Glendale Peak, Griffith Park, CA

Glendale Peak via Riverside Trail (Griffith Park)


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    • Location: Vermont tennis courts, Griffith Park.  From I-5, take the Los Feliz Exit and head southwest (turn right if you’re coming from the north; left if from the south) for 1.3 miles.  Turn right on Hillhurst, go 0.2 miles and bear right onto Vermont. Go 0.4 miles to the Roosevelt golf course, turn right and park in the lot for the tennis courts. From Highway 101, take the Hollywood Blvd. exit.  Head east (turn left if you’re coming from the north; right if from the south) and go 0.4 miles.  Turn left on Western, go 0.6 miles and turn right on Los Feliz.  Go a mile and turn left on Vermont.  Go a total of 0.8 miles to the Roosevelt golf course, turn right and park in the lot for the tennis courts.
    • Agency:  Griffith Park
    • Distance: 2.8 miles
    • Elevation gain: 500 feet
    • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
    • Difficulty rating: PG
    • Best season: Year round but hot during the summer
    • Dogs: Allowed on leash (exercise caution on warm days; expect to encounter other hikers with dogs)
    • Cell phone reception: Good near the trail head and at the summit; weak to fair in between
    • Water: Fountains and sinks at the restrooms
    • Restrooms: Full restrooms near the tennis courts
    • Camping/backpacking: None
    • Recommended guidebook: Day Hikes In the Santa Monica Mountains
    • More information: Trip descriptions here and here (starting from a slightly different trail head); Map My Hike report here
    • Rating: 5

Glendale Peak is not close to being the tallest summit in Griffith Park – at 1,184 feet, it’s more than 400 feet shorter than Mt. Hollywood – but its relative isolation from the higher summits makes for some excellent views, at least on clear days. The summit is not as heavily visited as Mt. Hollywood or Mt. Lee, so while you will probably have plenty of company on the Riverside and Hogsback Trails, you may have the top to yourself.

The summit can be reached via a short detour from the longer East Side Loop, but the route described here, a short out and back from the tennis courts, is a good option for warm days, for hikers with small children or for those looking for a quicker trip. From the tennis courts, follow the fire road uphill for 0.2 mile to a four-way junction with the Riverside Trail and a spur that continues into the canyon, an option if you want to explore further. Turn right on the Riverside Trail and follow it uphill. The trail makes a brief descent before climbing 200 feet in about 0.3 mile to reach a junction with the Hogsback Trail.

Make a hard left and continue uphill on the Hogsback Trail, another fire road, enjoying panoramic views of Aberdeen Canyon below and Mt. Hollywood above. Just before the footbridge, make a hairpin right turn on Henry’s Trail, an obscure single-track that leads to Glendale Peak. The trail follows a razor back with excellent views in both directions before reaching the summit.

From the peak, the views include the San Gabriels, the Verdugos, downtown Los Angeles, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and an aerial perspective on the golf course. If visibility is good, the views may extend to Old Saddleback in Orange County, the San Jacintos and the Santa Susana Mountains to the west.

 

Glendale Peak, Griffith Park, CA
Downtown L.A. from Glendale Peak
Roosevelt Golf Course, Glendale Peak, Griffith Park, CA
Roosevelt Golf Course from Glendale Peak
Glendale Peak, Griffith Park, CA
Looking north from Glendale Peak
Mt. Hollywood from Glendale Peak, Griffith Park, CA
Mt. Hollywood from Glendale Peak

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.

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