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Journey to the Center of the City – Franklin Canyon

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Journey to the Center of the City – Franklin Canyon

This HDW original is a classic. On this 6-7 mile hike I will take you through Franklin Canyon and then a bit off-trail to the “planar” center of Los Angeles. It will make a great photo opp. There will be about 1200 ft of  total ascent.

Franklin Canyon Park is one of the very few places in LA with a greenbelt filled with pines, sycamore, eucalyptus and cedars, most notably the Atlas Cedar and mature Coast Redwoods that are a rare site in most big cities.

Highlights along the way to the center of the city:

Franklin Canyon Lake: the location where we see Opie skipping a rock in the water during the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show and Capt. Kirk falling in love with an Indian maiden on Star Trek.


The Doheny House: The family of oil baron Edward L. Doheny used the canyon as a summer retreat and a place to graze and water their cattle. The Doheny family built a Spanish style home here in 1935.

Heavenly Pond: is a small duck pond located to the west of the Franklin Canyon Lake

Bring snacks and a quart of water.

Here are some scenes from some popular TV shows and movies filmed at Franklin Canyon. Do you recognize any?


For you music lovers, here are a couple of albums covers photographed in Franklin Canyon:


Directions – Parking is Free

See also

From West Los Angeles:

Head north on Beverly Drive following signs to Coldwater Canyon. Turn left on Coldwater/Beverly Drive, and turn left again on Beverly Drive, at Fire Station No. 2. The third right is Franklin Canyon Drive. Continue through the residential area to park entrance. At the intersection of Franklin Canyon Drive and Lake Drive turn right onto Lake and head toward the end of Lake Dr to parking lot next to large grass lawn.

(If you are coming down Sunset from east of Beverly Dr its probably easier to take Rexford to Beverly)

From the San Fernando Valley:

Take the 101 to Coldwater Canyon Boulevard. Head south to the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. Make a 90 degree right turn onto Franklin Canyon Drive just before Coldwater merges into Mulholland Dr.  Road signs read “Road Closed 800 Feet” “Sunset to Sunrise”; this is the park entrance. Do NOT make a U-turn as this will bring you onto Mulholland Drive instead of Franklin Canyon. Stay on paved surface, drive past the Outdoor Classroom/Nature Center, and continue south of the lake for 1.5 miles, bearing left onto Lake Dr at stop sign, and head toward the end of Lake Dr to large parking lot next to large grass lawn

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You will drive 0.6 mi past the sign for “Franklin Canyon Ranch” then 0.3 mile past the point marked 2300 Lake Dr  to the large parking lot on the left

Here is an aerial view of parking lot and trail head. Note the bathrooms in middle-right. We’ll be starting on the trail you see cutting across the grass

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August 03 2019


Date: August 3, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Hiking Group:


Franklin Canyon Park – Ranch

1936 Lake Dr
Beverly Hills, CA,CA90210

+ Google Map



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Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

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