California Love

Just because of school starting and me also trying to find a new job, I decided to reflect on some of my past trips that I have taken because I don’t want to do any heavy exploring while I am getting situated with college life (lol don’t worry it’s just community college) and because it’s also like really freaking cold outside here. Like the low today is 3. THREE. I AM FROM SOUTH TEXAS. I AM STRUGGLING. So, let’s take it back to the days of warmer weather in the lovely state of California. Like many, I am absolutely in love with this place, and I will, one day, live there. So this is going to be another hiking day post (Sorry, if you’re not a hiker). The Griffith Observatory. Man oh man it is so beautiful, make-you-want-to-tear-up kinda beautiful. I am going to include some pictures below. (The main picture of my blog is also an image I captured from this gorgeous building). So, the drive itself up to the observatory is pretty nuts and with Los Angeles being such a touristy spot already it is nearly impossible to find parking up there but they do offer the ability to park in the G lot and either walk up to the top or take the tram up. It is going to busy regardless of what time of the day you go. I went at 1 in the afternoon and it was pretty and if you go at 6 in the evening it’s still going to be pretty. If you take an Uber there and the road is blocked off, let the guards know that you are an Uber and you just plan on dropping this person off and they will let you go through. If you want to try and risk the chance to look for a parking spot up there, you can tell the guards you have a back problem (example:me) and then should let you go to the top- be warned- parking is just as bad there as it is in the city and you will be driving in circles quite a bit. I think it was like $3-$5/hr. for the parking lot, but free in the G lot if you took the tram. Once you get the whole parking situation figured out, you are free to go inside the observatory which is free of charge. It will be packed always always always so if you hate crowds 10/10 do not recommend. It is such an awesome place to explore and makes for such great pictures and if you are by yourself there are plenty of people there willing to take a picture of you with your phone because they are probably asking you to do the same thing for them. I spent quite a bit of time there and grabbed some waters at the little store/restaurant at the bottom and set off on my hike to the Hollywood sign. I am pumped, I am ready to go, and I am also not sure where the heck to start. I asked one of the guards and he looked annoyed and told me to walk to the end of the parking lot and look for the white gate. I did, and it took me to the Charlie Turner Trailhead and so I went on my way. This is supposed to be roughly a 6 mile hike roundtrip, lemme tell you how I turned it into a 9 mile hike instead. Firstly the signs are super confusing and only take you to reference points on the trail and never tell you actually how far you are from the sign. There are plenty of people to ask for directions, buuuuuuuut they are, let’s say, not always the most reliable or speak English very well. Ha. Anyways, when in doubt follow the most populated trail and all of the horse poop. For anyone doing this hike by themselves I recommend having the Nike + Run Club app to be able to see where you are in reference to what trail you need to be on – saved my life. If you left the observatory around 2-4 you are going to have the most bad ass lighting with the Hollywood sign, and once again, don’t worry there are plenty of people there that are willing to take your picture for all of you solo travelers. The way back is where I realized my mistake, there was ANOTHER white gate at the bottom of the hill that would have make the hike half paved the entire time and was truly the “6 mile” one. I just took the detour. In my defense, I am glad I went the way I did because the view was so much better on the way up and went right past the Dante’s Peak, which is like a tropical garden in the middle of this desert-terrain trail, and also the paved way back would have been a straight shot up so the incline would have been not so lovely as it was on the way down. Depending on the kind of picture you are looking for you can either go to in front of the sign or behind the sign. They are both about equal distance when the trail splits, but the shot from behind is a much steeper climb. I decided I wanted one in front because the lighting would have been perfect, and man it was. Not an ankle breaking climb either, so tennis shoes would do just fine. Also, when it starts to get darker, there are coyotes that just about scared me to death all over. They are really chill and don’t really seem interested in people just because it is a touristy hike. So they probably won’t eat you. Maybe. I don’t know I’m not a native, so they might. Then, reward yourself with some quality In-N-Out. It beats Whataburger any day.