Griffith Park is one of the largest city parks in North America, covering a vast 4,310 acres (1,744 hectares). An oasis in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, this green space caters to visitors of all ages and interests with attractions such as the Los Angeles City Zoo, the Griffith Observatory, and the iconic Hollywood sign.
Griffith Park is an ideal escape from LA’s bustling city center. Visitors can rent bicycles and tour the park on two wheels, join a guided hike or horseback ride up to the Hollywood sign, or explore a multitude of museums, golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking trails. Budding astronomers can visit the landmark Griffith Observatory, which boasts rooftop telescopes plus the world’s most advanced star projector, while kids love the Los Angeles Zoo and its 250 animal species. Don’t miss the Travel Town Museum, which features dozens of vintage railcars and locomotives; the Museum of the American West, where kids can pan for gold and explore a stagecoach; and the Griffith Park merry-go-round with its carved and colorfully painted horses. If you’re short on time, visit the park on a Los Angeles day tour to also see city highlights such as Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring comfortable walking shoes, sun protection, and plenty of water.
- Pack a lunch to enjoy the park’s many scenic picnic areas.
- Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times.
- A trip to the observatory is ideal for visitors with limited mobility thanks to its plentiful parking, expansive views, and relatively flat ground.
How to Get There
Griffith Park is located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood. Access to the park is easiest by car, and parking is free. For information and maps, stop by the Griffith Park Ranger Station at Crystal Springs Drive. On weekends, holidays, and during summer, the park’s higher elevations can be congested with heavy traffic, so it’s best to use the DASH Observatory Shuttle to access Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign.
When to Get There
Griffith Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Opening hours for attractions within the park vary. Summer is LA’s busiest season, but spring and autumn visitors can benefit from decreased smog levels and fewer crowds. January and February can be rainy, so pack an umbrella if visiting in winter.
Movies Filmed in Griffith Park
Being in La La Land, it’s no surprise that Griffith Park stars in more than a few films and TV shows. James Dean and his classmates take a trip to the Griffith Observatory in Rebel Without a Cause, and the park’s Bronson Caves were featured in the 1960s TV shows Batman and Star Trek. Ron Burgundy of Anchorman fame fights bears in the Los Angeles Zoo, Conrad Birdie serenades Ann-Margret at the Greek Theater in the classic musical Bye Bye Birdie, and the tunnel to Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? leads to the Griffith Observatory.