Journey to the Center of the City
This hike is turning into one of our classics. On this 6+ 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. We’ll check out an undocumented “secret trail” that will make our regular 5.5 mile hike a 6-6.5 mile hike, with more elevation gain too!
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.
Elevation gain is easy to moderate with a a slightly strenuous side trip at the beginning. If you can make the first mile you can finish the hike.
Directions – Parking is Free
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. 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 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 parking lot next to large grass lawn.
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