Geared Up for Griffith

Griffith Park’s 4,310 tree-covered acres is a popular open space, with miles of roads closed to cars but…

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Griffith Park’s 4,310 tree-covered acres is a popular open space, with miles of roads closed to cars but open to bikers. Combine a cardio workout followed by a refreshing cool-down on a 7-mile (round-trip) bike-ride. Starting at the tennis courts on pine-scented Commonwealth Canyon Drive, head east, passing the Roosevelt Golf Course on your right. Hang a left onto the gated, unmarked, Vista del Valle Drive. The road twists and turns up the hill and through a grove of lemon-scented eucalyptus trees. Get city-centric views of I-5 snaking through East LA before looping to the valley side for glimpses of Glendale, Burbank, and the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s likely that your only companions for this part of the ride will be Cooper’s hawks wafting on the warm air currents and the occasional coyote. After 4 miles, the road joins Mount Hollywood Drive. Point your wheels left and let the wind fan your face on the smooth descent. Make a soft right past the car gate to head up the short hill to the famed observatory, where you can refuel with a refreshment on the outdoor patio at The Café at the End of the Universe. Powered-up and back on the saddle, continue on Vermont Canyon Road for one more mile of downhill delight. Just after the Greek Theatre, turn left on Commonwealth to reach the finish line. The wind’s got your back.

Take Vermont Canyon Rd. north into Griffith Park. Just after the park entrance, make a right onto Commonwealth Canyon Dr., then left into the parking lot for the tennis courts. Here is a map. Free parking. The Café at the End of the Universe is open Tuesday–Friday from 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday from 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Closed Mondays. While all the roads in this route are paved, portions may be covered with sand and gravel.

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