Griffith Park

Griffith Park Turns 125 With a Free ‘Parkwide' Celebration

Our iconic, hill-rambling, nature-rich, observatory-awesome green space marks its quasquicentennial with a day of learning, hiking, and fresh air.

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What to Know

  • Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Over 30 organizations will be on hand around the park, including LA Conservancy
  • Free and self-guided

Speculative fiction, the sort of genre where world-building can grow especially fantastic, sometimes explores the notion of cities within cities, or universes hidden with universes, or whole other realms that exist just a short jaunt from where we live.

It's not speculative to consider this idea, not when we live in a megalopolis that is home to one of the planet's great green (or green and golden) expanses, an urban park that rambles up hills and through dells for over 4,300 acres, an incredible amount of spectacular space for a park that's fully enclosed by a city.

Griffith Park is that place, a meaning-filled daily destination for generations of Angelenos seeking fresh air, moments of uplift, tree-shaded rambles, cultural knowledge, hilltop views, some astronomical enlightenment at Griffith Observatory, and animal sightings, both at Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and pretty much anywhere else.

To mark the park's quasquicentennial, the Los Angeles Conservancy and over 30 regional organizations and groups, including the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, will set up pop-up outposts on Saturday, Nov. 13, all to give wanderers, explorers, and park-loving people some historical, cultural, and natural perspectives on this epic space.

The self-guided happening is free to join, but do register at the LA Conservancy site, if you plan to attend.

Even if you think you know the park, or at least the slivers of the space that you regularly roam, there's much to learn about this land, and everything that's happened and continues to happen on it.

The conservancy asks fans to ponder these questions ahead of the fresh-air'd festivity: "Have you ever been to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park or the newly planted native micro-forest? Have you ever hiked to Amir's Garden and wondered who it was named for, or who built the Griffith Observatory?"

"Did you know that the Merry-Go-Round inspired the creation of Disney Land, or that a Tongva village once flourished where Fern Dell is?"

Casey Schriener, the author of "Discovering Griffith Park," will lead a hike and then appear later in the day at The Autry Museum of the American West, while the Sierra Club will call upon Amir's Garden.

From mountain lions to merry-go-rounds, from live music to movie locations, from vast vistas to the smallest spring flowers and tiniest critters, Griffith Park is a study in thrilling contrasts, memorable sights, and lasting experiences.

Wish this oak-filled, hill-high icon a happy 125th anniversary, while also deepening your knowledge of the notable, and notably important, gem.

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