Haunted Table 29 is a popular draw at Griffith Park, especially around Halloween time. The story of a young couple’s tragic death at this spot on Halloween, 1976 is part of Griffith Park lore, as are the alleged ghost sightings that have happened in the area. There are several routes of varying length and difficulty that lead to the table, including an out-and-back trip described here and a loop hike described in this post. The route described below overlaps with the Mt. Bell hike and the trip to Royce’s Canyon. About half of the route (including the 1.5 miles not covered by the above mentioned hikes) is on paved roads which may be a turnoff for some, but this hike still offers a good workout and a chance to visit not only the picnic table but also Cathy’s Corner, a vista point that was a filming location in the movie “La La Land.”
Begin by heading up the steep North Trail, the central of the three paths leading from the Mineral Wells Picnic Area. After 0.4 mile of steady climbing, you reach Amir’s Garden, a peaceful spot with benches, shade trees and a water fountain. The North Trail continues uphill another 0.2 mile to a T-junction. Turn left and continue 0.6 mile to Vista del Valle drive. At this point, the North Trail continues to Bell Peak. To get to Haunted Table 29, turn right and follow Vista del Valle 0.2 mile to Mt. Hollywood Drive, a total of 1.4 miles and almost 800 vertical feet from the starting point. En route keep an eye out for some small caves in the rocks on the left side of the road.
Turn right on Mt. Hollywood Drive, which is closed to motorized traffic but popular with cyclists. A short descent brings you to Haunted Table 29. If you are short on time you can turn around here for a 3 mile round trip hike. To make the hike into a loop, continue downhill a short distance to Cathy’s Corner, where you get a bird’s eye view of Forest Lawn and rugged Royce Canyon far below.
The road descends another 1.2 miles to a hairpin turn. Leave the road and continue straight onto an equestrian trail which meets the Toyon Trail in 0.1 mile (3 miles from the start). Descend the surprisingly steep Toyon Trail for half a mile to rejoin the Mineral Wells Trail, just above Griffith Park Drive. From here, it’s an easy half mile along the Mineral Wells Trail back to your starting point.
Text and photography copyright 2018 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.