Things to Do at Griffith Park

Things to Do at Griffith Park

Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres (1,740 ha) of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America.

It is the second-largest city park in California after Mission Trails Preserve in San Diego and the 11th largest municipally-owned park in the United States. It has also been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, and rugged than its New York City counterpart.

Things to Do at Griffith Park
Things to Do at Griffith Park

Griffith Park Observatory

The Griffith Observatory is a facility in Los Angeles, California, sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. It commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with a close view of the Hollywood Sign and an extensive array of space and science-related displays. Admission has been free since the observatory’s opening in 1935, in accordance with the will of Griffith J. Griffith, the benefactor after whom the observatory is named.

Over 7 million people have been able to view through the 12-inch Zeiss refractor, since the Observatory’s 1935 opening; this is the most people to have viewed through any telescope.

Griffith Park Fire

Hired as part of a welfare project, 3,780 men were in the park clearing brush on October 3, 1933, when a fire broke out in the Mineral Wells area. Many of the workers volunteered or were ordered to fight the fire. In all, 29 men were killed and 150 were injured. Professional firefighters arrived and limited the blaze to 47 acres (19 ha).

On May 12, 1961, a wildfire on the south side of the park burned 814 acres (329 ha). It also destroyed eight homes and damaged nine more, chiefly in the Beachwood Canyon area.

Another fire occurred circa 1971 in the Toyon Canyon area. Repelled by the ugliness of the devastated area, Amir Dialameh replanted a portion of it himself by hand. Over the course of more than 30 years, he tended the garden he built there with the help of occasional volunteers.

On May 8, 2007, a major wildfire burned more than 817 acres (331 ha), destroying the bird sanctuary, Dante’s View, and Captain’s Roost, and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people. The fire came right up to one of the largest playgrounds in Los Angeles, Shane’s Inspiration, and the Los Angeles Zoo, and threatened the Griffith Observatory, but left such areas intact. Several local organizations, including SaveGriffithPark.org, have been working since then with local officials to restore the park in a way that would benefit all. It was the third fire of the year. The city announced a $50 million plan to stabilize the burned slopes. The trees along Canyon Drive were allowed to grow back naturally, having been re-seeded by bird droppings.

Things to Do and see at Griffith Park
Things to Do and see at Griffith Park

Griffith Park Los Angeles

Griffith Park Hike

Griffith Park preserves over 4,200 acres at the east end of the Santa Monica Mountains and is one of America’s largest urban parks. Griffith Park is just five miles from downtown Los Angeles, protecting an area of the “Hollywood Hills” between Interstate 5 and the 101 Freeway.

Griffith Park is a cherished recreation hub for Angelenos and tourists alike, offering something for everyone. The park has many miles of trail, tennis courts, golf courses, a zoo, a merry-go-round, museums, trains, and landmarks like Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Observatory, and the Greek Theater.

Griffith Park caters to hikers with a variety of interests.

Want to explore the Batcave from the 1960s Batman series? Hike to Bronson Cave. It’s really short!

Want to learn about the stars that aren’t memorialized on Hollywood Boulevard? Hike to Griffith Observatory.

Need to mellow out on a shaded path? Stroll through Frendell or Amir’s Garden.

Griffith Park Zoo

Griffith Park lies just west of the Golden State Freeway (I-5), roughly between Los Feliz Boulevard on the south and the Ventura Freeway (SR 134) on the north. Freeway off-ramps leading to the park from I-5 are Los Feliz Boulevard, Griffith Park (direct entry) and Zoo Drive.

Approaching the park on SR 134 eastbound, take either the Forest Lawn Drive or Victory Boulevard offramps. From SR 134 westbound, take Zoo Drive or Forest Lawn Drive. After leaving freeways, follow the signs into the park

Griffith Park Weather

Our 5-day Meteogram for Griffith Park offers all essential weather information in 3 simple graphs:

  • Temperature chart with weather pictograms. The time from sunrise to sunset is indicated in light yellow.
  • Clouds in different altitudes: from a few clouds (light grey) to overcast (dark grey). Dark blue bars show hourly precipitation and light blue showers. An asterisk indicates snowfall.
  • Forecasts for wind speeds are blue and gusts are green. The arrowheads point in the same direction as the wind.

What Is There To Do In Griffith Park?

  • Visit the LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens (kid-friendly)
  • Enjoy the view from the Griffith Observatory (kid-friendly)
  • Take a Horse Ride at Sunset Ranch (kid-friendly)
  • See a Show at the Greek Theatre.
  • Go Hiking!
  • Autry Museum of the American West (kid-friendly)
  • Go Golfing!

Is Griffith Park For Free?

Griffith Observatory. Southern California’s gateway to the cosmos! Visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign. Admission to the building and grounds is always FREE.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Griffith Park?

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students with I.D. and seniors, and $3 for children between 5 – 12 years old. Children under 5 are admitted to the first show of the day, only, and must sit on an adult’s lap. FOTO members receive a discounted rate of $5.

Why Is Griffith Park Famous?

Griffith Observatory is a unique hybrid of public observatory, planetarium, and exhibition space. It was constructed with funds from the bequest of Griffith J. Griffith (who donated the land for Griffith Park in 1896), who specified the purpose, features, and location of the building in his 1919 will.