Los Angeles is filled with hundreds of hikes, many which boast gorgeous city views. For Memorial Day, I decided to check out the Tree of Life Trail- Wisdom Tree Hike. This short hike just off of Barham near Universal City and Lake Hollywood not only has an amazing city view, but a 9.11 memorial at the top, and a landmark known as the Wisdom Tree. It's a beautiful way to spend an afternoon and get a good workout while you are at it.
Length: 3.1 miles out and back | Level: Moderate - Hard due to the uphill ascent all the way to the top Duration: 2-3 hours | Elevation: 872 | Dogs: Yes on leash
This is the money shot, yes--clear day in LA, with the lake and city in full view. Not to mention this flag which was quite fitting for Memorial Day! You'll climb a decent ascent to reach this but this sweeping view as a payoff makes it all worth it.
The Wisdom Tree Hike begins at the top of Lake Hollywood, just off of Wonder View Drive. You can get to it by following these coordinates HERE. Make sure to pay attention to all the parking signs- there are areas here where your car will get towed. Once you find a spot to park, start walking directly up the hill to find the trail head marker, and begin your ascent up to the top. As you climb, you can see your destination in the distance as both the flag and Wisdom Tree stand out nicely on the top of the hill.
Right off the bat you'll be handling some switchbacks, and the first few are quite strenuous. The good thing though is that this is a short hike if your goal is just to make it to the 9.11 memorial and the Wisdom Tree. Longer hikes can be extended to the top following the Cahuenga Peak trail where you can continue east toward the Hollywood Sign. All of the trails here are part of the Griffith Park network, so they circle around and connect at multiple different points. If you take a look at the map here, you can see this network and create your own path!
This hike is best done on a cool day, as it does get really hot and shade is non existent which makes the incline a little tougher in heat. Though the hike is a pretty strenuous ascent, the views are spectacular! If you can do this on a clear day after a rain, even better. Just short of a mile, you make it to the top where you will find the Wisdom Tree and the 9.11 Memorial. You will see many people meditating here and writing in the journals that are left under the tree inside an ammo box. This is a great place to have a quick picnic and hang out.
The best part about this hike, is getting the hard part done first. On the way down, you can enjoy yourself and stop for photos and getting the full panorama of LA. Lake Hollywood is so pretty after rain!
This is a perfect quick day hike for those local to Los Angeles and any level hiker looking for a workout with a great view of the city and landscape. Hope you enjoy your time at The Wisdom Tree!
Address to the trailhead: Wonder View Drive & Lake Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068
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