Last Sunday our family headed up to the valley for Grandma Shirl’s birthday. But before that, due to our early rising (when does the time change again?!), we made a quick stop off at Griffith Park for a short and shady stroll through Ferndell.
Of course, we’d just seen a TV show about Ferndell, which prompted us to schedule a time to visit sooner than later. Taking an extra hour on our trek to the valley this lovely Sunday morning (not to hot, not too cold, no rain either) seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out this corner of Griffith Park that we’d not yet visited with T. I hadn’t been before either, and while C had visited previously, it’d been about 30-something years since he’d last been himself.
While a hike through Ferndell might appear to be ideal on a hot summer day under the canopy of various tree and plant species (including about 50 types of ferns, thus the path’s namesake), definitely go early. Ferndell definitely is a shadier and cooler spot of the park than most others, but it’s still better to visit Griffith Park during either early-morning hours or on a non-summer day if you want to be out longer than an hour or so.
While the path is relatively easy for most and quite wide throughout (I believe it might even be ADA-accessible, as I don’t recall any steps and there are hand rails throughout the paths), starting from the entrance off Los Feliz does grade uphill slightly, so wear comfortable walking shoes and remember a snack and water if you plan on being here a while, especially if you have the kiddos with you.
Or, if you don’t want to carry a snack pack, the earlier you visit Ferndell in the morning, the better it is for grabbing yourselves a sweet treat and hot cup of coffee at The Trails Cafe at the end of the path (exit the enclosed section of Ferndell at the top of the hill to the left; turn right; cross the street; and you can’t miss it). The Trails Cafe is also open through lunch should you find yourselves out later in the day than we were.
Ferndell is a gorgeous, green, and glorious part of not just Griffith Park but of Los Angeles overall. It’s hard to find such natural greenery year-round in Southern California, but with it being fed by a natural spring, Ferndell stays green most of the year compared to other LA-area hiking destinations. Oh, and there are sticks and rocks for the kids, too. How could I forget that?!
Ferndell is at Los Feliz Blvd. and Fern Dell Drive. Turn into the Western entrance of Griffith Park at Fern Dell Drive and you will see the Ferndell entrance off to the left side. Park on the street (follow all signs). Hours are 6 a.m.-to-10 p.m. daily. The Trails Cafe is open Tuesday-through-Sunday 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. (open some Monday holidays, call for more information).