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Amid recent reopenings, what you can do around L.A. this week

Descanso Gardens
Roses are in bloom at Descanso Gardens, which plans to reopen Saturday.
(Descanso Gardens)

Yes, there’s a pandemic on, and we have rules to follow. But as authorities loosen the reins, every day seems to bring new chances to change things up. Among this weekend’s options: roses and poppies at Descanso Gardens, lift rides on Mt. Baldy, a drive-through meal at the Grove or an old-fashioned hike in Griffith Park.

Feel like you missed out on spring flowers? The Rose Garden at Descanso Gardens could be a cool place to take a pause from the pandemic. Roses are in full bloom right now in this garden that dates to the mid-1940s. Also, California poppies, Matilija poppies and other native flowers are up at the Oak Woodland area, which re-creates L.A.'s original landscape.

The gardens will reopen Saturday, limiting capacity to a third of the usual number of visitors. You must purchase a timed ticket in advance (adults cost $15, children 5 to 12 years old, $5); members may enter without a reservation. Visitors are asked to wear masks, practice social distancing and bring their own water because available fountains are limited. Info: descansogardens.org

Hikers, runners and cyclists will be able to hit the trails in the front range of the Angeles National Forest starting Saturday. The forest on Saturday will reopen popular routes, parking lots and picnic areas from Mt. Wilson above Pasadena to Mt. Baldy north of Claremont. Wide fire roads in these and other locations may be the best choice to enable social distancing on the trail.

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By the way, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health asks hikers to stay away from crowded trails and to wear face coverings at trailheads and on the trail when they come into contact with others.

Naturalist Gerry Hans, president of the Friends of Griffith Park, walks along Western Canyon Road in Griffith Park on April 20.
Naturalist Gerry Hans, president of the Friends of Griffith Park, walks along Western Canyon Road in Griffith Park on April 20.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Griffith Park offers more possibilities these days. Its trails reopened last weekend, more than 50 miles of them. And though that has lured in more people, almost all of the park’s resident institutions are still locked up tight, so there’s ample room within its 4,210 acres.

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Take a 2.5-mile loop hike from Fern Dell up to the (closed) Griffith Observatory for a sweeping view of the city. Or take the roughly 2.6-mile hike from the observatory to the top of Mount Hollywood, using a nice, wide dirt fire road. Wear a face covering and give everybody plenty of room, especially if you’re running. Spread out a picnic. Play some golf. Or frolic on the grassy flats. (But not in the L.A. Zoo, Travel Town, Autry Museum, at the pony rides or on a playground. They’re still closed.)


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