The Easy Hollywood Sign Hike

The Easy Hollywood Sign Hike

In This Guide
  • Planning Your Trip
  • How to Get to the Hollywood Sign
  • Hollywood Sign Hike Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance6 miles (9.7 km)
Time2-3 Hours (Total Time)
Total Climbing1,000 feet (305m)
Highest Elevation1,709 feet (521m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameGriffith 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: 2927 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. Here’s what I would recommend:

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

Hollywood Sign Trail Maps

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

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

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

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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.

Bonus Hike – 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.

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