LOS ANGELES – Griffith Park is L.A.’s largest city park with over 70 miles of hiking, equestrian, and cycling trails. Casey Schreiner is the founder of Modern Hiker and he has spent years exploring the sprawling urban getaway.
What You Need To Know
- Park has over 70 miles of hiking, equestrian and cycling trails
- Five times the size of New York’s Central Park
- The park covers 4,310 acres of land
- The park was donated by philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith in 1896
“One of the things that makes Griffith Park so special is it’s got so many different amenities for people,” said Schreiner.
Originally from Connecticut, Schreiner didn’t grow-up the outdoors type, but shortly after moving to L.A. in 2003, he wanted to explore the Santa Monica Mountains and was drawn to Griffith Park’s 4,200 acres full of wild habitats and native plants.
“This is a Southern Bush Monkey flower, which is one of my favorite California native plants and right now the sort of late spring, early summer, this is really their time to shine,” said Schreiner. “You’ll see them exploding with yellows.”
Hiking became such an obsession for Schreiner, he started Modern Hiker to blog about his experiences. It has since grown to become a resource full of trail guides and travel tips covering the West Coast.
“We're sitting in Amir's Garden, which is just one of several of the gardens that are inside Griffith Park,” said Schreiner while resting on a bench. “They’re all over the park and as you can see it feels like we're in a totally different spot. Amir’s is one of the best. It's got lots of shade, there’s some water here, there’s picnic tables. It’s just a great place to really relax and refresh, especially when the city's got you down.”
Entering the second phase of California’s Reopening Plan, hiking trails, parks, and botanic gardens are now back open to the public, which has given many Angelenos some relief. Resident Georgina Barboza took advantage of loosening restrictions to go out into the park with her family.
“Well, we usually used to come here regularly. Usually health issues, diabetes runs in the family, so it’s good to get out. Anxiety, so it also helps with that so it’s really good to have the trails open. It’s a beautiful day too,” said Barboza.
But hiking is not an option for many Angelenos in a city where 40 percent of residents don’t live within a 10-minute walk to a city park. This is something that mostly impacts communities of color, like South L.A. and Koreatown.
Established in 1896 as a park for everyone, Griffith Park is now the subject of Schreiner’s new book, Discovering Griffith Park: A Local’s Guide. It's the first book to explore the history and amenities the park has to offer.
“Even folks who have lived in L.A. their entire lives don't really know what Griffith Park has to offer in completion so now is actually a great time to get outside and enjoy it before the weather gets too hot,” said Schreiner. “There’s 70 miles of trails for everyone to enjoy.”
Discovering Griffith Park: A Local's Guide is available online at Mountaineers Books.