Take a Hike: Surprising Animal Sightings at Griffith Park

Take a Hike

There is a magical hike that I love at Griffith Park.  

On this hike I have seen a variety of animals.  There are thousands of birds, including hummingbirds, woodpeckers, doves, ravens, kinglets, parakeets and more.  While taking this hike at sunset, I once saw a bobcat on the trail.  It was an electric moment, and the bobcat split just a few seconds after being noticed.  I have seen majestic hawks, coyotes and snakes on this trail.  

BUT... the most magical thing you can see at a certain elevation is...

ELEPHANTS!!!

Not exactly what you would expect to see on a hike in Los Angeles, but this special hike is a stone's throw from the LA Zoo's elephant habitat.

Seeing these beautiful creatures in action is always a treat, and this morning I happened to have my camera with me!

This is the view without much zoom.
 The elephant is near the center of the frame.

This is as close as the zoom could get!

   The hike is along the North Trail in Griffith Park toward Amir's Garden (one of my favorite spots in LA).  On the North Trail it is just about 1/2 a mile to Amir's Garden. I double the trail length by parking in the lot by the golf course and camp, and use the Mineral Wells Trail to make it a mile long path.  There exists a challenging staircase up the side of the hill along the Mineral Wells Trail that is a heart-pumping workout with great views (less wildlife tho).  It leads right up to the garden which has picnic tables, benches, and a water area for humans, dogs and horses.  Continue up the North Trail for a longer hike and even more breathtaking views of the city.  It's a great vantage point to see ravens and hawks hovering over the hills.

The top of Amir's Garden with the memorial sign.

Along the North Trail, just before you approach Amir's Garden you'll find the perfect spot to see the elephants.  It helps to have a camera with great zoom or binoculars to really see them moving around.  Their grey hue blends the elephants into their surroundings which can make them difficult to spot with the naked eye.

It is the most fantastic sight I've seen on a hike, and I've run into a bobcat, seen a mountain lion's fresh footprint in the mud and hiked to several waterfalls.  The elephant sighting gets me every time!

When I go on a hike to Amir's Garden, I like to bring a book with me to sit and reflect when I'm at the peak.  This time around I brought "You Are Wild," a book by Jessica Snow that is filled with awesome meditations to reflect on while outdoors. I read the "Mountain" meditation while in the midst of Amir's Garden and reflected on the message of standing tall and feeling your connection to the earth and the sky.  This gorgeous, locally-sourced book is available in the shop.  

Click the photo to see "You Are Wild"!

 

Until the next time,
NAT!

1 comment

  • I want to join you on this hike again soon!

    Aaron Jackson

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