Taco Peak Tea Time
Taco Peak Hike in Griffith Park Los Angeles
There’s a cool new tea shop in town, and it’s turning a new leaf! It all started in June of 2015 when a group of artists used reclaimed wood from a former Griffith Park wildfire to build a beautiful teahouse within steps of the park’s seldom-visited Taco Peak. The teahouse is gone (and has since been popping up across Los Angeles, most recently at Knoll Hill in San Pedro), but a bench remains. Hike to it via Mount Hollywood Trail, beginning from the Observatory parking lot (you can also park on the side of West Observatory Road leading up to the lot). Start at the lot-adjacent trailhead, marked by George Harrison and Charlie Turner plaques, and hike through the Berlin Forest to begin your 4-mile (round-trip) journey. After about a mile, there’s a three-way junction. Don’t take the center one; it’s a slippery slope to the peak of Mount Hollywood. Instead, take a detour to the right for a short walk to Dante’s View, a wonderful garden overlooking the city.
Head back to the junction and continue west, passing a row of palm trees marking Captain’s Roost, another garden. In half a mile, take a short, sharp right detour to the 1,625-foot summit of Mount Hollywood for a 360-degree vista that includes the Griffith Observatory and surrounding megalopolis. Continue on the fire road until reaching a rough, unmarked (but easy-to-follow) trail that veers left and follows a water pipe up to the former tea house, where a bench awaits. Be sure to check out Taco Peak by returning to the fire road and continuing a short distance before going up a steep, narrow use-trail to your left that leads to this rarely visited summit. It’s marked by a mysterious octagon-shaped piece of concrete and fantastic views of the Verdugos, the San Gabriels, and a distinctive side view of the Hollywood Sign. One, two, tea—tacotastic!
TIP: To find out the next pop-up location for the teahouse, follow @gparkteahouse on Twitter.
To get to the Observatory parking lot and Mount Hollywood trailhead, from I-5, exit Los Feliz Blvd. west. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto Fern Dell Dr., which becomes Western Canyon Rd. after nearly half a mile. Turn right onto West Observatory Rd. and park on the street or continue half a mile to the lot. The trailhead will be at the northern end of the Observatory parking lot. Dog-Friendly!
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