Hollywood Sign Hike

The Easy Hollywood Sign Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Hollywood Sign Hike Trail Maps
  • Planning Your Trip
  • Parking Info
Distance6 miles (9.7 km)
Hike Time2-3 Hours (Total)
DifficultyModerate
Total Ascent (?)1,100 feet (335m)
Highest Elevation1,709 feet (521m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park ContactGriffith Park
Park Phone323-913-4688

The Hollywood Sign hike is one of those iconic hikes that you need to do at least once in your life. It’s a popular hike, but also beautiful. On your way to the Hollywood Sign (actually, you end up right behind and above it), you enjoy the natural wonders of the urban oasis called Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in America.

The trails climb through the chaparral of the Santa Monica Mountains, home to mule deer, hawks, and all sorts of wildlife. And of course, you’ll get the views of not only the Hollywood Sign, but also of Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Mountains, and Hollywood as you make your way up to Mt Lee (1,709 feet), which is where the actual sign lives. There are some steep sections on the hike, but thousands of people of all shapes and sizes hike to the Hollywood Sign, and you can too.

Gray Fox
The Hollywood Sign isn’t the only thing you can see on this hike. Keep your eyes open for the abundant wildlife in Griffith Park, including the Gray Fox, the only member of the canine family that can climb trees. Photo CDWR

When you’re planning your Hollywood Sign hike, I’d recommend doing it as early as possible. Griffith Park is open 24 hours. The hike gets very crowded. If you do go early, try to go on a day where there’s no marine layer (clouds). There are a few routes to hike to the Hollywood Sign, and this is the shortest and easiest, and it also offers free parking.

Getting to the Hollywood Sign Hike

There’s a lot of conflicting information about where you can and cannot get into the hike. This hiking guide is up to date and verified.  There are some wrinkles in getting to the trail, so I recommend that you read this section carefully.

If you read any directions referencing the Sunset Ranch or Beechwood Drive entrance, it’s no longer open. That route is a shorter way to hike to the Hollywood Sign, but a group of homeowners didn’t want hikers using the public sidewalk in front of their houses, so they erected a locked gate to block public access to the park. For now, use the (100% legal) directions in this guide to get to the Hollywood Sign, the Beechwood entrance is closed. A group of local homeowners are fighting to keep public access to the park on Beechwood Drive open, and you can sign their petition here.

If you Google directions to the Hollywood Sign, you will be routed to the main part of Griffith Park, which is nowhere near the Hollywood Sign. That’s because the Hollywood Sign Trust worked with Google and Garmin to override any directions, bringing you miles away to a Hollywood Sign “viewing platform.” These directions bring you to the actual trailhead.

Use this trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA, 90068, USA.

When you get to the trailhead address, you can park in the big lot (lot 1), or you can drive up to the second lot that’s closer to the trailhead (lot 2). Try for the closer one, and if it’s full, head back to the bigger first lot. People also park on the side of the road farther down.

There’s also a sign that says the gate closes at sunset, just a heads up. I’ve seen it open past sunset, but use the lot after dark at your own risk. In general sunrise to sunset is a good guide for when the gate is open.

hollywood sign hike parking

Gear for the Hike

You don’t need special hiking gear for the trails to the Hollywood Sign, regular workout clothes are fine. Don’t forget to bring plenty of water; at least 1L.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Make sure you have all the right gear before hitting the trail!.HikingGuy Best Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Hollywood Sign Trail Maps

Click To View Map

The Easy Hollywood Sign Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

hollywood sign hike 3d map
The Hollywood Sign trail winds it way back and forth to the summit of Mt Lee, putting you right behind the sign.
hollywood sign hike elevation
There’s no getting around it, to hike to the Hollywood sign, you have to go up. The trail is pretty easy, and there are views of the sign and LA for most of the way up, so take your time and soak in the views when you need a break.

Some Quick Hollywood Sign History

Hollyweed
Welcome to California. The Hollywood Sign has an interesting history, including a short stint as the “Hollyweed Sign.” Photo Alyse & Remi

How To Hike to the Hollywood Sign

Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Directions

hollywood sign hike
Check for parking in the lot closest to the gate.
hollywood sign hike
At the end of the road past the lot is a gate. Go ahead around it and continue up the road.
hollywood sign hike
Keep heading straight past the gate, avoiding the side road.
hollywood sign hike
The pavement ends and the trail turns to dirt.
hollywood sign hike
You’ll come to a concrete dam. Stay on the wide dirt trail and avoid any small side trails.
hollywood sign hike
Now you work. The trail climbs up toward the Hollywood Sign. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
hollywood sign hike
When you see the bench, you’re almost at the next junction and some relief! I took this picture in the morning when it was foggy, but if it’s not, you’ll have nice views here.
hollywood sign hike
At around 1.1 miles, the trail Ts into another trail. Make the left.
hollywood sign hike
There’s a sign at this junction pointing you in the right direction.
hollywood sign hike
You get a little break, the trail heads down hill and you can catch your breath.
hollywood sign hike
At about 1.7 miles, bear off to the right.
hollywood sign hike
Stay on the main wide trail, avoiding and small side trails up or down the hill.
hollywood sign hike
You’ll have some nice views of the sign as the trail curves around the bends.

If you want to make a short detour for some more Hollywood Sign views, make the left at Mt Lee Road, get your shots, then continue on the hike along the path below.

hollywood sign hike
At just after 2 miles, you come to the paved Mt Lee Road. Make the right and start going up again.
hollywood sign hike
You’ll climb away from the Hollywood sign. That’s okay, you’re going up around the side of the mountain.
hollywood sign hike
You’re heading to that radio tower in the distance. Almost there.
hollywood sign hike
Enjoy the views of the high mountains to the east. Today the marine layer covered the valley, but normally you’ll get views of the city below.
hollywood sign hike
Stay on the wide trail as it curves left, avoiding the trail to Cahuenga Peak.
hollywood sign hike
Here’s a closeup of that sign at the junction. You’re going to the Mt Lee Summit.
Hollywood Sign hike trail passes radio towers
At the top, you dead end into a fence with a bunch of security equipment. Go to the fence and hike to the left.
Hollywood Sign hike trail to summit
There’s a little dirt trail that leads you to the real summit.
back of hollywood sign
Congrats, you just did the Hollywood Sign hike. From here you will have awesome 360 degree views of LA. On a clear day you’ll be able to see Catalina Island out in the Pacific.
hollywood sign hike
Sometimes there’s a flag up top. Enjoy the summit and get your shots.

Turn around and hike back down the way you came up. Resist the urge to climb down to the letters, it’s a minimum $1000 fine. Enjoy the hike back downhill, you earned it.

Optional Hike To Bronson Caves

If you still have some energy when you get back to the parking lot, you can visit Bronson Caves. It’s not a real cave, but rather a tunnel blasted as part of a quarry that shut down in the 1920s. If you’re a fan of the old Batman TV show from the 1960s, it’s the entrance to the Batcave. It’s only a 10 minute hike to the cave and worth it just to check it out.

hollywood sign hike
Head past the first lot when you return from the Hollywood Sign and look for a trail off to the left.
hollywood sign hike
Here’s the beginning of the trail to Bronson Caves.
hollywood sign hike
Stay on the big wide trail, avoiding any small side trails.
hollywood sign hike
When you come around the bend into a big canyon, Bronson Cave is on your hard right.
hollywood sign hike
That’s it, Bronson Cave.
hollywood sign hike
You can walk in and through Bronson Cave. It’s a little damp but otherwise fine.
hollywood sign hike
You can get some fancy photos in the cave.
hollywood sign hike
If you go through the cave and out the other side, there’s a nice shot of the Hollywood Sign.

After you’ve explored Bronson Caves, simply return the way you came to end the hike.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.