Fun on Fiji
Hike Fiji Hill and Visit Adjacent Occidental College in Los Angeles
Adjacent to Occidental College, Fiji Hill makes a great workout with nice cityscape vistas on this 2-mile route in Eagle Rock. Park at the Yosemite Recreation Center, just north of Occidental College and find the trailhead at the south end of the paved lot. The trail branches into two—stay left (you’ll return on the rightmost route), passing the swimming pool and a surprisingly large stone-seated amphitheater. The path ascends quickly under some pines (about 300 feet over the next half-mile) but the vast majority of the trail is exposed.
At the top there’s a bench with an attached steering wheel, oddly enough. Because the hill is so prominent, the views are expansive. Steer your eyes to the north to see the iconic eponymous boulder peering over Eagle Rock and beyond to the San Rafael Hills, the Verdugo Mountains, and the San Gabriels.
When you’re ready, continue downhill along the fence overlooking Occidental College’s fields, staying left at any junctions. You’ll end up on campus, where a pre-president Barack Obama used to roam. The grounds here are beautiful. We recommend staying south on Coons Road and turning right onto Range View Avenue, which turns into Bird Road. This passes the famous Moore Lab of Zoology, home to the world’s largest taxidermy collection of Mexican birds (>39,000). Pass more lecture halls and the Occidental bookstore to reach the main quad with a nearby picnic area and sculptures, including some of manual laborers who created the grounds themselves.
Head east on Campus Road—passing Feast, the local community garden—taking it to its terminus, where a trail will deposit you back at Yosemite Recreation Center and your car.
BONUS: Trade the kava and rum for some craft beer and pinball fun at Walt’s Bar, a resident watering hole just a quarter-mile west of campus. Enjoy local ales (and wines), classic bar fare, retro arcade games, and chill vibes after your hill of a hike!
To get to the Yosemite Recreation Center lot and trailhead from the east, take the CA-134 to the Colorado Blvd. exit and head west, turning left onto Townsend Ave. and right onto Yosemite Dr.. From the west, take the CA-134 to the Harvey Dr. exit and make an immediate right, followed by an immediate left onto Wilson Ave. This turns into Broadway and shortly connects with Colorado Blvd. Turn right at Eagle Rock Blvd., followed by a left onto Yosemite Dr. Dog-friendly!
Story and photos by Matt Pawlik
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