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Break from the bustle of L.A. with a hike in Elyria Canyon Park

Tucked away in an off-the-map spot between the communities of Cypress Park and Mount Washington, the quiet, 35-acre Elyria Canyon Park is a nice break from big-city noise.

From the Wollam Street entrance, south of Division Street, begin on a dirt path and enjoy the sumac and bay laurel trees at Elyria Canyon Park in Los Angeles.
From the Wollam Street entrance, south of Division Street, begin on a dirt path and enjoy the sumac and bay laurel trees at Elyria Canyon Park in Los Angeles. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

1. Begin walking from the end of Wollam Street, south of Division Street. Leave the paved road for a dirt path through close-growing sumac and bay laurel trees.

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Turn right at the first T-intersection and follow a shady hillside pathway featuring views of Glendale, Burbank, and Griffith Park and its observatory.
Turn right at the first T-intersection and follow a shady hillside pathway featuring views of Glendale, Burbank, and Griffith Park and its observatory. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

2. Turn right at the first T-intersection, and climb along a shady hillside. The views gradually improve of Glendale, Burbank, and Griffith Park and its observatory. Stay right as the trail continues down a series of zigzag switchbacks.

As you encounter the flat grassy bowl, you will find a bench and water fountain.
As you encounter the flat grassy bowl, you will find a bench and water fountain. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

3. In this flat, grassy bowl, you'll find a bench and an unexpected drinking fountain. Walk a bit farther to find an equally unexpected farmhouse. Although longtime residents say deer used to roam here, you are more likely to see coyotes and scrub jays.

Once you reach the top of the slope, you will find a welcome bench.
Once you reach the top of the slope, you will find a welcome bench. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

4. Coming back from the farm house, leave the grassy bowl and go up the narrow trail on the right. Climb up a steep slope,and turn right at the crossing, to land at a welcome bench with good views.

5. For a cool side trip, head uphill from the bench, walk the length of Elyria Drive until it meets San Rafael Avenue, then cross the street to visit the grounds of the Self-Realization Fellowship — open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

From the bench, stay right as the trail continues down a series of zigzag switchbacks. This trail will meet the one you came in on.
From the bench, stay right as the trail continues down a series of zigzag switchbacks. This trail will meet the one you came in on. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

6. From the bench, head downhill to the right. This trail will shortly meet the one you came in on. Turn right and walk downhill, and then turn left at the next intersection to find the trail back down the canyon to the end of Wollam Street.

The stats

Distance: 1.3 miles

Difficulty: 4, on a scale of 1 to 5

Duration: 45 minutes

Details: Dogs on a leash are OK. Free parking. Metro bus lines 28, 90, 91, 94.

Fleming is the author of "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles" and "Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland."

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