Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,060.00 ft (323.09 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 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 East Side Loop is a 7 mile loop located in Griffith Park near Los Angeles, California. Trails in this park are a combination of single and double track dirt and are primarily used for running, hiking, and biking. The loop begins near the Merry-Go-Round on Griffith Park's east side and features views of both the city and the nearby Verdugo and San Gabriel mountains. Additionally, this route takes you through the old Los Angeles Zoo, Amir's Garden, and the scenic Vista Viewpoint, which offers panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

At the beginning of this loop, you can find plenty of parking spots as well as access to water and restrooms. The east side is typically less crowded than the west, but both areas can get crowded on weekends.

This loop begins with a gentle incline and continues along the Mineral Wells Trail to the Old Los Angeles Zoo. Within one mile you will come to a picnic area and the old abandoned cages and enclosures that were left over from the Old Los Angeles Zoo that opened in 1912 and closed in 1966.

After leaving the zoo, you will continue your climb. At mile 3 you can enjoy a relaxing break at Amir's Garden, an ornamental garden run by volunteers that features picnic tables and a water fountain.  Continue to climb up the North Trail for another 2 miles, at this point you will reach the highest part of the loop. 

By mile 6 you will have reached the Vista Viewpoint. It is a popular spot for folks to sit and enjoy the incredible views in that area. Towards the southeast, it is possible to see downtown Los Angeles, and on a clear day, all the way to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Looking west, the Griffith Park Observatory and the Greek Theater can be seen. 

After the Vista Viewpoint, you only have one mile to go downhill on a double track dirt trail back to the start. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic Views. Garden. Historic Sites.

Cons

Can be crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

509.00 ft (155.14 m)

Highest point

1,267.00 ft (386.18 m)

Features

Family friendly
Potable water
Vault toilet
Wildlife
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Los Angeles Metro Area, California
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California
Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel Mountains

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