Hollywood Sign By Russell Mondy Nestled in the expansive Griffith Park, one of America's largest urban parks, my hike to the iconic Hollywood Sign was an adventure blending urban exploration with natural wonder. 

Starting from the end of Beachwood Drive, this trail through Griffith Park offered a unique combination of Los Angeles' urban backdrop and its wilder side.

Griffith Park: A Los Angeles Gem

Hollywood Sign Hike 4 Griffith Park, sprawling over 4,300 acres, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts in the heart of LA. It boasts a network of trails, picturesque viewpoints, and rich biodiversity. 

Interesting fact: The park is named after Griffith J. Griffith, who donated the land to the city in 1896.

The park's diverse landscape includes rugged hills, verdant canyons, and a mix of native California flora.
Before or after your hike, consider visiting the Griffith Observatory for more stunning views. Read more about this observatory later.

The park is also home to the LA Zoo home to more than 1,400 animals representing over 270 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.

The Starting Point: Beachwood Drive

Hollywood Sign Hike 2 My journey began at the end of Beachwood Drive, where the urban landscape gave way to the natural beauty of Griffith Park. 

Tip: Griffith Park's trails can be complex, so carrying a map or using a GPS app is recommended. I recommend using an app like All-Trails with excellent turn by turn navigation and a lot of useful information. 

This starting point is less crowded compared to other access points, allowing for a more tranquil ascent. It is also inside the park, so you don’t need to park on residential streets. 

You can park at the small parking lot at the end of Beachwood or at a bigger dirt parking lot earlier along this street. The bigger lot has porta-potties. 

As I embarked on the Brush Canyon trail, the bustling city life was quickly replaced by the tranquility of nature.

Ascending Brush Canyon Trail

Hollywood Sign Hike 3 The Brush Canyon trail, a part of Griffith Park's extensive trail system, offered a moderate challenge. As I hiked, I was surrounded by typical Californian chaparral and occasional wildlife sightings. 

Interesting fact: Griffith Park has been used as a filming location for numerous Hollywood movies and TV shows.

The trail, about 6.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of approximately 1,175 feet, was both exhilarating and serene.

Tip: Even in cooler months, this hike can be dehydrating. Carry at least 2 liters of water per person.

The trail is mostly a continuous climb, with the last mile the steepest. 

The Fork: A Moment of Choice

Hollywood Sign Hike 5 A notable feature of the hike was the fork to the left leading to the front of the Hollywood Sign. 

Opting for this path, I found myself up close to the famous letters, a surreal experience contrasting with the distant views of downtown LA.

Interesting fact: The sign originally read "Hollywoodland" and was erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a local real estate development.

Reaching the Summit

Hollywood Sign Hike 8 Backtracking to the fork, the main trail led me toward Mount Lee's summit – the highest peak in the park. 

Here, the panoramic 360-degree view encompassed the entire city, from downtown skyscrapers to the distant ocean, a testament to Griffith Park's unique location within Los Angeles.

In conclusion, my hike to the Hollywood Sign via Brush Canyon Drive in Griffith Park was a memorable experience. 

This hike took around 3 hours round trip, including several stops along the way to admire the views. 

Hollywood Sign Hike 9 After completing your hike, consider driving or walking to the Observatory to enjoy its stunning Art Deco architecture, fascinating exhibits, and breathtaking views of the Los Angeles Basin. 

Griffith_Observatory_By_Downtowngal_Wikimedia The Samuel Oschin Planetarium inside offers captivating shows that are both educational and entertaining. Additionally, the Observatory provides some of the best views of the Hollywood Sign from a different perspective. 

Trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA, 90068, USA.

Other trails leading to the Hollywood Sign

Wonder View Trail

Description: A steep and challenging route, this trail takes you to Cahuenga Peak and then to the back of the Hollywood Sign. It's a rugged path less traveled for those seeking a workout with their views.

Trailhead Address: 3051 Wonder View Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Hollyridge Trail

Description: An easier alternative, providing excellent front-facing views of the Hollywood Sign. It's popular for its accessibility and less strenuous path.

Trailhead Address: 3400 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Burbank Peak Trail

Description: Starting at the Wisdom Tree, this hike is on the shorter side but offers a steep climb to the peak, where you can see the sign from above.

Trailhead Address: 3052 Lake Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Innsdale Drive Trail

Description: A less-known starting point, this trail offers a quiet hike to the sign with excellent views of Los Angeles.

Trailhead Address: 6451 Innsdale Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Each trail offers a unique hiking experience to the Hollywood Sign, ranging from easy to challenging.