Join us on a hike to the Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee in Los Angeles! I have always wanted to do this and finally got the chance. The weather was nice, not too hot, so it was a great time to go. There are plenty of different trails that take you through Griffith Park. This particular one is a steep trail and is not good for small children. Most of the children I saw were 8+. It was a bit over a mile and a half walking up up up!
We started in Beechwood Canyon and the first hurdle to hike to the Hollywood sign was finding parking. You have to go through a residential area to get to the trailhead. There are signs all over Beechwood Canyon Drive and the surrounding streets that prohibit weekend parking during daylight hours. Some read No Parking from 8am-4pm, others extend until 6pm. Perhaps during the week or in the summer when the sun sets later it can be a little easier, but possibly more crowded. During all other seasons, plan to park further away.
The closest place without parking restrictions is near the Beechwood Marketplace. This is a bit over a half mile away from the trailhead and is all uphill on the way there. Plan for that extra half mile on each side of your hike. I loved adding the extra mile to my day!
Here is the parking area to look for.
Walk up the hill on Beechwood Canyon Drive through the residential area to access the trailhead.
The Hike to the Hollywood sign
At the top there is a brown gate that is the entrance to the Sunset Ranch. You can’t drive in there but you can walk in to start your hike.
So we got sidetracked by the ranch and the horses and headed straight for it. Don’t do this. We had to head back down the short hill and look for the signs for the trailhead. You’ll see Smokey the Bear among other signs and you’ll know you’re headed the right way. Stay on the Hollyridge Trail.
The Hollyridge trail is all dirt and slowly climbs higher and higher but winds around the mountain a bit to make it easier. Here’s the first peak facing the city after a short distance:
The next one faced inward toward the Hollywood sign once we curved around again:
You will likely share next part of the trail with the guided horse tours, we did. The trail is wide enough to fit a line of horses plus all of the hikers but there is one thing to look out for on this stretch… horse poop!
After a photo shoot with the horses, we curved around to the left at the fork in the trail, onto the Mulholland Trail, which was towards the Hollywood Sign/Aileen Getty Trail. The horses went the other way, they essentially stayed straight, and we were poop-free.
Here’s the next section of that trail:
We hiked a bit more and found ourselves going down the dirt path to meet up with a paved path, Mt. Lee Drive. Turn right here toward Mt. Lee Summit/Aileen Getty Trail and keep going up!
The rest of the path is paved but it is still pretty steep and seems to gain elevation a bit quicker than the dirt trail.
At this point, we were high up enough to need fences and guard rails for safety!
Curve around again and there is a view into the valley off to the right.
Then a quick opening off to the left…
Then there’s the Cahuenga Peak rock and a sign directing you off to the left to stay on track to get to the Mt. Lee Summit. So close now!
See the fence??? That means you just about made it!!!
I LOVE that people are starting to put engraved love locks up here like they have in Paris and Cologne!!! So heartwarming!
Here we have it, the back of the sign!
One more short walk up a dirt hill and we reached the peak! This is where you can see the sign without the fence in front of it. Complete with an American flag, it was definitely the finish line for people to hang out there for awhile and take it all in!
After we got all of our photos, it was time to head back down! This trail does not loop around so you’ll have to go back down the same way you came. If you got a ride to the trailhead, get adventurous and take a different route into another part of Griffith Park. You can go all the way to the observatory! We drove and parked so it made sense to go the same way down to get back to our car.
If you decide to hike to the Hollywood sign, start early and add extra time for photo stops and for the other peaks should you want to keep going onto other connecting trails. It gets pretty hot up there so make sure to bring plenty of water and use sunscreen as the trail is not well shaded. Also, bring some snacks so you can hang out at the top of the summit for awhile to celebrate your accomplishment but take your trash with you!