Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike in Griffith Park rewards you with breathtaking, 360 degree views of sprawling Los Angeles City and more. Here’s a complete guide.
How To Get To Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike In Griffith Park
Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
Getting around Los Angeles couldn’t be easier. There are generally 4 options:
Aside from downtown LA, the majority of tourist spots are a little spread out in the Los Angeles area.
So hiring a car and exploring is certainly the most convenient way to get around!
We recommend booking one in advance, and fortunately car rentals are relatively cheap in Los Angeles. Plus all major car rental companies have offices at the airports.
We always go through rentalcars.com to compare prices before locking something in prior to our trip.
There is public street parking available in most places around Los Angeles, just be sure to have a card ready to pay for the hourly parking meters.
We parked at the Greek Theatre car park in Griffith Park for our Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike. This is free when there are no events on.
By Public Transport:
The Los Angeles Metro is affordable, relatively easy to use, and services most of Los Angeles County and its top attractions.
The public transit system consists of Metro Buses, DASH Buses, and Metro Rail Trains.
To ride these buses, trains, and subways, we recommend purchasing a reusable TAP Card. These are available at TAP machines located within most bus or subway stations. Or you can simply download one and add it to your Apple wallet!
You CAN pay cash when you board, but you’ll need the exact fare as bus operators don’t carry change.
Otherwise Uber is a super easy and very popular way of getting from one place to another quickly in Los Angeles!
By Hop On Hop Off Bus:
Standard buses are available around Los Angeles, if you can figure out the bus routes.
However, there is also of course the famous Los Angeles Sightseeing Hop-on-Hop-off Bus.
The bus lets you explore Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica Pier and Beaches. With options of a 24, 48 or 72 hour pass.
This is always popular among tourists, and a is great way to see many famous landmarks around the City of Angels at ease.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike In Griffith Park Entrance Fee
It is free to visit the Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike.
Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike In Griffith Park Opening Times
Griffith Park is open daily from 5.00am to 10.30pm
Best Time To Visit Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike + Tips
Stretching over 400 acres, Griffith Park is a large area. However, it has lots to offer and is a very popular area with tourists and locals alike.
Therefore, early in the morning may be the best time to visit if you want to avoid crowds. (It opens at 5am!)
However, I promise you it’s one of the best places in LA for sunset!
The parking at the Greek Theatre car park is free (when there aren’t any events).
Take a picnic or some snacks, as there are some great spots to sit and enjoy some food whilst also enjoying the beautiful views.
Don’t forget the sunscreen and water as it can get quite hot on the exposed parts of the hike.
Most importantly – don’t forget your camera – the vistas are unbelievable!
What To Pack
What To Expect At Tom LaBonge Panorama Hike In Griffith Park
There is no shortage of great hikes in Griffith Park, but definitely one of the best is the one up to the Tom LaBonge Panorama. (Formerly known as Mount Hollywood.)
We parked in the Greek Theatre car park, at the southern end of Griffith Park, and started our hike from there. You know you are heading in the right direction when you see the sign warning you about rattlesnakes!
From here we hiked up through the Bird Sanctuary and into the Hollywood Hills. As you climb the hills you start to see the sprawling city of Los Angeles spreading out below you.
You will also get great views of Griffith Park and many famous points of interest such as the Griffith’s Observatory and one of the Best Hollywood Sign Viewpoints.
On arriving at the Tom LaBonge Panorama, along with the breathtaking 360 degree views, you will find plenty of picnic benches to sit and relax before the hike back down.
I recommend taking a picnic like we did and timing it perfectly for sunset.
It was honestly one of the highlights of my time in LA this time around, and definitely one of the best things to do in Los Angeles!
This moderately challenging hike is worth every single step for the most amazing, far reaching views. You can even see the ocean on a clear day and sunsets are incredible!
About Tom LaBonge
Previously known as Mount Hollywood summit, Tom LaBonge summit was recently renamed in honour of long-time, Los Angeles city councillor, Tom LaBonge who died in January 2021.
LaBonge, who was known for his passionate support of Griffith Park and its hiking trail for many decades, was frequently seen hiking in the park.
During his time in office, he expanded the park by 500 acres and was involved in the famous Griffith Observatory’s restoration and expansion.
Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti said the following about Tom LaBonge:
“Tom held such genuine affection for everyone he met and served, and he loved the beauty, diversity, and dynamism of Los Angeles – and there’s no better way to remember, honour, and cherish him than to forever attach his name to his beloved Griffith Park, our crown jewel”.
Where To Stay In Los Angeles
Known as ‘The Pink Palace’, this luxury hotel on Sunset Boulevard features the full-service La Prairie Spa and a beautiful outdoor pool.
Downtown Beverly Hills is just 1 mile away.
The bright and elegant rooms of The Beverly Hills Hotel feature marble bathrooms and 2 TVs.
There is also a minibar, coffee maker and ironing facilities included.
The Polo Lounge at the hotel is a popular dining place for celebrities.
Mid-Budget – Clean Modern Room
Clean Modern Room features accommodation with a shared lounge, free WiFi and a shared kitchen.
The air-conditioned homestay also offers a flat-screen TV, a seating area, washing machine and a bathroom with a bath and a shower.
Beverly Hills is a great choice for travelers interested in food, shopping and restaurants.
Budget – Empire Inn
Empire Inn is located in Los Angeles, just 5 miles from the centre.
It provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and all rooms include a wardrobe and a flat-screen TV.
South Los Angeles is a great choice for travellers interested in tourist attractions, sunshineand beach walks.
For other places to stay in Los Angeles, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.