As the largest municipal park with urban wilderness areas in the country, Griffith Park is easily a destination in itself. Much more... more » than a city park, this urban parkland has numerous trails and historic attractions sprawled over 4,210 acres. Elevations range from 384 to 1,625 feet above sea level, and landscape changes from coastal sage brush to oak and walnut woodlands. The lush surroundings smell so good, and barricade noise and traffic so well that it's almost hard to believe you're in the midst of a big city.
Named after its founder Griffith J. Griffith, the park is located west of the Golden State Freeway (I-5) between Los Feliz Boulevard on the south and the Ventura Freeway (SRT 134) on the north.
The park's crowning glory is the Griffith Observatory, literally perched atop a hill with expansive views of Los Angeles. In addition to hiking, biking and riding trails, Griffith Park offers visitors a range of activities from picnic spots, miniature train rides, pony rides and, of course, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Across from the zoo's parking lot is the Autry National Center, a museum that shares the history of the American West.
With such diverse terrain and attractions, it's no wonder Griffith Park has been the site of hundreds of movies and TV shows. The battle scenes in "Birth of a Nation," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and the first two "Back to the Future" movies were filmed in the park. The park's tunnel served as the Batcave in portions of the TV series "Batman." And you may recognize Griffith Park in Adam Lambert’s music video, "If I Had You."
Dining options throughout the park are casual. Several places (the observatory, zoo and museums) have snack stands or cafes. You can also bring your packed lunch to savor at any one of the numerous picnic spots dotting the Griffith Park hillsides. In addition, there are about half a dozen picnic areas equipped with tables and barbecue grills. For more information about the picnic areas, call the Griffith Park Visitor’s Center at 323-644-2050.
Hiking trails close at sunset
The Griffith Observatory and other attractions have their own hours. less «