The news in Los Angeles has recently been reporting about an illicit new building that popped up in Griffith Park. What is it? They say it’s a tea house? How strange. It was put up illegally in the middle of the night? Why? Will it stay up? Probably not, It’s illegal, it shouldn’t stay up, right? There’s a petition to save this building? Very interesting.
I, of course, had to find out what this Griffith Park Tea House is all about. On a hot Friday afternoon, we went to Griffith Park to look for this building. So, on a hike, we go!!
We parked on Western Canyon Road. It’s connected to West Observatory Road, right by the Griffith Park Tunnel. This road is very busy on a holiday weekend. Luckily, we found parking on this July 4th weekend. There are many cars in this picture, but most of the people were visiting the Observatory and not the tea house. Thank goodness!
The trail we took, started just south of the tunnel on West Observatory Road.
We head up the trail for about 5 minutes and go left, onto the Charlie Turner Trail.
Once we get to the Charlie Turner trail, we cross over the tunnel…
Leaving behind all those cars down below! This view in this picture is looking east, from the top of the tunnel. Sometimes, it’s just better to walk. See you later, cars!
We continue on this trail, veering left, as it zig zags up the mountain. We see the Hollywood sign, which is located just northwest of the trail.
About 25 minutes into our hike, we stop for a water break. Our break was at a perfect spot to view the Hollywood sign. Did I mention it was a hot day? Always bring lots of water!!
We continue up the trail. The trail starts to veer to the right of the hill. We finally see a little shade. We take a break for our little Beagle mix, Holly. She’s quite the hiker, but she needed some shade. We always bring a dog bowl for her. She drinks water as much as she needs it.
It was very easy for us to stop, every so often. The views of The Observatory and downtown Los Angeles from everywhere, were amazing!
After we all take a break, we continue up the hill. The trail is a little steep and the temperature was extremely warm, at this point. After a few moments though, we come to an important junction. There were about 5 trails that converge. We take the second trail to the right. It’s the trail that’s more or less going straight. On we go.
At this point, the trail is a leveled fire road. The trail winds around Dante’s peak. We find to the right, a little shady garden at Dante’s View. There’s a “welcome” water fountain and benches to take a break or have a picnic.
Such a lush spot on the way up to the tea house. What a magnificent view you’ll get of downtown Los Angeles, if you take the little offshoot trail to the tip of Dante’s View. We stopped for a bit to look around, but didn’t go on the little trail. We were determined to get to the tea house.
We continue on the trail, which took us around the peak. This is where we finally get a glimpse of this mysterious building. We’ve been hiking for about 45 minutes, at this point. My daughter wanted to quit, but once she saw the tea house out yonder, she got excited and we all continued.
After a few minutes, the trail takes us directly to the the tea house and wow, what a spot it is! Whoever put up this tea house, found a really great piece of real estate for this building. You get gorgeous views of the eastern San Fernando Valley, from this vantage point.
After about one hour of hiking, we arrive. The first thing I noticed, was the wonderful smell of redwood. It smells like a fresh, new building. However, this 80 square foot tea house,looks like it’s been here for years. It actually fits in perfectly with it’s environment. It’s even placed on a concrete foundation, that was already there.
Apparently, the redwood used for this tea house is untouched wood from a huge Griffith Park fire in 2007. Word is, local artists built this tea house, along with a professional woodworker. It’s quite a beautiful building. I admit, I was really surprised at how much I liked it.
P.S. – No, the tea house isn’t for sale. It’s a joke, haha.
Even the doorway and the inside of the building was lovely. There’s a sign asking visitors to write their wishes for the City of Los Angeles with pencils, that’s provided. Inside, there are shingles hung by nails, with all kinds of letters and regards from visitors.
Guess what? There’s even tea in the tea house! Yay! There’s a bench and a mason jar of oolong tea leaves. Paper is there for you to make yourself a teabag and take with you.
Many visitors were there, when we got to the tea house and not just hikers. There were horseback riders visiting, as well. It wasn’t overly crowded, however. It was a nice group of different people, who were curious, just like us.
So, what are my feelings regarding this illegally built tea house? I have to be honest, I would like the building to stay up. I really enjoyed the scenic hike to this spot and I was really impressed with the tea house. I liked what the artists were trying to convey to the visitors, as well.
However, there may be people who don’t have good intentions. Chances are, this building will be vandalized, somehow. This structure was illegally put up, it’ll probably have to come down, anyway.
Apparently, there’s a petition to keep the tea house up and I’ll sign it. I think its a beautiful building and it’s a compliment to the park. It deserves a chance.
So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed my documentation of my family’s Griffith Park Tea House Hike. If you plan on going on this hike, I beg you to go on this hike with only good intentions. The intention of enjoying a day in the park. The intention of visiting a pretty little structure and leaving good wishes for the beautiful city of Los Angeles. We all need good wishes…and exercise! Lastly, I hope it’s still there!