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Park just south of Griffith Park at the three-way intersection of Cadman Drive, Shannon Road and Griffith Park Boulevard. Walk north on Cadman, past some mansions built on the leafy hillside, and enter the woods. Keep walking and discover a path up a grassy hill overlooking the L.A. River and Interstate 5. Make your way up to a summit with water for humans and horses and picnic tables perfect for a breather or a bottle of wine. You may run into a hiker or two, but you will mostly have it all to yourself. Beacon Hill's 2- and 4-mile loops, with about 500 feet of elevation change, are every bit as challenging and scenic as Runyon's but without the crowds. This hike, the easternmost in the Santa Monica Mountain Range, really is the secret garden of Griffith Park hiking.

Shannon Road and Cadman Drive, Los Feliz.