This year Los Angeles commemorates the 100th anniversary of William Mulholland’s engineering marvel, the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which delivers about half of the city’s water supply traveling more than 200 miles from the Owens Valley.
The Los Angeles region’s gain has never set well with Owens Valley residents, and controversy and discord is still a relevant topic.
But we’ll stay away from anger and bitterness, and take a little road trip.
References to the famous civil engineer are everywhere. But nothing is more iconic than the famed Mulholland Drive, nicknamed “Bad Boy Drive” because at one time famous residents, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Marlon Brandon all lived along the route.
Mulholland Drive offers views of the Los Angeles Basin on one side, the San Fernando Valley on the other, and on clear days you can spy the Pacific Ocean. This 21-mile stretch of Santa Monica Mountain ridgeline is a hot spot for locals as well as tourists.
A large portion of the road isn’t paved, but is popular with mountain bikers and hikers.
From one Mulholland overlook it’s possible to see three well-known Los Angeles icons. The Hollywood Sign recently enjoyed a facelift and looks bright and shiny.
Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood is the Griffith Observatory. Three iconic Hollywood symbols all visible from one Mulholland Drive Lookouts!
Some days you can see Catalina Island, but not today!
No, that isn’t air pollution. Marine layers often linger long into the day and burn off by mid-afternoon. It might obstruct a perfectly clear view of downtown Los Angeles, but the weather is just about perfect.
The Hollywood Hills are an amazingly beautiful and almost unexpected topographical feature that many Southern Californians never explore. They tend to be seen as anchors to hold up the famous sign, or house the Bowl, or divide coastal Los Angeles from inland San Fernando Valley.
The chaparral-covered hillsides provide hiking tails and unparalleled views.
Several thousand feet below one of the lookouts is a wonderful view of the 22-mile long San Fernando Valley with breathtaking views of the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountains.
It also offers an aerial view of Universal Studios.
This 36-story office building is the tallest building in the San Fernando Valley, and home to NBCUniversal, owners of NBC, Telemundo, USA Network and SyFy.
Does the vicinity look a little crowded to you?
Approximately 10 million people live in Los Angeles County. That’s a lot of cars on the road! And there are times when I fantasize about living somewhere else, perhaps a little less congested–BUT…
When we exited the Hollywood Hills we headed right for Santa Monica.
Ocean, sand, sun–February!
Oh, and over 300 days a year of sunshine. That’s reason enough for me to
put up with accept that we live in a very beautiful, but yes, congested, landscape.
I find it interesting that everywhere I go I seem to find postings with information connecting to my interest in learning about Southern California’s Native People.
So I must share it with you!
And at my next opportunity to take advantage of a clear, sunny day, I’ll be back to take more pictures from the top of Mulholland Drive. There were more lookouts and trails I’d like to explore.
And I am eager to explore the many beautiful canyons along the route–Laurel Canyon, Coldwater Canyon…there are so many!
I definitely need more weekends.