This is one of the hikes in the Easy (as opposed to “strenuous”) Hike Series for reasonably fit beginners and low intermediates. These hikes are intended to meet the demand of folks who are not training to climb Mt. Everest or compete in an Ironman event but still want to get some good exercise. The pace is moderate and never “zippy” (really and not just probably), length of 3 – 4 miles, elevation gain of 800 ft. maximum on 0% – 15% inclines and always staying on the main trail, i.e., we don’t do any “trail blazing” or “bush whacking.” The venue of these hikes is the lower trails that run through the hills behind the L.A. Zoo, Travel Town, Beacon Hill and the golf course areas near the ranger station in Crystal Springs.
The hike this morning will be a 4-mile loop between the zoo and Travel Town. From the starting point in the northeast corner of the zoo parking lot, it runs the entire length of the Skyline Trail to Travel Town where it, then, connects to the horse trail running along Griffith Park Drive back to the zoo parking lot. The hike begins with a climb up a moderate 10% grade from 480′ to about 680′ over less than half a mile. Then, the climb continues at a grade of about 5% for another half mile to 720′. At this point, the trail gently undulates for another half mile and eventually climbs to its crest at 880′. Along this portion of the trail, we’ll have nice views of Glendale, Burbank, I-5 and the distant San Gabriel mountains. We continue along the Skyline Trail as it winds around and gently descends back down to ground level near the entrance to Travel Town. Here, we pick up the horse trail that runs “dead flat” along Griffith Park Drive all the way back to our starting point. This entire loop should take less than two hours to complete at our usual nice easy pace.
For those who would like to join in, after the hike, we’ll head over to the “Huell Howser certified” Tallyrand diner in nearby Burbank to enjoy a nice “apres hike” meal of a hot turkey sandwich (Huell’s personal favorite) or one of the other yummy – and fun – Tallyrand specialties.
Meet up point will be at the extreme northwest corner of the zoo parking lot. Parking in the lot is usually ample and always free of charge. There will be a grace period of 10 minutes for late arrivals – the group leaves at 11:10 AM sharp.
What to bring and/or wear:
1. Water (1 liter is good)
2. Good pair of hiking shoes or sturdy (as opposed to thin-skinned) cross-trainers
3. Sun protection, e.g., sun block, hat, bandana, etc.
4. Light jacket or wind breaker
5. Some kind of signaling device like a whistle, pocket mirror, cell phone, in case of an emergency.
WAIVER OF LIABILITY: Hiking and all other outdoor events and activities are rewarding and pleasant, but, involve certain dangers of which you should be aware. These include, but are not limited to, tripping and falling injuries, drowning, poison oak exposure, insect stings and snake bites. By signing up for any event or activity in this Meetup group, you assume the risks of the event or activity and agree to release L.A. Hiking Group and its event hosts, organizers and leaders from any claims for any injuries or other losses that you may sustain while participating in any of the events and activities. Please consult with your health-care professional to make sure you are able to participate in any of these events and activities without causing harm to yourself or others. The willingness of the group host and leader to include you in an event or activity should not be interpreted as a favorable assessment on her or his part of your emotional and physical capability to participate in them. Please know your limits and sign up for an event or activity only if you are able to keep up with the pace and level of it. Concerning hikes in particular, stay on the trail and with the group at all times and do not leave the group without notifying the event host/leader.