Rock climbing in Griffith Park?

Believe it or not, there is rock climbing of a sort in Griffith Park. We aren't talking 4th or 5th class, but there are two tiny stretches where you could enjoy 3rd class moves, and one longer stretch of high 2nd to mid-3rd class. That latter is on the way to Bee Rock, an outcrop on the east side of the park.

Locate the Old Zoo and look up, and you'll see a rocky outcropping with a fence around the top. Said fence almost completely surrounds the "peak", but a doggy door has been cut into one side for those who ascend from that direction. While it's a bit difficult to describe how to find the access trail, you're going to want to get on the wide fire road and look for an overgrown path that heads up a gully. Follow that up until you come to a depression that looks like it might be a dead end. However, the trail continues to the left, and after a bit you're walking on occasionally crumbly rock, and you may even need to use your hands depending on which route you take.

I first went up this way at night with a group from the Sierra Club. A few months after that I tried to find the trail and at the dead end mentioned above I went cross country to the right, which turned out to be the wrong way.

Then, just recently (6/24/05), I tried again and realized the trail continued to the left. When I got near the top I had a bit of trouble finding how to get to the top. There was a narrow chimney which I would have had a bit of trouble fitting through and because there was no one else around I was also a bit worried about the rock caving in on me. Then, I considered a mantle, but that looked a bit difficult. It's something I would have tried if there had been someone else there, but I decided doing it alone wasn't wise. After an entertaining bit of a bouldering traverse, I spotted what looked like an overgrown trail further to the north. That turned out to be the easy way, and I was soon crawling under the fence and on top. Not exactly a major achievement, but fun nonetheless.


United States
34° 7' 48" N, 118° 17' 60" W
May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm