How to Hike to the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park

Wanna great view of the city, the behind the scenes look at the sign, and be kinda back to nature in the city?

Here's how to hike the trail through Griffith Park to the Hollywood sign and hopefully get a good view of the city, that is, if the Southern California smog cooperates.

As with everywhere else in SoCal, you first have to drive to the trail. Unless you live in the heart of West Hollywood, take the 10 West to the 101 and exit Gower Street. Turn right onto Beachwood and keep driving north until you see a small sign for the Hollyridge Trail. Get here early so you have a place to park.

This is another short, easy hike that can be completed in less than an hour. Still, be sure to bring water because it can get very warm on the hike up into the hills.

Shortly after the trail begins, it splits. The main road will continue straight, but the trail will continue left around the bend. Make sure to stay left here and head up the trail.

The trail will split again and you can see the Hollywood sign on your left. Though it seems like going left toward the sign would make sense, go right at this split where the road ends. This will be about the halfway point, and the views will unfold all around you, from Downtown Los Angeles to the coast.

Unfortunately, the closest you can legally get to the sign is a few feet up behind it, behind a chain link fence. Maybe I should have specified and said this was a hike to the back of the Hollywood sign… Either way, the best of the hike is probably the views.

Most of us are SoCal natives anyway and the Hollywood sign is something of a cliché, but views, especially views of L.A., are a rarity.

The hike does create a sense of scale that you can’t get from a picture. Each letter is easily 100 feet tall, and standing up behind them it’s impressive to think they’ve been standing and weathering wind, sun and rain since August 1978. And before that, the original letters stood for 57 years and endured vandalism and pranks throughout the ‘80s before being replaced.

The letters are now a cultural and historical monument for the City of Los Angeles, but have become synonymous with the Southern California region and the state as a whole.