Elysian Park Secret Swing (No More)

Elysian Park Secret Swing (No More)

On top of a ridge in Elysian Park overlooking Frogtown, there was once a swing hanging from a tree.

Once upon a time, a single swing hung from a lone tree atop a hill on the northeastern side of Elysian park overlooking The 5 Freeway and Frogtown. Over the years, many brave souls would climb the steep trail leading up to the ridge in order to sit in the swing and kick out toward the Los Angeles River, Montecito Heights, Mount Washington, and Cypress Park.

Looking out over Frogtown from the Elysian Park Secret Swing. Photo from the author’s collection.

The swing, reminiscent of (and possibly inspired by) La Casa del Arbol in Baños, Ecuador, went missing a few times over the years. And, until recently, it was always re-installed after a short absence. However, as of the summer of 2020, the Elysian Park Secret Swing seems to have gone on a lengthy vacation.

All that remains of the Elysian Park Secret Swing. Photo from the author’s collection.

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The Not-So-Secret Swing

The Elysian Park Secret Swing was never really a secret. It’s listed prominently on Google Maps, after all. But now when you search for “secret swing elysian park” it shows up as “permanently closed.”

The Swing is also listed on the map as “Secret Swing Angels Point.” But it’s not really at Angels Point. Sure, it’s above Angels Point Road, but the part of Elysian Park known as Angels Point is on the other side of the park overlooking Downtown Los Angeles, about 3/4 of a mile away.

This spot, which offers one of the best views of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline (especially in the morning), is marked by the odd Frank Glass and Grace E. Simons Memorial Sculpture.

But if you like sweeping views of Los Angeles, the location of the Elysian Park Secret Swing is worth visiting, swing or no swing. There’s usually a convenient place to park in a small turnout along the curve of Angels Point Road, and after a steep scramble up the cliff following a network of poorly maintained trails, you’ll also be treated to a view of the east side of Los Angeles as you watch an endless stream of cars crawl along The 5 Freeway as you stand between a pair of graffiti-covered rocks.

The trail up to the former Secret Swing. Photo from the author’s collection.

Elysian Park Secret Swing


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Tom Fassbender is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. When not exploring Los Angeles, he’s been known to enjoy a cup of coffee or two. You can find him at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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