16 February 2013

Griffith Observatory to the Hollywood Sign 10k

This is a great 10k route from the Griffith Observatory up to the top of Mt. Hollywood and over the hills to the Hollywood Sign. There are a few short steep sections but it is very manageable for all fitness levels. You can always take a breather and take your time on the trail. There are so many great views along the way. Take some snacks and water and enjoy a long there and back hike or a good trail run. Also take your camera as you can get great shots of both sides of Los Angeles.
First turn into Fern Dell drive and drive up past Trails Cafe and up towards the Griffith Observatory. When you get up to a fork in the road, you will see the tunnel on your left and make a sharp right up towards the Observatory, you will see a gate and a steep track leading up. Find a park on the side of the road. You can also enter the trail up Mt. Hollywood from the end of the Observatory Lawn, if you are feeling like a more gentle start to the run.

Yeah it’s a tough start to a 10k but you can walk up the steep hill briskly to get your heart rate going. I suggest you are already warm before gunning it up this starting point. It is a nice little steep stretch to get things rolling, or rather climbing. After this quick uphill, you will come up to a small white bridge. Hang a left here and use the relatively light gradient to get your breath back. It is on.

Once over the bridge you get a nice, consistent gradient. You are gonna be breathing deep and heavy and you wind your way up the good part of a mile where you will then come across a
crossroads of trails. You want to follow the trail you are on sharp left and up and around. Guess what, the fun times continues. Onwards and upwards.
Once you get to the top of the Mt. Hollywood and the ground flattens out, you want to head left and then follow the trail that winds round and heads directly north towards the Valley and beyond. Use this nice gentle downwards section to get your breath back and let those legs recover.
After this little gentle stretch you will notice a little path that veers up and over the hill. Take this path. Why go around a mountain when you can just run over it?

Keep following the trail up and over the mountain until your trail meets up with a paved road. Head left up the road a short way to the top of the hill.

At the top of the hill you will see a trail off to your right. “We must be in America, because this guy’s guns are out of control”.

Follow the trail up and around the hill and you will come across a water tank on your left.
You want to continue past the tank, and head, you guessed it, right towards the Hollywood Sign. There are a few very short parts of this trail where you will will have to slow down and take your time. I have seen the very old and the very young along this trail, so as long as you take care, you are going to be just fine.

You will come to a point in the trail where you can see a paved road to your right. Follow the trail down and right towards the road.

Once you hit the paved road. Head on up. This stretch of paved road is a nice challenging run. Earn a good breather at the top and go for it! Almost half-way there, and the way back is easier. Big deep breaths. You got this!

And when you get to the top, its time to relax and enjoy the views.
Smile, breath deep and get ready to head back. Like I said, it is gonna be an easier run home with two giant downhills to let gravity do a lot of the work. Head on home folks!