Franklin Canyon Park

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Franklin Canyon Park
Franklin Lake
TypeUrban park
LocationUnincorporated area abutting Beverly Hills Post Office, Beverly Hills, and the city of Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°06′11″N 118°24′44″W / 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031; -118.4122 (Franklin Canyon Park)Coordinates: 34°06′11″N 118°24′44″W / 34.1031°N 118.4122°W / 34.1031; -118.4122 (Franklin Canyon Park)
Area605 acres (245 ha)
Operated bySanta Monica Mountains Conservancy
OpenAll year

Franklin Canyon Park is a public park located near Benedict Canyon at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. The park comprises 605 acres (2.45 km2), and is located at the purported geographical center of the city of Los Angeles.[1] The park features a 3-acre (12,000 m2) lake, a duck pond and over five miles (8 km) of hiking trails.

Franklin Canyon is also the name of the canyon and surrounding neighborhood.

The lake and pond are visited by birds in the Pacific Flyway. The park was used for the hitchhiking scene in It Happened One Night, and the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. The lake was also frequently seen in the Nickelodeon show Salute Your Shorts.

Hastain Trail sign in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California
Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California
Heavenly Pond in Franklin Canyon Park, Los Angeles, California


The park traces its beginnings to 1914 when William Mulholland and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power built a reservoir in upper Franklin Canyon. The canyon was used by the family of oil baron Edward L. Doheny as a summer retreat. The 1930s began the frequent use of the canyon for filming. Claudette Colbert's famous hitchhiking scene from It Happened One Night was filmed in 1935. Today about 25 films are shot here annually. During the 1970s the canyon was spared from development through the efforts of conservationist Sooky Goldman and Congressman Howard Berman, which resulted in the creation of the park.[2]


The Franklin Canyon neighborhood lies south of Mulholland Drive and extends south almost to the city limits of Beverly Hills. It contains about 700 single-family homes.[3] It is represented by the North Beverly Drive/Franklin Canyon Homeowners Association, a member of the Bel Air–Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council.[4][5][6]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Franklin Canyon is rich in plant life. Chaparral, shady grassland meadows and oak woodlands are found in the park.[2] Also within the park's boundaries are sycamore, redwood and walnut trees, along with non-native pines. A vast array of wildflowers grow here.[7]

The park is home to a variety of indigenous wildlife such as frogs, rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, snakes, cougars, gray foxes, coyotes, and bobcats. Known as a bird watcher's delight, great horned owls, as many as seven species of hawk can be found here,[7][8][9][10] and even eagles.[11] And of course there are the ducks, including Mandarins and Wood ducks. Franklin Canyon is part of the Pacific Flyway and as a result the resident bird species often share company with neo-tropical migrants and other transient species, such as Canada geese.


Map of Franklin Canyon Park

Popular activities are hiking, cycling, picnicking and bird watching. Park staff lead regularly scheduled hikes.[2][7] In spite of the famous lake, swimming and fishing are not permitted. The park conducts natural history programs at the Sooky Goldman Nature Center, and the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom.[12]

Located directly adjacent to Franklin Park is the headquarters of the conservation organization TreePeople. TreePeople also offers organized hikes, as well as tree care workshops and themed festivals.[8]

Stop sign cameras[edit]

In July, 2007, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) installed three stop sign cameras in the park. The cameras photograph on average 17 motorists per day. The cost of the citation is $175. A spokeswoman for MRCA said, "We have seen a significant reduction in the number of people running stop signs."[13] Former Beverly Hills city attorney Jack Allen opposes the cameras. He decried the alleged safety issue saying, "They're not speeding through there."[14] In September 2010 a class action lawsuit was filed against the MRCA.[15][16] The chief staff legal counsel of MRCA said in 2015 that the camera and ticketing program generates $1.5 million in revenue annually and costs the agency about $780,000. Cameras are also installed at Temescal Canyon Park, Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, and Topanga State Park. MRCA issues roughly 24,000 traffic citations each year for various violations.[17]

In the media[edit]

This is a partial list of media which have used Franklin Canyon Park:


Andy Griffith and Ron Howard walking in Franklin Canyon, filmed on July 26, 1960.


The characters portrayed by Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable attempt to hitchhike in It Happened One Night.


The park was used by photographer Guy Webster as a background for the following album covers:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b De Turenne, Veronique (2003-11-27). "L.A.'s balancing point". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  2. ^ a b c "Franklin Canyon Park". Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Archived from the original on 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  3. ^ Diane Wedner (June 1, 2008). "Hiking into Hollywood's backyard". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Beverly Canyon - Plan to improve canyon
  6. ^ N Beverly Drive Franklin Canyon Maps
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lethal, Donna (2008-04-09). "Workout Wednesday: Franklin Canyon". Gothamist LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Randall, Laura (2006). 60 Hikes within 60 Miles. Menasha Ridge Press. pp. 27–28. ISBN 0-89732-707-1.
  9. ^ a b c Wedner, Diane (2008-06-01). "Hiking into Hollywood's backyard". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  10. ^ a b Schenden, Laurie (2000-09-07). "The Hills Are Alive With Plenty to Do". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  11. ^ Kahlenberg, Richard (1998-11-13). "Looking and Listening". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  12. ^ "Nature and Discovery Centers". Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  13. ^ Stop Sign Cameras Issue 1,485 Citations Over Three Months(archived), The Beverly Hills Courier, Nov 5, 2010, p. 4
  14. ^ Max Taves. "Stop-Sign Camera Illegal? Residents Weigh In". Palisadian Post.
  15. ^ Sue Pascoe. "Lawsuit Filed over Stop-Sign Cameras". Palisadian Post. Archived from the original on 2012-03-18.
  16. ^ Sue Pascoe. "Judge's Ruling Aids Case Against MRCA's Stop-Sign Cameras". Palisadian Post.
  17. ^ Lazarus, David (May 26, 2015). "An odd-looking traffic citation, but it shouldn't be ignored". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Nelson, Valerie J (2002-04-04). "It's Seen a Lot of Action". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  19. ^ "Ask Barry » The Greg Brady Project (37)". Retrieved 10 March 2017.

External links[edit]