What is The Best Time To Visit Griffith Observatory?

Is it better to go to Griffith Observatory in the morning or at night?

As a passionate traveler who loves discovering unique destinations around the world, one place that has left a lasting impression is the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

Nestled within the sprawling Griffith Park, this iconic observatory offers a blend of astronomy, stunning views, and cultural experiences that make it a must-visit destination for any traveler.

Experience the Majesty of Griffith Observatory


Things to Do

  • Hiking Adventures: With over 50 miles of scenic trails, Griffith Park is a hiker’s dream. The trail leading from the observatory parking lot to Mount Hollywood’s summit, at 1,625 feet, offers breathtaking views of the cityscape.
  • Cultural Delights: Explore the Autry Museum of the American West and catch a performance at the Greek Theatre, a renowned outdoor venue loved by musicians. For families, the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a hit, with close encounters with koalas and Komodo dragons.
  • Stargazing at Griffith Observatory: Step inside the iconic Art Deco Griffith Observatory, which has been welcoming visitors since 1935. Marvel at the world’s most viewed telescope and enjoy free public telescope viewings, weather permitting.

Best Times to Visit

Sunrise and Sunset Views

  • Magical Mornings: Early morning hours offer a serene experience with fewer crowds. Witnessing the sunrise from the observatory’s hilltop location is simply enchanting, casting vibrant colors over the city.
  • Golden Hours: Late evening is another ideal time to visit. As the sun sets, the sky transforms into a canvas of hues, providing the perfect backdrop for panoramic photos.

Weekdays for Tranquility

  • Weekday Advantage: For a peaceful experience, weekdays are preferred over weekends, especially during school hours. You’ll have more space to explore without the hustle and bustle.

Clear Days for Optimal Visibility

  • Sky Clarity: Choose a day with clear skies and minimal smog for optimal visibility through the observatory’s telescopes. High smog levels can impact the celestial views, so checking air quality forecasts is recommended.

Practical Tips for Your Visit


  • DASH Observatory Bus: Consider taking the DASH Observatory shuttle, running from the Metro Red Line Vermont/Sunset station. This convenient option stops at key spots including the Greek Theatre and the Observatory.
  • Driving: If driving, plan your route using Vermont Ave and Vermont Canyon Road for smoother access. Parking at the observatory is limited, so arriving early is advisable.

Comfort and Essentials

  • Comfortable Attire: Wear comfortable shoes for exploring the observatory’s grounds, which include trails and outdoor areas. Bring a jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.
  • Photography: Photography enthusiasts will love capturing the sunrise and sunset views. Tripods are allowed outdoors, but be mindful of other visitors.

Special Events and Shows

  • Planetarium Shows: Don’t miss the planetarium shows, offering immersive experiences into the universe. Tickets can be purchased on-site for same-day viewings.
  • Star Parties: Keep an eye on the observatory’s website for special events such as Star Parties, providing unique opportunities to gaze through telescopes at celestial wonders.

Dining Options

  • After a day of exploration, refuel at the Cafe at the End of the Universe or nearby restaurants. Enjoy a meal with panoramic views of Los Angeles, making it a perfect end to your visit.

In Conclusion

As a traveler who has been captivated by the beauty and wonder of Griffith Observatory, I highly recommend adding this iconic destination to your travel itinerary. From stunning views and educational exhibits to magical sunrise and sunset experiences, Griffith Observatory offers a memorable journey into the cosmos.

So, pack your camera, lace up your hiking shoes, and embark on an adventure to Griffith Observatory. Discover the magic of the universe and the beauty of Los Angeles from this extraordinary vantage point.

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