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Cahuenga Peak

Intermediate

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer out and back
73% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 924' 282 m
Descent: -925' -282 m
High: 1,775' 541 m
Low: 959' 292 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A terrific, short-and-steep option to get to the Wisdom Tree and then Hollywood Sign from the west.

Zander Göpfert

Features Views

Overview

This out-and-back run is a bit of a two-faced beast. Hundreds of thousands of visitors can attest to the popular route up to the Wisdom Tree and the iconic view out over the city. However, the second half of this route past Cahuenga Peak is tough. The singletrack has sections of scrambling and can be loose. That said, for those who are willing to make the climb and take their time with the more difficult sections, this can be a great two-for-one option, adding on the Hollywood Sign at the end.

Need to Know

Parking is strictly enforced on Wonder View Drive. There is no potable water on this route. Trespassing at the Hollywood Sign is also strictly enforced with guards and cameras, though it's possible to find a way around the fences, it is illegal.

Runner Notes

Steep and loose, this one would make a tough route to run.

Description

To access this route, head to Wonder View Drive via Barham Boulevard to Lake Hollywood Drive. There isn't any public parking on this street, but Lake Hollywood Drive should have ample areas to park for free. Head east up Wonder View Drive past the gate to the trailhead.

Continue up the dirt road, looking toward a powerline tower. Around this time, look for the singletrack Tree of Life Trail to branch off to the right side of the road. Though this trail is rated as extremely difficult, the section up to the Wisdom Tree is very manageable, just a short, uphill grind.

Head up this singletrack into the hills. This stretch of trail is hot and dry, like much of the running in this area, but it's worth preparing with sufficient water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. From the turn onto the singletrack, this climb is ~0.5 miles to the Wisdom Tree, which marks the end of the steepest climb and provides a great spot to take a break, eat a snack, and snap some shots of the gorgeous view.

From the Wisdom Tree, continue northeast/east along the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail toward Cahuenga Peak and the Hollywood Sign. This is a beautiful, remote-seeming stretch of trail that feels out of place so close to downtown. After a few hundred yards, you'll come to the high point of this run at Cahuenga Peak. Other than the USGS marker that denotes the top, there isn't anything special about this summit.

After the summit, the trail begins to dive down toward Mt. Lee. Some sections can be loose, so take your time and be sure of your footing. Along this final stretch, there is a clearing with a couple plaques commemorating the private donors who helped conserve this land as part of Griffith Park.

Push on for the last couple hundred yards connecting to Mt. Lee Drive and the view from behind the Hollywood Sign to take in the well-earned views. From here, return the way you came knowing everything you climbed up to get here is all downhill heading back.

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Check-Ins

Aug 24, 2018
Wouter Ten Brinke
4mi
May 28, 2018
deebo rock
3mi
Aug 26, 2017
Cameron Hunt
Good steep incline, foot traffic can be an issue if you are trying to keep a quick pace...
Jun 14, 2017
Nathan Ledesma
Jun 4, 2017
Kyle Chadwick
Difficult to run most of it due to the rocky and steep terrain 3mi

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 17 votes

#1

in Los Feliz

#1972

Overall
  4.0 from 17 votes
5 Star
29%
4 Star
47%
3 Star
18%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Run Rankings

#1

in Los Feliz

#274

in California

#1,972

Overall
118 Views Last Month
2,481 Since Oct 11, 2016
Intermediate

0%
21%
32%
32%
16%
0%

Photos

View from behind the sign overlooking Hollywood Reservoir.
Jul 25, 2019 near Hollywo…, CA
View from behind the Hollywood Sign.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Standing above the Hollywood Sign with the city in the background.
Sep 29, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Cahuenga Peak view.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Heading up the Tree of Life Trail.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Hollywood Sign
Nov 26, 2017 near Univers…, CA

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