Crouching Under a Small Bush in Griffith Park

Jessica Lehmann

It’s a dry heat

Griffith Park is massive. I hike about eight miles a week in different locations around Los Angeles County from Chatsworth (boring) to La Jolla (awesome) to Palos (wet)… you name it: I might’ve hiked it. But I often find myself gravitating toward Griffith for a jaunt.

1: It’s close to my house.

2: It feels safe, with tourists and locals swarming.

3: You can find plenty of quiet trails for your peace.

One downside to hiking Griffith during these summer months is that the sun is especially gruesome. Absence of shade on most of the horse trails that run under the Hollywood sign, as well as the walking trails that run above the observatory, yields a feeling reminiscent of burning in hell if you stay exposed long enough.

On one three-hour hike, I found myself crouched underneath a small bush for about fifteen minutes just trying to cool down. And as out of harm’s way as it may feel, the random body parts that were discovered over the course of a week earlier this year shot that sentiment in the foot just a little bit. Hey, at least the person wasn’t murdered in the park…

All that said, if you dress appropriately: long-sleeve shirt that breathes, shorts, sunscreen slathered over every inch of exposed skin, hat, sunglasses and supportive shoes, you can find a truly enjoyable hike in Griffith. Some trails run through the shade of woods, others take you up steep trails with scenic views, and there’s always the Observatory for a classic LA vista.