Everybody around the world knows about the Hollywood Sign and wants to see it during their stay in LA. And even though there are quite a few places that claim you can get a good look at it from further away, the best way to see it is to hike up to it!
And this is how you do it!
On my trip to LA during July of 2017 it was finally time for me to cross some things of my bucket list. Once of them was hiking up to the Hollywood sign.
I wanted to do this so badly because I had been in LA the year before (October 2016) and I only got to see to famous landmark from a “viewing platform” next to the walk of fame. But as you can probably imagine the Hollywood Sign was super far away and you could barely see it on the pictures I took. That’s why I made it my mission to hike all the way up to it or at least as close as you can get to it.
There are a lot of websites online that claim that you can just drive up to the sign or that try to get you to spots in the local neighbourhood from where you can see the Hollywood Sign a bit closer up. These ways to get to the sign should actually be avoided though since you can’t legally drive up a lot of the roads. The residents that live in the Hollywood Hills area have made it so that only residents can use a lot of the roads or even try blocking them off themselves. But I mean I can’t necessarily blame them because I wouldn’t want tourist driving by in buses and cars all day long.
Thankfully there is another way to get to the Hollywood Sign which is a bit more work and also takes longer but the view you get just makes the hike up to it more rewarding!
In order to get to the Hollywood Sign Adam and I got up around 5:30am to make sure our hike up the Hollywood Hills will be over before it gets too hot out (since in the middle of summer it can easily get up to 30°C).
We got to the parking lot at Griffith Observatory around 6:30am and were ready to start our hike.
So if you are considering to take on the challenge of hiking up to the Hollywood Sign yourself, this is where you’ll going to want to go.
Because right next to Griffith Observatory there are a lot of hiking trails that go through the Griffith Parc of which a couple of them will directly lead you to the Hollywood Sign. You can find out which is the perfect route for you here: https://www.hikespeak.com/california/la/griffith-park-hollywood-sign-hikes/
Since we got to the hiking trail so early in the morning there were barely any people out yet and the sun was not burning down on us either. We were actually really lucky because due to the suns position a lot of hills and trees provided us with shade while we made our way up. You definitely want to make sure that you are wearing sunscreen though otherwise you’ll come back sun burned!
Since the hike does take about 1 and 1/2 hours one way you’re going to want to wear good and sturdy shoes, we also wore sport gear to make the walking more comfortable.
Lastly you’re going to want to make sure that you bring enough water and maybe also some snacks. There are a lot of possibilities to sit down on benches and tables throughout the trail to take short breaks and also enjoy the breathtaking views that you’ll get of downtown LA!
Like I said before it took us a good one and a half hours to get up to the Hollywood Sign but I have to say that we didn’t really take any long breaks and we were walking in a moderate pace.
When we got to the Hollywood Sign we were the only people up there and it seemed like the landmark was so close that we could reach it. In reality it was still a couple kilometres away but there was nothing in between the viewing platform and the sign which made it seem much closer than it was.
Like you can imagine yourself going down was a lot easier that hiking up and it felt like time was passing way faster. By the time we started heading back downhill to Griffith Observatory it was around 8:20. On our way down a lot of people were walking by us who were just starting their hike to the Hollywood Sign. So if you want to enjoy a peaceful morning hike I’d definitely recommend coming early in the morning.
As for myself I am really happy that I got to cross this off my bucket list and I’d actually consider hiking back up there when I’m back one day!