Hiking to the Hollywood Sign – The Best Time + 4 Top Trails

The Hollywood Hills on a mild afternoon with the Hollywood sign in the background

The Hollywood Sign is one of America’s most iconic landmarks since it was erected in 1923. It sits atop Mount Lee offering a spectacular view of Los Angeles. The entire sign is 350 feet long, with each letter being 45 feet tall. You may see the sign in photos or while driving in LA, but those of us who have done the hike up to the sign know it’s an entirely new experience!

Hiking Trails to The Hollywood Sign

There are many trails you can take to reach this iconic landmark. Each trail offers different difficulties, distances, times, and viewpoints.  Here are some of our favorite trails to get to the Hollywood Sign.

1. Hollyridge Trail (Ideal start: 7-9 am)

  • Moderate-level hike
  • 5.1 miles round-trip distance
  • Takes around 2-3 hours 
  • Dogs are allowed but on a leash

If you’re looking for a bit of exercise with a reward for fantastic views, hiking the Hollyridge Trail is what to do. It is rated as one of the easier hikes to the sign. The trail is partially paved and a little steep initially, but it becomes flatter and easier afterwards. The hike ends at the Cahuenga Peak’s summit, directly behind the Hollywood “H.” Unfortunately, there is little to no shade, so be prepared for that and bring plenty of water.

Directions

Head north onto the Brush Canyon Trail. You’ll find the free parking area, a picnic area, and a playground right before the trail starts. Park rangers close access gates for both vehicles and pedestrians at sunset. Plan your hike accordingly; cars inside after sunset will be ticketed and stuck until morning!

2. Griffith Observatory Trail (Ideal start: 6-8 am)

  • Challenging-level hike
  • 9 miles round-trip distance
  • Takes around 4-5 hours
  • Dogs are allowed but on a leash

Griffith Observatory Trail is perfect for those looking for more of a challenge. Most of the trails are mapped out. This trail offers no shade but boasts the most scenic views in Southern California. It may not be the most straightforward hike, but it will be worth it in the end. Several sitting areas are available along the way. 

Directions

This trail is generally easy to get to. You can park your vehicle at the Griffith Observatory Parking. The parking is free if you arrive before 12 pm on weekdays and 9 am on weekends. After that, it costs $10 per hour. So make sure to come early! From there, head to the W.Observatory Rd and follow the signs until you reach Mount Lee Drive.

3. Canyon Drive Trail (Ideal start: 8-9 am)

  • Moderate-level hike
  • 6 miles round-trip distance
  • Take around 3-4 hours
  • Dogs are allowed but on a leash

This trail has become the go-to trailhead, especially after the Sunset Ranch Way was closed. The partially paved trail is moderate, but the incline might make your experience more challenging. Most of the route is asphalt, with some dirt trail that tends to be slippery. 

Directions

The parking lot is located at the front of Canyon Drive Trailhead. Parking can be challenging. It’s best to come early in the morning before it gets crowded. Follow the hiking signs to the Hollywood sign.

4. Brush Canyon Trail (Ideal start: 8-9 am)

  • Moderate-level hike
  • 6.4 miles round-trip distance
  • Takes around 3-4 hours
  • Dogs are allowed but on a leash

Brush Canyon Trail is one of our ultimate favorites! The whole trail is well-marked and well-maintained. It is more like a well-paved dirt road. Some parts can be rocky with a steady incline. You may spot rabbits and deer along the way. 

Directions

The trailhead is located at the end of Canyon Drive, accessible from Franklin Avenue. Parking lot available at the park, with an additional parking lot near the park’s entrance. There are grassy parks complete with picnic tables, BBQ pits, and playgrounds. Follow the signs to the trailhead to reach the Hollywood sign.

The best time to hike the Hollywood Sign

It is crucial to plan the time and date to visit. The best time to hike the sign is off-time during weekdays because there are fewer visitors and more parking. If you visit on the weekend, make sure to come early in the morning before it gets too hot, smoggy, or overcast! It can also be super crowded in the middle of the day, and you’ll likely not enjoy the experience.

The best weather is during spring and fall. Avoid hiking during a rainstorm or hot weather, as you can dehydrate. Also, don’t go when the weather’s too cold (haha, just kidding, it never gets cold in LA!)

You are never allowed to climb the sign itself.

You have probably seen Hollywood movies where the actor could climb up or hang down the sign! If you think about doing the same thing, the honest answer is no! You can go above or below it, but can’t hike on the Hollywood Sign. They monitor closely. Trespassing and insisting on climbing on the sign will get you arrested.

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