Visit Calendar Griffith Observatory Visitor Access Improvement Projects
April 22, 2019
12:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory Visitor Access Improvement Projects

From April 22, 2019, to May 6, 2019, Griffith Observatory was closed for essential improvements.

Griffith Observatory is CLOSED from April 22, 2019, to May 6, 2019, for essential improvements

Griffith Observatory and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks are undertaking four major projects in and around the Observatory to make it easier, safer, and more satisfying to visit. These projects involve construction at the building and on the roads. This work has been underway since late February. From April 22 to May 6, the work requires the Observatory to be CLOSED. During these two weeks, there will be no public activities at Griffith Observatory. The work will also affect vehicle and pedestrian access to the Observatory hilltop and in the adjacent part of Griffith Park. We strongly suggest visiting the area after May 6.

Vehicle Access During The Closure

For two weeks (April 22 to May 6), there will be NO vehicle access (including bicycles and scooters) to the following roads (see map below):

  • Griffith Observatory parking lot
  • East Observatory Road
  • West Observatory Road
  • Vermont Canyon Road north of the Greek Theatre
  • Western Canyon Road north of Fern Dell (bicycle access permitted on this road to Mt. Hollywood Dr.)

DASH Observatory daily bus service will end at the Greek Theatre stop and will NOT come up to the Observatory.

No public vehicles, including shared rides and tour buses, will be allowed past the Greek Theatre, and are advised strongly not to come to the area between April 22 and May 6.

Pedestrian Access During The Closure

For safety reasons, there will be limits on pedestrian access to the Observatory hilltop area – including views of the Hollywood Sign and access to exterior restrooms and water fountains – and along the access roads several times throughout the two-week closure period. On selected days, ALL pedestrian access to the Observatory hilltop must be prohibited, including access from trails that end on the Observatory grounds or parking lot. Park Rangers will post signs along trails to alert hikers.

As of now, pedestrian access to the Observatory grounds, roads, and parking lot will be prohibited all day and night on:

  • Tuesday, April 23
  • Wednesday, April 24
  • Thursday, April 25
  • Monday, April 29

More days may need to be added as the final construction planning proceeds.

On the days listed above, all sidewalks and walkways along East Observatory Road, West Observatory Road, and Vermont Canyon (above the Greek Theatre grass lot) will be closed. In addition, there will be NO access to Observatory property from the following trails:

  • East and West Observatory Trails and Boy Scout Trail, Access will be closed north of the trail confluence
  • Charlie Turner Trail, Access will be closed below the Berlin Forest. Hikers may access the Charlie Turner Trail from the Greek Theatre area via the Bird Sanctuary Trail or from Fern Dell via the West Trail
  • West Trail, Hikers will not be able to come up the West Observatory Road sidewalk. However, the trail crossing across West Observatory Road will be open much of the time.

Please see the Griffith Park trail map for more information.

Advice For Visitors During The Closure

Check this page for a day-to-day assessment of pedestrian access BEFORE coming to the area. Please be aware there may be daily changes and updates as work progresses (especially if there are delays due to rain).

Do not visit the area on April 23, April 24, April 25, or April 29, when all pedestrian access to the hilltop will be prohibited. Additional days may have to be added if there are work delays.

While the Observatory is closed, the closest parking will be near the Greek Theatre. However, on Greek Theatre show days (currently April 27, May 2, and May 3), no parking is available after 1:00 p.m. We suggest you avoid visiting the area on these days after 1:00 p.m.

The only access up to the building from the Greek Theatre area will be walking uphill nearly a mile. The last stop for the DASH Observatory bus will be near the Greek Theatre; the bus will not come to the Observatory.

All road closures also apply to bicycles except for Western Canyon, where bicycles will be permitted to access Mt. Hollywood Drive. Bicycles and scooters are not permitted on Griffith Park sidewalks, walkways, or trails at any time.

The normally scheduled All Space Considered program on Friday, May 3, at the Observatory, is canceled.

Description of Improvement Work

Below is a quick summary of the improvement projects.

  1. Lighting improvements, including 51 new light poles (matching the design and form of existing poles) and new LED fixtures on all light poles (all lighting facing down) along both roads leading up to the Observatory, at the intersections, along Vermont Canyon Road, and in the Observatory’s hilltop parking area. These changes will improve illumination for pedestrian and vehicle safety and reduce light pollution and energy usage.
  2. New sidewalk construction on East Observatory Road will connect the existing Vermont Canyon sidewalk to the Observatory grounds. This will create a safe, continuous pathway for pedestrians from the Greek Theatre parking area up to the Observatory. It will also improve drainage along the roads.
  3. Reconfiguration of the Observatory hilltop parking lot for easier access and parking and reduction of traffic congestion.
  4. Improvements to the Observatory’s air conditioning systems to ensure reliable, sustainable public operation. The air conditioning system not only cools and circulates air for visitors but also enables theater, exhibit, and building systems to function.

Schedule of Work

The work will take place at the following times:

  • February 25 – April 21 (Phase 1), East Observatory Road sidewalk and street light installation. East Observatory Road will be completely closed for at least five weeks. There will be a pedestrian pathway along the west side of the road. Vehicle access to the hilltop will be via temporary two-way traffic on West Observatory Road. The Observatory will operate normally. You can see a map showing the impact on the roads here.
  • April 22 – May 6 (Phase 2), West Observatory Road street light installation and Observatory air conditioning improvements. The Observatory must be CLOSED during this time because the main inbound vehicle access road (West Observatory Road) must be closed to vehicles and because the air conditioning system must be shut down to make the needed repairs. There will be NO vehicle access to the hilltop. On selected days, pedestrian access to the hilltop and trails may also be limited for safety reasons. The DASH Observatory bus will make its last stop at the Greek Theatre (not at the Observatory) during this period.
  • May 6 – May 17 (Phase 3), Hilltop parking reconfiguration and lighting installation. The public parking lot will be closed, but the Observatory will operate normally. All other parking will be available.

We recognize taking the Observatory out of public service is a hardship for visitors, especially those coming from out of the area. We truly regret the inconvenience, but we know the Observatory will be a safer and easier place to visit once this work is done. It is critical to have it completed before the busy summer. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support.