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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."