Griffith Park has over 53 miles of trails from which to choose, and our favorite short hike is the trek to Amir’s Garden. The tranquil hilltop garden oasis provides respite on hot summer days and is gorgeous and welcoming any day of the year.
Founded in 1971 and maintained for over three decades by Amir Dialameh, the hilltop originally was a barren and charred piece of land. Dialameh worked the land for years with permission from the City, removing over 200 burnt tree stumps, building a retaining wall with discarded fencing from the Old Zoo and turning five acres into a lush, green paradise.
After passing away unexpectedly in 2003, Amir’s Garden was maintained by a cadre of volunteers until just recently. Now, the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks cares for the garden and administers activities held there.
With 275 feet of elevation gain in a 1.1 mile loop, the short trail to Amir’s Garden is steep enough to get a little cardio workout, and short enough to fit into busy schedules. While many hikers opt for the up-and-back trek along the fire road, following the loop includes a set of steep stairs, which are particularly great for getting the heart pumping and quads burning going up the trail.
To reach the trailhead, park near the Mineral Wells Picnic Area near the Wilson & Harding Golf Course driving range. Options are to head straight up the packed dirt fire road to the garden or to head a bit south along the Mineral Wells Trail to access the garden via the stairs.
Incredible views, plentiful flowers and shade and drinking water welcome hikers, horses and dogs at the top.
Amir’s Garden is filled with meandering paths and short, steep stairs, and dotted with benches and picnic tables. It’s a great spot for exploration and peaceful contemplation.
A quick drive from Burbank, Amir’s Garden hike is an awesome way to Get Out of Town!
Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.