Hikes: Bronson Canyon

This isn't really a hike as much as it is a stroll. And there really isn't much scenery here, aside from an impressive view of the Hollywood Sign. The main attraction here is the Bronson Caves.

Bronson Cave entrance

Bronson Canyon is a section of Griffith Park that has become known as a filming location for a large number of movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers over the years.

The Union Rock Company founded a quarry in 1903 for the excavation of crushed rock used in the construction of city streets. The quarry ceased operation in the late 1920s, leaving the caves behind. The caves became known as the Bronson Caves, named after a nearby street. They have since been used as a setting in countless movies and TV series. The most well known appearance of the tunnel entrance is likely as the entrance to the Batcave in the Batman television series of the 1960s. They were also seen in Bonanza, Fantasy Island, Little House on the Prairie, The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke and the Wild Wild West. The caves have also appeared in numerous feature films such as Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, The Monkees - Head and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

From Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, head north on Canyon Drive through the gates into Griffith Park, until the road ends for vehicular traffic. There is a parking lot on the left for "Camp Hollywoodland". On the right (east) side of the road is a small concrete bridge painted red. Cross the bridge, walk around the vehicle barrier, and follow the trail for about 1/4 mile up to Bronson Canyon. When the trail forks, head left. The Bat Cave lies about 20 yards beyond the fork.

Hollywood Sign from Bronson Caves

You enter the cave on the Bat Cave side. The cave is only about 50 feet long, more like a small tunnel actually - you can see straight through it. As you walk through the cave it splits into 3 exit caves on the back side, two big exits and one small one. As you exit to the rear of the cave, you'll enter a canyon-like area. This is where some of the 'Star Trek' films were shot, including 'Undiscovered Country'. Continuing to the left, the canyon opens up to reveal a striking view of the Hollywood Sign.

You can continue around the exterior of the caves to return to the cave entrance. From here you can retrace your steps back to your starting point.

Notable Film Appearances

Notable TV Appearances

Details - Bronson Canyon
Distance: 0.6 mi
Duration: 1 hr
Elevation Range: 633 ft - 693 ft
Net Elevation Gain: 60 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 70 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.124454, -118.314246
Description: This is really more of a stroll. There's an impressive view of the Hollywood Sign, but the main attraction here are the Bronson Caves.