Get Out Of Town!: Fern Dell Nature Trail In Griffith Park

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The shady paths of Fern Dell Nature Trail are beautiful year-round. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Fern Dell Nature Trail in Griffith Park has been the backdrop for many movies and a shady respite from the summer heat over the years. In winter, it remains a green oasis full of charm in the midst of a great city.

The short Fern Dell Trail is just half a mile out and back, with minor elevation change of 65 feet. So it only takes about 15 minutes to traverse. The path is hard packed dirt with a gentle slope and a few steps so it is accessible for most.

From the path, hikers can link up with longer trails, with much greater elevation gain in Griffith Park, ultimately reaching Griffith Observatory, Mount Hollywood Summit or the Hollywood Sign.

Typical view from Fern Dell Nature Trail. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Also known as Ferndell, the trail features a small running stream that is active year-round, rustic infrastructure, and a mature collection of trees and plants that line the path and stream. Yes, there are many varieties of ferns that abound in the dell.

The site was originally a village and a meeting spot for councils of the native Tongva/Gabrielino people who had named the small canyon Mokawee’nga. It was also known as Mocahuenga in Spanish.

The City of Los Angeles planted much of the greenery in 1914, just after Griffith Park had been established. The Civilian Conservation Corps built trails, retaining walls and bridges in the 1930s. There is quite an amount of history and allure for the little canyon over the past one hundred years.

Entrance to Fern Dell is off of Los Feliz Boulevard, just east of Western. From Los Feliz, turn north onto Fern Dell Drive and drive up a short distance to find parking. Public restrooms are available.

For Burbankers, Fern Dell Nature Trail is just a hop, skip and a jump over the Hollywood Hills – or rather, a drive around those hills. Fern Dell is always a great 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.