FERNDELL AT GRIFFITH, the Jurassic Park of L.A.
On your first visit, the lush flora of Ferndell feels almost preternatural. Like somehow, in a few steps, you've exited the urban bog of L.A. and entered the jungles of Jurassic Park or FernGully.
A part of Griffith Park, Ferndell earned its moniker when Griffith Park's Superintendent and plantsman, Frank Shearer, introduced native and imported ferns to the area through the 1920s.
If you are in the mood for a not too long, not too strenuous hike, Ferndell will lead you to a dirt path that goes to the Observatory.
Begin your journey at the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Fern Dell Drive, just past the Griffith Park Sign and the statue of a bear cub. Walk into the canyon and you’ll be encased in a dense canopy of sycamore, spruce, oak, pine and redwood.
Follow the quarter mile trail that loops past a spring-fed ravine, and admire the faux bois (fake wood) banisters. Eventually the path will open to a wide area with a playground, picnic tables, barbecue grills, water fountains and bathrooms. Stop off for a wee, then continue left and up the path to Griffith Observatory.
The hike is about 1 mile. You can choose to go up the gentle incline of the wide dirt fire road or you can opt for the more scenic, steeper path. * We chose to take the steep path up and the wide path down.
When you’re done exploring the Observatory, and you’ve hiked back down, stop at Trails Cafe for a coffee and lavender scone. You can enjoy them at picnic tables in either the sun or the shade, and put together one of the little puzzles they have on hand.