Franklin Canyon is a quiet hike on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. There are a number of trails here, but for this post I'm focusing on the reservoir loop. This hike is fairly easy but offers beautiful views and scenery that will make you question whether or not you're really still in Los Angeles.
You will begin your hike at the intersection of Lake Drive and Franklin Canyon Drive. You will know you are in the right place when you see the old abandoned spanish home. This is where you should try to park (detailed directions are at the end of this post) - if there are no spaces available you can typically park just north or south on the road.
The trailhead begins just past the wooden fence along the edge of the tree-line. There is a small wooden bridge that will lead you across a creek bed and up some rocky stairs. This part of the trail is so lush and green magical that, like I said before, makes it hard to believe the busy city is just down the hill from there.
After you make your way up the stairs you will find yourself at a trail intersection - make a hard left and follow the trail north. You should be able to make out Franklin Canyon Drive down below. This trail will lead you to the Upper Reservoir - it's a fairly level hike with a good amount of coverage from the sun here and there. It offers some great views of the hills and lush landscape throughout the canyon as well.
Around 1/4 mile in you might notice another offshoot trail - ignore that and continue on your current route. This route will eventually spit you back out to Franklin Canyon Drive. Cross the intersection here and you will have made it to the Upper Reservoir!
Just past the chain link fence you will notice a wooden stairway. Take the steps down to the trail that follows along the shore of the reservoir. It's pretty straight forward from here - the trail simply loops all the way around the water. If you happen to pack a picnic, you'll find a few nice shady spots to set up shop and relax while overlooking the peaceful scenery. We noticed a lot of ducks, lizards and even a turtle! The lush atmosphere here calls for a lot of wonderful wildlife.
As you follow the path to the north side of the reservoir you will have to cross over some large "boulders" (cement) and continue on to the west side of the reservoir. Head south and make your way down the path. Eventually you will find your way back to the paved road and another parking lot. From here you can follow the road back down to your car, or you can make a pit stop at the Heavenly Pond, a small duck pond just west of the reservoir.
I highly recommend the Franklin Reservoir trails to those of you who are looking for a quiet, more secluded hike compared to that of Runyon Canyon or Kenneth Hahn. Franklin Canyon is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle and is still just a stones throw from the city.
How To Get There: From the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills, head north on Beverly Drive. In about 1/2 mile, continue left in order to stay on Beverly Drive. A short drive later you'll reach an intersection at the entrance to Coldwater Canyon Park on your left. Take a left at this traffic light to continue on up Beverly Drive. In about another mile Beverly Drive will turn into a more residential street. After that mile, you'll come to an intersection with a stop sign. Take a right at the stop sign to make your way onto Franklin Canyon Drive (you'll eventually see a sign that reads Road Closed in 1600 feet). Follow Franklin Canyon Drive as it makes it's way up and into the park. After about another mile of meandering up the hill and then back down you'll come to an abandoned spanish style building. Take a right Lake Drive past the building where you will find a small parking area just to the east of the house. This is where you can park and your trail will begin. As mentioned above, if there is no parking, make your way either north or south and you will be sure to find a spot.
Address: 2600 Franklin Canyon Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210