We are sad to report the death of P-32, the mountain lion that crossed the 101 Freeway earlier this year. He was struck and killed by a motorist as he attempted to cross Interstate 5 near Castaic Lake in the early morning hours of Monday, August 10. P-32 and his sister P-33 made headlines in April when both cats made separate crossings of the 101. Big cats in the Santa Monica Mountains are hemmed in by highways and it makes it difficult for the animals to breed within a healthy gene pool. Because he was a juvenile, it is believed that P-32 was pushing further north to find a mate away from larger, more aggressive males. He had managed to cross not only the 101, but the 23, the 118 and the 126 highways before meeting his fate on the 5 in the Los Padres Mountains. The only other male puma to make it successfully out of the Santa Monica Mountains is P-22 who currently resides in Griffith Park after traversing both the 405 and 101 highways. P-22, however, is not considered a successful transfer by a Santa Monica puma as he is also hemmed in by highways with no female to mate with. For more information on this story, check out this article from KPCC's Sanden Totten.
Take a hike, Los Angeles, by the light of the silvery moon
The Greater Metropolitan Los Angeles Area offers a multitude of exciting opportunities to experience nature up close and personal, but for a different perspective on the great outdoors try a nighttime hike in one of our many parks. Even the most familiar of paths can become a whole new adventure as owls screech, bats flit overhead and coyotes yip and howl in the distance. And that ominous sound crunching through the underbrush toward you? The fearsome Los Angeles sabre-toothed mouse! Darkness has a way of heightening your auditory senses, amplifying the most innocuous of sounds into rampaging beasts. But that's part of the fun of hitting a trail at night; you experience the same world in a completely different light, or lack thereof. Being Los Angeles, of course, it's not completely dark. In fact, most of the hikes end with fantastic glittering views of the city's lights stretching from the mountains to the sea. Depending on which event you attend, you may even get a pot luck dinner.
Nighttime hikes happen throughout the month, but the most popular are the full moon hikes. These provide some of the most spectacular nightscapes as the moon rises above the San Gabriel Mountains or climbs a canyon ridge on one side while the towers of downtown LA gleam brightly on the other. This month the moon is full on May 4th, but hikes will take place for several days preceding and following this celestial event across the city. Presented below is a selected list of full moon hiking experiences from around the area.
April 30 - Great Outdoors Griffith Park LA Full Moon Hike
The Great Outdoors, Southern California's larges gay and lesbian recreational organization kicks things off with a short hike to Mt. Hollywood from the Observatory in Griffith Park. At only 3-miles roundtrip on fairly level fireroad, this is one of the shortest and easiest of the full moon hikes. The hike departs from the Griffith Park Observatory parking lot at the Mt. Hollywood Trail sign. Click here for more information.
May 1 - Sierra Club Griffith Park Full Moon Hike and Pot Luck Dinner
Griffith Park is one of the most popular spots to view the rising moon and the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club leads a hike from the park's carousel to the top of Mt. Hollywood with gorgeous panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Park Observatory. Participants should meet at 6:45 in the Upper Merry-Go-Round parking lot for a 7:00 PM departure. The hike will take about 2.5 hours. You should bring, water, flashlight and a snack to share if you wish to participate in the pot luck dinner. Click here for more information
May 4 - Stough Canyon Full Moon Hike
Stough Canyon Nature Center in Burbank offers a combination sunset and full moon trek in the Verdugo Mountains. As the sun sets in the west, the moon rises above Verdugo Peak in the east on this insanely short 3/4 of a mile hike. Views extend across the valley to the Santa Monica Mountains. The nature center often sets up a telescope for viewing the moon and stars close up. Hikers depart from the parking area at 7 PM. For more information, click here.
May 4 - Franklin Canyon Full Moon Hike
Taking place on the night of the actual full moon, this moderate 4-mile roundtrip hike is centrally located in the mountains between Beverly Hills to the south and Studio City to the north. The views are not as wide as panoramic as in Griffith Park, but the park is much more secluded and far less crowded for a more intimate hiking experience. The group leaves from the Franklin Canyon Ranch parking area at 7 PM. Click here for more information.
The City of Los Angeles recently opened a section of Mount Hollywood Drive that has been closed to traffic since 1991for a feasibility study on relieving traffic congestion around the Griffith Observatory. Part of the reason for the increase in traffic is due in part by the city trying to relieve traffic congestion (and soothe angry neighbors) in the Beachwood Canyon area. With Los Angeles seeing an uptick in tourism, out-of-towners have flooded the canyon to snap pictures of the fabled Hollywood Sign. City planners means of handling the situation was to simply redirect traffic to the eastern side of Griffith Park and anger homeowners in the Vermont Avenue Ferndell Avenue areas. Vermont Avenue already sees it fair share of traffic with access to both the observatory and the Greek Theatre. Shifting additional traffic there seems little more than a poke in the eye to the neighborhood residents. As a result, the city decided to turn 1.1 miles of the formerly closed Mount Hollywood Drive into a temporary parking lot. This has the double result of inviting more cars to enter the park through Vermont and Ferndell Avenues while reducing the 'wilderness' area of the nation's largest urban wilderness park. While the city is calling this a temporary decision and a feasibility study, outdoor enthusiasts are already rallying to prevent the situation from becoming permanent. A petition is already circulating on change.org asking for a ban on cars and trams on Mount Hollywood Drive. You can find the petition here. Sandi Hemmerlein has also written an informative article on the situation for KCET as shown below.
Puma 22 was captured recently after backcountry remote cameras snapped photos of the big cat that appeared to show the animal was suffering from the skin disease mange. Wildlife biologists confirmed P-22 had contracted the disease and his blood showed traces of toxins linked to rat poison. The cat appeared somewhat scraggly and was reportedly 10 pounds lighter than his last capture. While the effects of mange on mountain lions is not widely known, local bobcat populations that contract the disease can see their survival rate drop from 75% to around 30%. The biologists gave P-22 a large dose of selacmectin, a topical parasiteacide used to kill mites, fleas and ticks on domestic pets. The large cat was also given injections of Vitamin K to help combat the effects of the rat poison toxins. Though researches are concerned about P-22, his nocturnal behavior still seems to be normal and active. The cat has traveled throughout the park, ranging from Glendale Peak in the east to Cahuenga Peak in the west, preferring the hilly areas to the flatlands. His roaming has taken him out of the park as well. P-22 was recently caught on security cameras on Hollyridge Drive in the Hollywood Hills. View footage here.
As proof of their wariness of humans, biologists point to Griffith Park’s resident cougar, P-22, short for Puma 22. P-22, a young male mountain lion, entered the park in February of 2012 and has been living quietly on the north slopes above the Forest Lawn Cemetery and the Travel Town train museum. While he has been photographed on National Park Service remote cameras, and more recently by National Geographic photographer Steve Winter, P-22 has remained elusive to the thousands of park visitors who tramp daily over his territory. What makes his story so intriguing is not just that a mountain lion has taken up residence in an urban park within eyesight of Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, but that he made it there to begin with. DNA testing have shown that P-22 comes from the stock of cats residing in the Santa Monica Mountains and had to cross both the 405 and 101 highways to reach Griffith Park.
While there seems to be little risk to humans, authorities urge park visitors and local residents to take precautions to prevent antagonizing the cats or making them feel threatened. The California Department of Fish and Game has prepared a list of safety tips (see side bar) to help mitigate attracting a mountain lion’s attention and what to do should one encounter a mountain lion in the wild, even if the wild comes to your backyard.
For more information on P-22 in Griffith Park, read this article from the Los Angeles Times:
Scientists Track Cougar's Wild Nightlife Above Hollywood
I was hiking in Eaton Canyon when I first had the idea of creating Hike-LosAngeles.com. It seemed like a simple idea at the time: take a hike and then write a little about it. Oh, if only it had stayed that simple, but by the time I returned home, that simple idea had become a bit more complex. I began looking at other hiking sites and deciding what I did and didn’t like about them. Most gave the basic essentials about the hikes, but many were assembled in a random, almost haphazard way. The hikes were listed either alphabetically or in the order the hiker completed them. Some of the larger, more ‘institutional’ sites were a bit sterile without any of the heart that makes a hike special. Others were a bit too personal with my favorite being a hiker’s blog where the hiker found the sky so overwhelming he had to sit down on the trail and cry. The description of his tears landing in the dust at his feet was a bit much and I can only imagine what his fellow hikers must have thought as they passed him weeping in the chaparral.
After reviewing a number of such sites I decided I would build the web destination that I would want to go to, one that would excite me about the trail and prepare me for whatever challenges I may encounter. I also wanted to be able to find specific trails quickly and easily. So my first goal was to organize the site in a way locate different types of hikes depending on mood and inclination. As such, you will find the hikes are broken down by destination and specialty. Under Destinations, the hikes are grouped geographically, which makes it easy to find a hike near your location. Currently, our destinations include Griffith Park, the Verdugo Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. Upcoming destinations will include the Santa Monica Mountains, the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Susana Mountains.
If you are not particular about where you go, but rather what you want to see, our Specialty Hikes include Waterfalls, Sunrise/Sunset and Historic Hikes. As more hikes are added I expect to add a Challenging category for those who want a more aggressive workout with their hike. All of the hikes on Hike-LosAngeles.com can be found on the map at the bottom of our home page. Click on the map icons to get a brief description of the hike.
Once your have found a hike your interested in, navigate to that hike’s page for trail statistics (length, elevation and time estimates), a video highlight tour and a map and trail guide. Again, clicking on the map icons will bring up a brief description of trail junctions or interesting features as they correspond with the trail guide. The map and trail guide can also be downloaded and printed for your use on the trail. Directions to the trailhead and parking are included with every hike, as well as locations of nearby restrooms and water fountains. We’ve also included pictures of the hike’s scenic views as well as photos of major trail junctions so you know what to look for out on the trail.
When searching for a hike, you will find that by clicking on Destinations instead of one of the drop down menus, you will be taken to a page giving you information on the Los Angeles area. Likewise, clicking on Griffith Park, rather than a specific hike in the park, will bring you to an informational page on the history of the park. The same holds true for the Verdugo Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains or any other destination on the site.
Another good place for information is our resources page. Here you will find local merchants who specialize in hiking gear, hiking groups and links to local, state and federal parks. Initially, we are offering guides on 14 hikes on the eastern side of the metropolitan region, but we hope to add at least two new hikes a month beginning with some western walks in the Santa Monica Mountains. And this blog will keep you up to date on interesting articles and facts about hiking in Los Angeles. So there is plenty of exploring you can do right here on the website before heading out into the wilderness. But once you do, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your own outdoor adventures or maybe even recommend a hike to add to our growing collection. So take a hike, Los Angeles, and become part of the scenery.
Hike Los Angeles
Dedicated to discovering the wilderness beyond the pool area.