Hiking Mt. Chapel is remarkably similar to hiking Mt. Bell, most likely because the two mountains are quite close to each other (less than 3/4 mi peak to peak), nearly the same elevation (Mt. Chapel: 1,622 ft / Mt. Bell: 1,582 ft) and just about the same distance from the trailhead (1.8 mi). You could fairly easily climb both peaks in the same outing, adding only an hour or so to the total time for the hike. The really nice thing about these two peaks is that since they're a bit off the beaten path, you will likely be able to enjoy a bit of solitude - especially if hiking mid-week.
Continue on Mt. Hollywood Dr. past 'The Knolls' described in the hike Mt. Hollywood Knolls for about 1 1/4 miles to the intersection of the Mulholland Trail. During this stretch, the road heads northeast and climbs gradually, but steadily over that distance rising about 200 ft to an elevation of 1,350 ft. Off to the left, fantastic views over Brush Canyon can be had, along with views of Mt. Lee (home of the Hollywood Sign), and Mt. Chapel to the east of it. There are a couple of picnic tables about mid-way up that have a good view of Mt. Lee and make a great spot for a short break.
Continue past Mulholland Trail for 1/6 of a mile to the first bend in the road. On the outside of this curve, you will find a dirt road breaking off to the left and leading up towards Mt. Chapel (just across from a dirt road on the right heading up to Mt. Bell). Head up the dirt road, which wraps around to the north side of Mt. Chapel and provides views over Forest Lawn Cemetery, Burbank, and the San Fernando Valley. After a 1/3 of a mile ascent, the road ends alongside a green water tower. There is a footpath behind the tower that makes a steep and rocky climb to the 1,622-foot summit of Mt. Chapel. Though the remaining climb is steep, it's not quite as steep as the final ascent to Mt. Bell and the footing is secure.
The summit of Mt. Chapel offers a splendid 360-degree panorama of the heart of Griffith Park. The view west is dominated by the radio tower-covered summit of Mt. Lee. Just to the right of it is Cahuenga Peak, the highest point in Griffith Park at 1,820 feet. To the north lie Burbank, North Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley. To the east is (left-to-right) Mt. Bell, Baby Bell and Mt. Hollywood. To the south, beyond the rugged parkland, lies the massive Los Angeles Basin. On a clear day you can see all the way to the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island.
You can either retrace your steps back to the start of the trailhead or head across Mt. Hollywood Dr. and up to Mt. Bell if you're feeling adventurous.
|Elevation Range:||1,035 ft - 1,622 ft|
|Net Elevation Gain:||587 ft|
|Total Elevation Gain:||625 ft|
|Trailhead Coordinates:||34.123855, -118.302410|
|Description:||The 5th highest peak in Griffith Park requires about an hour to reach the summit and has great views of Brush Canyon, Mt. Lee and Mt. Hollywood.|