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Los Angeles Hikes

Lake Hollywood Reservoir Hike

  • 3.5 miles - Easy Effort
  • 1:30-2 Hours (Total)
  • 150 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 790 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

what does this mean?

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.

In this Guide:
  • Parking For the Hike
  • What To Know Before You Go
  • Turn-by-Turn Hike Directions & Video

When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

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.

My Latest Gear Picks

Featured Gear 2023 08 11

Garmin inReach Mini 2 ( Amazon | REI )
HOKA Speedgoat 5
( Men | Women )
Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra ( Zpacks | Review )
Alpine Carbon Cork Poles ( REI | Amazon )

As a hiking guide, I test lots of hiking gear. On my picks page, I'll show you all of the gear that I actually use. I don't accept paid promotions or talk about the stuff that doesn't make the cut. It's just the gear that works best, so you don't have to waste your money.

All My September 2023 Top Gear Picks

Lake Hollywood Trail Maps

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Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Best Smartphone Apps to Navigate: AllTrails | GaiaGPS | OnX


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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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!

Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.

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This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!).

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