Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
2,214.00 ft (674.83 m)
Trail type
11.60 mi (18.67 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The GP: Commonwealth to Observatory Loop is an 11-mile journey through Griffith Park, located in Los Angeles, CA. Starting from Commonwealth Avenue, where street parking is available, this route begins with an ascent on Vista del Valle Drive. It offers a gradual incline and features a mix of terrain, including road and side trail options along the road for a varied hiking experience.

Upon reaching 5 Points, hikers encounter the first of several water fountains—a convenient spot for refilling water bottles. The route then heads east onto Fern Canyon Trail, winding through the lush Fern Canyon. Next, the trail leads to the Old Zoo Trail, where hikers can catch glimpses of abandoned zoo structures, offering a unique and thought-provoking sight.

Rejoining Vista del Valle Drive, the trail ascends toward Mount Hollywood, the loop's highest point. This challenging segment rewards hikers with breathtaking 360-degree views of Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, and, on clear days, the distant ocean.

The descent into the Berlin Forest offers cooler temperatures and shaded paths, contrasting the open vistas atop Mount Hollywood. This peaceful, forested area guides hikers toward the Griffith Observatory, an iconic landmark that combines science with stunning city views. It serves as an ideal spot for a mid-hike break, equipped with water fountains and restrooms.

From the Observatory, the route follows the Boy Scout Trail, then merges onto the Riverside Trail, which offers softer terrain and shaded paths—perfect for the hike's latter portion. The Vista Viewpoint along this trail provides another chance for panoramic city views.

The loop concludes as the Track Trail leads back to Five Points, from which hikers retrace their steps to Commonwealth Avenue. This final stretch features gentle declines and a mix of shaded and open sections, offering a reflective end to the Griffith Park adventure.

Throughout the loop, hikers enjoy a diverse array of flora and fauna, historical sites, and urban vistas. It's essential to carry ample water, though refill stations are conveniently located at key points. Staying on marked paths is important to protect the park's natural habitat. With its blend of natural beauty, urban skyline, and cultural landmarks, this loop offers a rich experience in the heart of Los Angeles.


LA Parks and Recreation


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Panoramic views. Griffith Park Observatory. Mount Hollywood


Can get crowded on weekends.

Trailhead Elevation

708.00 ft (215.80 m)

Highest point

1,620.00 ft (493.78 m)


Historically significant
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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