What’s better than hiking to a prime vista of Los Angeles? Why, pairing it with a seasonal craft brew, of course. The hike: a quick, meandering 2.5-mile (round-trip) trail up the less frequented east hills of Griffith Park to panoramic Glendale Peak (pictured). But it’s not just about the peak. This hike is a mix of marked and unmarked paths, blending the décor of downtown’s skyscrapers with a famous natural high-rise, Mount Hollywood. Starting from the park’s north tennis courts, connect onto unmarked Aberdeen trail before dipping into its namesake canyon, covered in Toyon holly berry (for which “Hollywood” is named). Take a left on Bridle Trail, keeping an eye out for Cooper’s Hawks, identified by their bright red bellies. Merge with Henry’s Trail, named in tribute to local Glendale writer and Sierra Club leader Henry Shamma. The trail sign is adorned with flowers and points the way to the peak. Standing at 1,625-feet, views sweep across San Fernando Valley and to the Pacific. Return the way you came and head for your reward at nearby—and new—Golden Road Brewing in Atwater (5410 W. San Fernando Road). Owned by Meg Gill, the youngest woman in the country to run a brewery, the tasting room is currently offering a hearty, seasonal, Festivus Cinnamon Bitter along with their Point The Way IPA and Golden Road Heffeweizen. This year Golden Road will release their 16-ounce canned brews, based on the philosophy that metal cans keep out light and increase consistency. Cheers to that!
Take U.S. 101, exit at Vermont Ave. and drive north for 2 miles. Continue on Vermont Ave. (following the Griffith Park signs) towards Vermont Canyon Rd. Continue less than a mile and turn right onto Commonwealth Canyon Rd. (follow sign marking both golf and tennis courts). Drive .2-mile to the entrance of the tennis courts. Turn left, and find free parking in the lot. Begin on the trail leading north between the tennis courts. Walk .25-mile to a dead end at the unmarked Aberdeen Trail. Turn right up the wide dirt path. Just before the junction with paved Vista del Valle Dr., turn left up marked Bridle Trail at the green shed. Follow .25-mile to Henry’s Trail, just before the wooden bridge. Stay along the single-track winding sharply upwards and ending at Glendale Peak. Return the way you came. The brewpub is open daily, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Both the park and brewpub are dog-friendly!