Archives For Griffith Observatory

In a wooded canyon with a small stream, the Griffith Park Bird Sanctuary and Trail offers views of many species of birds in their natural habitat along a winding path. It’s a relatively short hike, but one that offers great views and connects to a wider system of trails.

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The bird community represented most of the rich diversity found elsewhere in the Santa Monica Mountains before the fire. More than 200 species have been recorded here over the years, and around 150 occur every year. Now, the park and sanctuary are gradually being revitalized.

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Some of the more interesting residents of the community include Cinnamon Teal and Black-necked Stilt along the L.A. River, Hutton’s Vireo and Purple Finch in canyons, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow in arid chaparral and scrub. These birds depend on the wild areas of the park for their survival in the middle of the city.

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From March through June, nearly 70 species may nest, particularly in the many small canyons that drain off the slopes into the Los Angeles River. The park’s boundaries take in high, chaparral-covered ridges, shady picnic areas, and natural wetland habitat along the river.

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The Bird Sanctuary Trail opened back up after the 2007 Griffith Park fire left it unusable to the public. One of the losses in the park fire was the bird sanctuary.

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After thousands of volunteers–most notably the Pacific Asian Volunteer Association who adopted the project–the trail once again opened to the public. Of course, Griffith Park’s loudest cheerleader, Councilman Tom LaBonge, was there to tell everyone about it and take a hike with them. The short loop trail has some nicely shaded portions and crosses a small stream.

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Find the trailhead next to the actual Bird Sanctuary which is just north of the Greek Theatre on Vermont Canyon Road. The trail begins to the left of the sanctuary’s fence.

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Within less than a mile, it ends, but you’ll meet up with three other trails to choose from: the Charlie Turner Trail (left, takes you down to the Griffith Observatory), 3-Mail Trail (straight ahead, takes you Mount Hollywood) and the East Ridge (Hogback) Trail (right, takes you to Dante’s View and later, the Glendale Peak).

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If you want to make a loop out of the hike, there’s unofficially a trail heading down back to street level that takes you by a water tank. You can find it before the trail fork where there is a nice view of the Observatory. However, it can get pretty steep and has lots of loose gravel.

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WHAT: Griffith Park Bird Sanctuary And Trail
WHEN: Open daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHERE: Griffith Park | 2900 North Vermont Avenue | Los Angeles, CA 90027

CONTACT INFO: (323) 666-5046

SOCIAL MEDIA: Twitter | Yelp

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Some of the best things about living in Los Angeles are our varied terrain, landmarks, and fascinating history. A great way to see the city and get a hardy workout is to walk through Upper Beachwood Canyon to the Hollywoodland Historic Stairs. They include all six of the neighborhood’s 85-year-old stone staircases that boast some stunning views.

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Decades ago when cars were not the norm, the people of Beachwood Canyon would move between their homes and the city via long sets of staircases. This particular set of staircases tucked throughout the canyon has 965 steps!

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This is a vigorous hike through Hollywood history, utilizing some of the steepest and most charming staircases in the city, and affording breathtaking views from Downtown to the sea including the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, and the Lake Hollywood Reservoir.

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The workout begins at the original stone gates to the Hollywoodland real estate development, erected in 1923, at the intersection of Beachwood and Belden (to the West) and Woodshire (to the East). You can park on the streets for free.

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Hollywoodland historic photo

Keep your eyes open for all sorts of intriguing architecture such as castles and cottages.

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Remember to be cautious when using the stairs; although they are sturdy, they are also somewhat eroded at the edges, often covered in dead leaves and pine needles, narrow, and very steep. The roads are narrow and windy, so watch for cars. Follow the instructions below and look for this first staircase on Woodshire Drive to begin your historic hike.

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Instructions for the walk (as adapted from the book Walking L.A.):

  • Head West on Belden Drive, then turn right on Woodshire Drive and walk uphill.
  • Your first stairway is on the left before 2795 Woodshire; ascend 124 steps (between the blue pins).
  • You’re on Belden Drive now, go left.
  • At the fork in the road go to the right uphill on Flagmoor Place; when Flagmoor intersects with Durand Drive, continue uphill on Durand
  • Take Durand up past a big stone house at 2869. Once you pass the main entrance you’ll see a break in the road on the right, immediately next to the driveway of 2869. Take this dirt road. Now look to your left: Lake Hollywood sparkles blue in the distance. If you are looking for an extensive workout, take this dirt path and turn your walk into a hike. If not, turn around and double back down Durand, past the fork with Flagmoor.
  • The second stairway is past 2954 Durand; descend 117 steps (between the red pins).
  • Stay straight on Belden when you complete the stairs (cross Rodgerton; you basically head forward but a little left, the signs are a bit confusing depending on what angle you’re looking at them here).
  • Take Belden to 2950, where you’ll find the third stairway. This one is divided and the “planters” in the middle used to be a water feature; descend 138 steps (between the green pins). 
  • Cross Beachwood and turn right. Between 2800 and 2810 is the fourth stairway; ascend 144 steps (between the yellow pins). 
  • Turn left at the top onto Westshire and go downhill. The road merges with Beachwood; continue in the same direction, crossing Belden. 
  • The fifth stairway is between 3020 and 3030 Beachwood. This is the longest one, ascend 176 steps (between the purple pins).
  • At the top turn right onto Hollyridge Drive.
  • Continue on Hollyridge past the intersection with Pelham Place. On your right, immediately past 2831 Hollyridge, is the sixth and last stairway; descend 149 steps (between the pink pins). 
  • Turn left at the bottom. You’re on Westshire Drive and headed West back to your starting point where it (and Belden) intersect with Beachwood. 

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If you need a snack or some water there’s the Beachwood Market, or if you want to sit down and refuel, the Village Coffee Shop is also right there.

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Regardless of your fitness level, this is definitely a good cardio workout, and has inherent ways to modify it to suit your needs (harder or easier). You will definitely work your lower half, which gets a balanced workout thanks to taking hills and stairs both up and down during the walk, which consits of approximately 561 steps up and 404 steps down.

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Thanks to our climate, it’s generally a sweat-inducing activity because it is quite hot, although you will surely appreciate the moments of calm breezes as you travel the streets, and can often catch some shade.

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WHAT: The Hollywoodland Historic Stairs
WHEN: Sun up to sun down
WHERE: 
Upper Beachwood Canyon

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

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Sunset Ranch is a beautiful horse facility located just under the world-famous Hollywood sign. Established in 1929, the ranch has been offering day and evening rides and their spectacular Sunset Dinner Ride for over 50 years. Come up for the best view in Hollywood!

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Take a one or a two hour tour through the hills of Griffith Park. From this 5,000 acre park in the heart of Los Angeles you will see the famous HOLLYWOOD signGriffith Observatory, and Downtown Los Angeles. You can make a reservation or just go on up and they’ll take you out.

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Their ranch is available for group parties, special events, children’s birthday parties, location shoots, and romantic couple’s rides. One hour and two hour rides are available 365 days per year, rain or shine. Riders must be at the ranch and saddled up by 3 pm. Evening rides are by reservation only.

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Get away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and enjoy a piece of Old Hollywood at Sunset Ranch. Come on up for:

  • Dinner Rides – This romantic sunset dinner ride is a beautiful 4-plus hour ride that takes you on a round trip covering over five miles of trails through Griffith Park, stopping for dinner at the Viva Fresh Mexican restaurant in Burbank 

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  • BBQ Rides – A two hour ride up to the highest point in Griffith Park, Mount Hollywood, for breathtaking 360º views of Los Angeles which ends back at the ranch for a festive BBQ, which includes food, music, and fun!
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  • Lunch Rides – This is the same as their dinner ride but for lunch

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  • Riding Lessons – With over 20 years of experience and a commitment to your safety and enjoyment, they offer private lessons in general horsemanship, Western, and English riding, for the beginner to the advanced rider with an emphasis on trail riding

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  • Kid’s Parties – Birthday Party? Girl Scouts?  Boy Scouts? Set up a Kid’s Party and our seasoned guides will give the kids a 30 minute group lesson and a 1 hour ride

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Whether your a local or visiting Los Angeles, a horseback ride through the Hollywood hills is a fun and unique way to see the city. Visit Sunset Ranch to experience the adventure and charm Hollywood has to offer with a spectacular view.

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WHAT: Horseback Riding At Sunset Ranch 
WHEN:
Monday – Sunday | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 
WHERE: 
3400 North Beachwood Drive | Hollywood, CA 90068

DETAILS:

  • $40/1 hour ride per person or $60/2 hour ride per person
  • All minors (children under 18 years) must be accompanied by an adult
  • Children must be at least 8 years old to participate, they do not allow double riding
  • 240 lb. weight limit is strictly enforced
  • Walkins will be accomodated on a first come first served basis and are never guaranteed

CONTACT INFO: info@sunsetranchhollywood.com or (323) 469-5450

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

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All Space Considered

January 4, 2013 — 1 Comment

All Space Considered is a FREE public program held on the first Friday of every month in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater at the Griffith Observatory. Join the Observatory’s curatorial staff as they examine and explain the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science.

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Topics this month include:

  • Latest space and astronomy news

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  • Beautiful astronomical images

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  • January sky report

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The Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California’s most popular attractions. Home to great hiking trails and many movie shoots, the Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin. Read more here.

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WHAT: All Space Considered
WHEN: Friday, January 4, 2013 | 7:30 – 9:00 pm
WHERE: Griffith Observatory | 2800 East Observatory Road | Los Angeles, CA 90007

DETAILS:

  • Admission is FREE
  • Seating is first come, first served

CONTACT INFO: (213) 473-0800

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | Yelp

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

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The Griffith Observatory is an icon of Los Angeles, a national leader in public astronomy, a beloved civic gathering place, and one of southern California’s most popular attractions. Home to great hiking trails and many movie shoots, the Observatory is located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood. It is 1,134 feet above sea level and is visible from many parts of the Los Angeles basin.

Hall of the Eye

Inside the Observatory, this exhibit illustrates the nature and progress of human observation of the sky and the tools used for that exploration. This exhibit gallery focuses on how people have observed the sky and the often profound impact those observations have had on people and society. Each of the four The Hall of the Eye exhibit areas chart the key developments that have further evolved our ability to help our eyes see farther, fainter, and beyond. See other exhibits at the Observatory here.

Samuel Oschin Planetarium

With its spectacular Zeiss star projector, laser digital projection system, state-of-the-art aluminum dome, comfy seats, sound system, and theatrical lighting, the 285-seat Samuel Oschin Planetarium Theater is the finest planetarium in the world.

Theater Shows

  • Water Is Life – leads you on a search for water – and possibly life – beyond Earth

  • Time’s Up examines the fundamental nature of time through the prism of false claims regarding the end of the world in late 2012

For more show information click here.

Special Events

  • Triumph of the Dream film screening is a documentary that explores the human face of the Mars Exploration Rover mission that landed two rovers on Mars in 2004. After the film, join director Norman Seeff for a lively discussion. August 2 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Griffith Observatory holds this exciting, free program on the first Friday of every month in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater called All Space Considered. Join the Observatory’s staff as they examine and explain the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science. Seating is first come, first serve. August 3 at 7:30 p.m.

  • NASA Curiosity rover lands on Mars and staff will present NASA’s live coverage of the event, provide commentary on the mission, and answer questions in a free program. The Observatory will be open for this event until midnight. August 5 at 9:00 p.m.

  • Free public star parties are held monthly with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers. They are a chance for the whole family to look at the sun, moon, visible planets, and other objects, to try out a variety of telescopes, and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment. August 25 from 2 – 9:45 p.m. For more event information click here.

Zeiss Telescope

The Griffith Observatory is one of the premier public observatories in the world. One of the principal reasons is the presence and regular availability of high-quality public telescopes. Griffith wanted the public to have the opportunity to look through a telescope, which he felt might broaden human perspective. Mounted in the copper-clad domes on either end of the building, the Zeiss and solar telescopes are free to the public every day and night the sky is clear.

Free Public Telescopes

Free public telescopes are available each evening the Observatory is open and skies are clear. Knowledgeable telescope demonstrators are available to guide visitors in observing. Please be aware that the demonstrators must cut off the line for each telescope to enable all viewing to be completed by 9:45 p.m.

Stellar Emporium Gift Shop

The Observatory’s brand new gift and book shop offers a cosmic array of Observatory insignia items, as well as astronomy and space-themed books, gifts, clothing, toys, and other items. Operated by museum expert Event Network, the gift shop is located on the new lower level. You may also shop at the Observatory’s online store.

Cafe at the End of the Universe

Whether you are looking for a cool drink, a full meal, or a delicious dessert, the Observatory’s new cafe is conveniently available to serve you. Operated by world-famous Wolfgang Puck, the cafe is located on the new lower level.

The mission of Griffith Observatory is inspiring everyone to observe, ponder, and understand the sky. Enjoy your visit!

WHAT: The Griffith Observatory
WHERE: 2800 East Observatory Road | Los Angeles, CA 90027
WHEN: Tuesday – Friday | 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm | Saturday – Sunday | 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | Closed Mondays

CONTACT INFO: (213) 473-0800

DETAILS:

  • Admission to the Observatory building and grounds is free
  • Parking is available in the parking lot or on the adjacent roads

Dear reader,

I appreciate your support and feedback. Please respond to this article now by leaving a comment and/or “liking” it. For exciting, up to date events in Los Angeles, subscribe to this blog via email. You can also share this article with friends and family and visit my FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest pages.

Thank you for visiting!

Mr. Events.

Mr. Events.