Wonderview Trail / Hollyridge Trail

Christmas day in Hollywood.  I had to change up just about everything.  My original plan was to hike around the Hollywood Reservoir and then hike right above the reservoir and around Burbank Peak on a loop trail that was marked on my Griffith Park Map.  Turns out the Reservoir was closed for Christmas and I couldn’t find the junction that would complete the loop.  No problem.  I hiked the first part of the loop, headed over to the HOLLYWOOD Sign and then down Hollyridge Trail.  Great day with amazingly clear views.

1     2     3   I parked at the junction of Lake Hollywood Drive and Wonderview Avenue.  I then walked up 0.2 miles to the end of Wonderview.  The trailhead sits under some power lines.  I first saw the sketchy looking Wonderview Trail when I hiked over to Burbank Peak on my Mount Lee hike a year and a half ago.  It’s only a half mile long but it’s steep and rocky and narrow.  Although it looks scary from the bottom, like much of this hike the trails appear more dangerous from a distance.

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Heading steeply up Wonderview Trail.

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I reach Burbank Peak, marked by this lone tree with registers sitting beneath.

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Photo 1 – The view from Burbank Peak looking toward the Santa Susana and Verdugo Mountains.  Photo 2 – And in the other direction, the Hollywood Reservoir.

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I continued on along the ridgeline.  The highpoint is Cahuenga Peak.  Beyond is the top of Mount Lee and the HOLLYWOOD Sign.

10     11   The trail down to the HOLLYWOOD sign is a little rough in places with one very short scramble.

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Now at the overlook above the HOLLYWOOD Sign.

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16   Also from the overlook, Griffith Observatory and Downtown LA.  It was so clear that Catalina Island (half of it anyway) could be seen as well as the rarely sighted Santa Barbara Island.

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Another view of the Hollywood Reservoir

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Looking north, a nice view of the Verdugo Mountains and the Hollywood Hills branch of Forest Lawn Cemetery, final resting place of several celebrities such as Bette Davis, Buster Keaton, Freddie Prinze, Steve Allen, John Ritter, Brittany Murphy, etc., etc.

19     20     21   I reach the paved road that leads up to the top of Mount Lee.

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From Mount Lee looking beyond the Verdugo Mountains, the antennae studded Mount Wilson stands tall.  CORRECTION 12-3-16:  Thank you to the reader who pointed out this is Mount Lukens in the background and not Mount Wilson as I had written.  Not sure what I was thinking.

23   From Mount Lee, looking back at Cahuenga Peak and Burbank Peak.

24     25   I hiked down on the paved road from the HOLLYWOOD Sign to a junction.  I was looking for Hollyridge Trail and thought I could get there by going straight.  My mistake, I should have turned left on to the dirt road.  Photo 2 – Across the way, Mount Hollywood.

26   I discovered that I had previously hiked to the end of this paved road on my last hike here.  Great view of the sign.

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I hiked back to the junction and followed the dirt road this time.  Below I spotted Sunset Ranch Stables and Hollyridge Trail.  Photo 2 – I followed the horse poop down Hollyridge Trail.  Photo 3 – I passed a turn-off to Sunset Ranch.  Photo 4 – Near the end of Hollyridge Trail is the turn-off that leads down to a parking area, but keep going to the very end for a nice view of the sign.

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View of the HOLLYWOOD Sign from the viewpoint at the end of Hollyridge Trail.

32   I backtracked back up to the sign and the turn-off to Cahunga and Burbank Peaks.  In this photo you can see the lone tree that marks Burbank Peak and Wonderview Trail which runs below it – first down and to the right, then zigging back to the left.

33     34   It was pretty windy at the top.  There were several crows flying above, climbing and diving and playing on the wind.  Photo 2 – Snowcapped Mount Baldy in the distance

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Wind blows across the reservoir.

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As I descended Wonderview Trail, one last photo of Mount Lee, Griffith Observatory and Downtown LA.  Merry Christmas.

 

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