Hikes: Western Canyon Overlook

Western Canyon from 1st overlook

This is a pretty quick hike - the overlook can be reached in half an hour at a fairly moderate pace. To reach the trailhead, head up Fern Dell Dr., and continue past Red Oak Dr. for about 1/4 of a mile, where Fern Dell Dr. becomes Western Canyon Dr. There's a parking lot on the left. The trailhead starts at the north end of this parking lot at an elevation of about 695 ft.

Western Canyon from 2nd overlook

The trail heads steadily, but gradually up Western Canyon, climbing about 100 ft over a quarter of a mile, where it buttonhooks onto the West Trail. Continue up the hill for another quarter of a mile (and another 150 ft of elevation) where the trail bends around to the east and provides views to the south over Western Canyon. The trail finally bends around to the south for a short but steep climb to the overlook at an elevation of 1,020 ft.

Century City from Western Canyon overlook

A picnic table with good views over Western Canyon awaits you at the top. Century City lies to the southwest and Westwood is just beyond. On a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean. Griffith Observatory is in plain view to the southeast. The mountain behind you, directly to the north is Mt. Hollywood at 1,625 ft. If you're interested in checking out Griffith Observatory (well worth it), head up the path to the east which leads to E. Observatory Rd. The Observatory is less than half a mile away. It's open to the public and - it's free.

To return, you can take take the trail that heads straight south down the hill - but it's fairly steep - to reconnect with the West Trail. For a more mellow return route - simply retrace your steps, but at the buttonhook, stay to the left to head down the winding and slightly more scenic trail back to the parking lot.

Distance: 1.6 mi
Duration: 1 hr
Elevation Range: 695 ft - 1,020 ft
Net Elevation Gain: 325 ft
Total Elevation Gain: 350 ft
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.117670, -118.307130
Description: This is a pretty quick hike, with good views over Western Canyon. The overlook can be reached in half an hour at a fairly moderate pace.