Lake Hollywood Reservoir Hike

Lake Hollywood Reservoir Hike

In This Guide
  • Parking For the Hike
  • What To Know Before You Go
  • Turn-by-Turn Hike Directions & Video
Distance3.5 miles (5.6 km)
Hike Time1:30-2 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Easy
Total Ascent (?)150 feet (46m)
Highest Elevation790 feet (241m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyNo
Park Website (?)Lake Hollywood Park
Park Phone818-243-1145
Stay In Touch - - -

The Lake Hollywood Reservoir hike feels more like a stroll around a mountain lake than a hike in the middle of Hollywood. Just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this quiet lakeside hike is easy, serene, full of wildlife, and of course, offers great views of the iconic Hollywood Sign. It’s a great hike for beginners, those wanting to see the Hollywood Sign, or anyone wanting some peace and quiet from the city.

How to Get to Lake Hollywood

The hike starts on the north side of Lake Hollywood where there is easy and ample parking. You can also easily hit the trailhead with ride-sharing services.

Use this trailhead address:
Lake Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068

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There’s plenty of street-side parking on Lake Hollywood Drive, right before the start of the hike. The actual hike starts at the bottom of the hill.
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There are porta-potties at the beginning of the hike, and also at the mid-way point.
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There’s a water fountain and refill station at the trailhead.

Gear for the Hike

This is an easy, flat trail that’s paved for most of the way. You are best off with fitness clothing, but you can get away with jeans and a t-shirt too. I use trail runners and light hiking gear. Bring 0.5L of water with you, there are no water fountains or refill points outside of the start of the hike.

La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Opsrey Stratos Blue

I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) 

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated February 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here

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 a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Lake Hollywood Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Lake Hollywood Reservoir Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy (prices on REI and Amazon) and does a lot of the same things.

Hike Brief

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The park is open from sunrise to sunset, and here are the approximate times for the months of the year. When the park closes, they lock the gate and you’ll be locked in, so time your hike accordingly.

Lake Hollywood Hike Directions

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Video Directions

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Turn-by-Turn Directions

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Start the hike at the bottom of the hill where you parked.
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Head through the gate for the beginning of the actual trail. This is the gate that gets locked at sunset.
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The beginning of the hike isn’t super exciting, just a paved path, but it’s nice and calm.
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After 5-10 minutes you’ll start to see Lake Hollywood through the trees.
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And shortly after that you’ll see the Hollywood sign in the distance. We’ll get some better views that are unobstructed shortly.
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Keep your eyes open for wildlife. Here are some mule deer that I see almost every time that I do this hike.
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In roughly a mile you’ll reach Mulholland Dam, which formed Lake Hollywood. It was built in 1924 and is still in great condition.

And for a laugh, here’s Hollywood Reservoir and Mulholland Dam in the 1974 film “Earthquake” with Charlton Heston. In this scene, the lake is the villain and kills one of the water workers. It’s a cheesy 70s film with a bunch of cameos.

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From the dam you’ll get the great view of the Hollywood Sign without the fence. The lake is also a haven for waterfowl, migrating birds, and hawks. It’s nice just to chill out and watch the water.
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At the end of the dam, make the left.
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And right after that turn, bear left to continue on the path along the reservoir.
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You’ll get your last views of the Hollywood Sign on this stretch of the hike. It’s nice because you can get the sign above your head without the fence.
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Head through the gates toward the road.
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At the end of the paved trail, cross the street and continue on the dirt trail along the road.
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Here’s the dirt trail right across the street from the last shot.
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The trail is smooth and easy to follow as it follows the road.
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Towards the end the trail becomes paved.
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And soon after that you’ll be back where you started. That’s the hike!

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

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