When I think of LA the infamous Hollywood sign in the hills is one of the first images that comes to mind. Interestingly, the sign was installed in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development called Hollywoodland. Only later did the giant marquee become an international symbol of stardom and the entertainment industry! In recent years, the Hollywood Hike that leads up to the sign has become a popular tourist attraction and a great place for locals to exercise.
On our recent trip to LA, Mike and I decided to spend a morning hiking up Mount Lee for an up-close view of the Hollywood sign, to burn a few calories, and to get excellent views of the city. [You can also check out the Bronson Caves (formerly the bat-cave in the Batman TV series and used as a filming location for lots of movies) from this trail.]
Initially when we were looking up the details for the hike we thought it was a 3-mile round trip hike, but only at the last minute did we learn that the trail had been closed and the alternative option was a 6-7 mile round trip hike to get up to the sign. This was definitely longer than we were expecting, but we still had a ton of fun and it went by quick! While I wouldn’t say this was an easy hike, it’s very doable even if you spend your days sitting at a desk like I do!;)
HOW TO GET THERE
We entered Canyon Drive (2927 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles) into our phone and headed towards the base of the entrance to Griffith Park. There is free parking, but I would get there early in the morning to make sure you get a spot. (I’ve also heard it’s a great hike around sunset).
The Hike took us about three hours (2 hours up and 1 hour down). We walked at a decent pace, but took some water and photo breaks.
WHAT TO BRING
I was really glad I wore a hat as there was very little shade on the trail. I also recommend comfortable shoes, lots of water, sunscreen, and your camera!
As you near the Hollywood sign you will come to a fork in the road. To the right will take you up another mile to the summit of Mount Lee. From there you can get a picture of the back of the sign. The sign is actually blocked off by a fence (not shown) which makes the views a little disappointing at this vantage point, but since Mike is tall I had him take a picture from over the fence.
To the left of the fork in the road you will walk .3 miles to get a great picture in front of the sign.
After the hike, we treated ourselves to In-N-Out burger. Too tired to get out of the car, we made a well-deserved trip through the drive thru! (Mike likes to order his fries “animal style” which is on the not-so-secret menu and basically means they’ll pile cheese, fried onions, and special sauce on them. The healthiest option on the menu!;).
Have you done this hike before? What did you think?!