Tree of Life Trail

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Trail Description
DISTANCE 2 Miles(ish) round trip
ELEVATION GAIN900 feet - It's freakin' steep!
PARKING The rich people have locked up the primo parking, but there is street parking very close
SPF 99. It's a sunny hike, but the tree at the top... shady
CHANCE OF INJURY Uphill - low. Downhill - high.
WEIRD SMELLS California Skunk and Super Nova Chronic.
TIME 90 minutes
FEATURES Exhaustion. Magic Tree. A box of poems. Kids with beer.
ANIMALS There is some kind of crap so there are some kind of animals
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS The West Coast Ted Nugent.
ANYTHING ELSE? Public restroom disguised as giant shrub at top of trail. Shirts optional.
Somehow, get your car on the 101 or the 134 and start driving towards Universal Studios. It’s east of the 405. If you’re on the 101, take the Barham exit north, or “up hill” as the locals call it. If you’re on the 134 take the Pass Avenue exit south, or “south” as the locals call it. Pass will dead end into Barham and a soft right turn will head you past Warner Bros. Studios and uphill.
At the top of the hill you’ll turn onto Lake Hollywood Drive. If you see any signs that say “Don’t go this way! No Hollywood Sign Parking! We Hate Visitors!” you know you’re on the right path. You should check our map. You will stay on Lake Hollywood Drive, but the web of hillside streets is tricky. When you get to the big overview of Lake Hollywood and see the multitude of “Go Away” signs on Wonder View Drive, you have arrived. Park.

From your car, you’ll have 100 yards of Wonder View Drive to walk up before you hit the trail head. If it seems really steep and difficult, turn around right now. It only gets worse… or better, depending upon how you look at it.
At the dusty plateau check out the view of Lake Hollywood. Nice, right? Now turn around and look at the steep hillside in front of you. Steep, right? But imagine the view from up there. And remember, when you have your heart attack, the medivac choppers can land up there real easily.
You could go to your left along the power lines because that seems like a nicer trail but be careful. It’s a trick! That route is 4 times longer and more difficult. The smaller trail to your right looks rocky and steep, but you’ll be happy to know - that it is. Luckily, all the way up, you can claim you’re stopping to enjoy the view of Lake Hollywood instead of resting because you’re so out of shape.
At the top is the mysterious Tree of Life. It is weirdly fantastic and completely worth the hike. You can write something in a journal in the ammo box at the base of the tree. Or, you can read other people’s blatherings.
You could continue down the back side of the hill toward Forest Lawn and Warner Bros. But that is longer, steeper, and more slippery. You’ll end up at the power company gate, but you’ll have slipped on your ass a number of times by then. Going back down the way you came is still tricky. You may still get an ass full of dirt, but it’s not terrible.
Choptachee Indian Legend has it that The Baby God – Heap Big Wah Wah Cry Baby – built this ridge in his sandbox and made the Hollywood Reservoir by peeing his pants.