Griffith Park


Griffith Park is home to the Griffith Observatory and Los Angeles Zoo and is a perfect van or RV nomad escape within the city. Within the park, you can enjoy the countless miles of hiking trails or even hike to the world-famous Hollywood sign.  The Observatory is the best vantage point in the park for observing the world-famous Hollywood Sign.  


Griffith Park is a great place to spend the day hiking the trails or exploring our universe at the Griffith Observatory.  Griffith Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park.

Along with the miles of hiking trails, the park has tennis courts, a golf course, a zoo, a merry-go-round, museums, trains, and landmarks like the Hollywood Sign and the Greek Theater. Each of these can provide you an entire day of adventure.

Map: Griffith Park Map

Griffith Observatory

The Observatory is a free-admission, public facility owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks in the middle of an urban metropolis of ten million people.

The Observatory is one of the most popular informal education facilities in the United States and the most-visited public observatory in the world (with 1.5 million visitors a year). Griffith Observatory is a unique hybrid of public observatory, planetarium, and exhibition space.

Los Angeles Zoo

The LA Zoo is located within the boundaries of Griffith Park. The zoo offers many animals and exhibits to see and is a wonderful place to spend the day.  


Most people who visit the park hike on the many miles of trail that it has to offer. With elevations ranging from 384’ to 1821’, the park’s trails offer various hiking experiences from easy to strenuous, all within a few minutes of just about anywhere in the Los Angeles basin or San Fernando Valley. 

There are miles of hiking trails in Griffith Park, but the most popular ones are:

  • Hollyridge Trail to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint (5.1 miles moderate)
  • Hollywood Sign Via Canyon Drive (6 miles Moderate)
  • Glendale Peak Trail (3.6 miles Moderate)

The majority of trails are on dirt fire roads, making hiking very family-friendly.  But for the adventurous, it’s easy to find single-track trails crisscrossing the mountains that will take you into the most remote areas of the park, simulating a wilderness experience you would more likely find well outside an urban area. 

Travel Town Transportation Museum

The Travel Town Transportation Museum is all about trains and is located on the park’s north side. The museum has several old steam trains on exhibit and few in the restoration process. There is ample parking and no entrance fee.  

Website: Travel Town Transportation Museum

Park Entrances

There are two main roads into Griffith Park, which are:

  • Vermont Street: Gate into Griffith Park is open for inbound and outbound vehicle traffic. Vehicles may park for free in and around the Greek Theatre.
  • Fern Dell / Western Canyon: Gate is CLOSED for inbound traffic and opens for outbound traffic. Vehicles may park for free in the large lot near the gate (until sunset) or pay to park on upper Western Canyon Road (pay-and-display).

References and Other Adventures


Will Rogers State Historic Park

Will Rogers Historic State Park is a fun place to spend the day for any van or RV nomad. The park features many hiking trails that lead into the Santa Monica Mountains and range from easy to hard. The park also has ample amenities to include restrooms, picnic tables, polo grounds, BBQs, a ranch house, a large lawn, and a visitor center.

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Franklin Canyon Park

Franklin Canyon Park is one of the hidden jewels of Los Angeles. The park is located less than 3-miles from the crowds and is an excellent place for any van or RV nomad to spend the day. The park has restrooms, an outdoor center, trails, a pond, and water. The road is leading into the park is narrow, so I advise against a large RV.

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