Franklin Canyon Park: A Complete Guide

6 mins read



Franklin Canyon Park is located between Beverly Hills and San Fernando Valley. Franklin canyon park is a 605-acre park is tucked into a canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains in Beverly Hills that includes an abundance of natural and artificial attractions, which include more than five miles of trails, a duck pond, picnic areas, a Coldwater canyon park, and a lake that spans three acres.

Franklin Canyon Park

The land has been a park since 1981 when the National Park Service bought it from the Doheny family; earlier than that, it was a cattle ranch for almost 50 years. The land is presently managed through the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

One of the park’s famous spots is Heavenly Pond, a duck pond teeming with avian activity. In addition to the ducks who stay in Franklin Canyon Park all year, many birds making their way north or south alongside the Pacific Flyway pause here.

The ducks and migratory birds spend time alongside the close Franklin Canyon Reservoir. The reservoir sits withinside the center of a flat trail known as the Reservoir Loop, featured in “The Andy Griffith Show” among different tv and film appearances.

It is common to look at families with strollers and puppies ambling across the 1.4-mile loop. If you need a more extraordinarily challenging hike, test out Hastain Trail or Berman Trail, each pretty moderate hike in the park.

1. History Of Franklin Canyon Park

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo of Lionello DelPiccolo from Unsplash Copyright 2022

The park contains a history steeped withinside the forces that created the vibrant city of Los Angeles—oil and water. In 1914, William Mulholland and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) commenced the construction of a reservoir at the top of Franklin Canyon to distribute water newly brought from Owens Valley.

The family of oil baron Edward L. Doheny used the canyon as a summer retreat and an area to graze and water their cattle. The Doheny family built the Spanish-style home in decrease Franklin Canyon in 1935.

During 1970 the canyon became set for development while conservationist Sooky Goldman and Congressman Howard Berman endorsed the Department of Water and Power and the National Park Service to make Franklin Canyon a park. The National Park Service bought the Franklin Canyon Ranch in 1981 as a part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

That year, William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom—named for the Supreme Court justice and environmentalist whose eloquence on behalf of America’s wildlands will long be remembered—commenced the persevering service of supplying educational programs to the general public and nearby schools. Today, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority manages everyday park operations in Franklin Canyon.

2. Ranch Trail Franklin Canyon Park (Lower Canyon Park)

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo by cottonbro from Unsplash Copyright 2022

Ranch Trail, Franklin Canyon Park, starts from a small parking place at Franklin Canyon Drive and Lake Drive intersection and sets out east up a flight of wooden steps. Ascend a draw within the canyon’s side carved out through a seasonal stream.

This lush debut offers the hiking trails an exciting beginning; however, the vegetation will become less verdant as you continue up the canyon.

Bear left at a trail break only a few hundred feet from the start and headed north up the canyon. Pass through O.K. and scrub on a dust track that offers occasional perspectives throughout Franklin Canyon Park.

A third of a mile from the start, you may come to a junction. Continue immediately towards Franklin Canyon Park Lake. Another trail goes back to the left, descending back to Franklin Canyon Drive close to the trailhead.

This is an opportunity to Ranch Trail that may be taken to trim a 10th of a mile off the hike; however, it requires walking on a paved road. Proceeding up Ranch Trail, it is less than a 10th of a mile to the end of the trail, wherein you may meet Franklin Canyon Drive at an intersection simply below the reservoir.

3. Chaparral Trail Franklin Canyon Park

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo by Daria Ponomareva from Unsplash Copyright 2022

Chaparral Trail, Franklin Canyon Park, turns right at the junction within the picnic place below the redwoods and strolls up a short flight of stairs to Franklin Canyon Drive. Turn right at the pavement and stroll up the canyon.

You will pass a big concrete holding tank and a park maintenance shop on the right. Walkthrough an intersection with the street across the north side of the lake

Past the intersection, bear right into a prominent dirt parking place outdoor, the Sooky Goldman Nature Center. Proceed throughout the lot to a gated dust trail on the alternative aspect.

Take Chaparral Trail immediately up the ridge, gaining approximately two hundred feet in 0.15 miles. The trail shrinks to a faint track and bends to the right throughout a field. Continue towards the more obvious track ascending a ridge at the northeast side of the canyon.

On the way up, you’ll cross the Berman Trail and pass a fake summit with a bench looking back over Franklin Canyon. At the pinnacle, Chaparral Trail curves to the right and ascends to the back of the fire station.

Turn left on the top of the trail and stroll out to the landing on the pinnacle of the ridgeline. Here you’ll get a great view back over Franklin Canyon, where the blue water of the reservoir may be visible amidst the surrounding trees.

4. Hastain Trail Franklin Canyon Park

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo by Rachel Claire from Unsplash Copyright 2022

Hastain Drive/Hastain Trail, Franklin Canyon Park, combine to offer the usual hardpack with a few loose rocks and sandy sections. There are plenty of hikers and dog walkers, so take a look at your speed downhill. Great perspectives of the city, a few wooded areas, or even a pond and nature center may be found.

When having access to through bike from the basin, get to Lake Drive, ride north for a hundred twenty-five yards, and move right up Hastain Drive until you reach the top. It’s approximately 2.3 miles round trip, slight to strenuous.

Rising gradually on a fire street through a chaparral-covered slope, you may arrive at an overlook providing perspectives of the lower canyon, west Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean on a clear day. The trail drops right down to a short but fun single-track trail to the garden on the Ranch Area after the old Doheny house. There are some steep sections and switchbacks, and since this phase is shared by hikers going up, please use caution.

If you maintain riding up the canyon on Franklin Canyon Drive, you may link Upper Franklin Canyon Drive Trail on the left with the Oak Trail spur that connects to the Betty Dearing Trail.

From the hundred and one Freeway, if driving, take Coldwater Canyon Boulevard south to the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. There is no road signal for “Franklin Canyon.” Road signs read “Road Closed 800 Feet” and “Sunset to Sunrise”; that is the park entrance

5. Franklin Canyon Park Lake

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo by Photo Collections from Unsplash Copyright 2022

On the other aspect, Franklin Canyon Park Lake passes the intersection diagonally to a trailhead kiosk. Take a flight of stairs to the proper of the bulletin board and descend off the dam’s side to a dust path across the lake’s perimeter.

Follow the trail north alongside the east side of Franklin Canyon Park Lake, passing through the brush, reeds, and trees that encircle the reservoir. If the reservoir seems familiar, it might be because you noticed it in one of the films or tv shows filmed right here.

After a 10th of a mile, you’ll pass a picnic table that could make a pleasant snack spot. Continue alongside the lakeshore, keeping the road to your right. You will see many ducks alongside the water’s edge and perhaps even some turtles.

The trail passes through a reed-covered area on the north end of the lake, curves left, and is derived to a split. A lightly traveled path keeps down the west side of the lake; however, it stays to the right, ascending some hundred feet to a picnic location in a pocket of redwood bushes. That’s proper; a couple of redwood bushes have been planted to convey a few Northern California charm to Beverly Hills.

6. Sooky Goldman Nature Center

Franklin Canyon Park
Photo by Josh Sorenson from Unsplash Copyright 2022

Your first stop needs to be the Sooky Goldman Nature Center. Here, you’ll discover a specific trail map in addition to different beneficial printouts, which include a listing of current programs and events and protection tips.

There is a whiteboard where staff and visitors write down animal sights, a few which you can need to avoid. There have been numerous reports of rattlesnakes on the trail. There are also educational stations and shows for kids and adults alike.

Even if it’s your first time at Franklin Canyon Park, it can appear acquainted to you. It’s a famous place to shoot movies, tv shows, and commercials. Pick up the “movie map” on the Sooky Goldman Nature Center to match the places you spot on your hike with some of the locations you’ve seen on the screen.

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