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The 6 Best Hollywood Sign Hikes for Your Next Adventure
Health & Fitness

The 6 Best Hollywood Sign Hikes for Your Next Adventure

The infamous Hollywood sign hikes offer beautiful views ranging from canyons to hillsides, and a fun adventure for every trekking skill set.

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5 min read

December 25, 2022

From canyons covered by leafy canopies to barren mountainsides home to coyotes, the Hollywood sign hike is dense with beautiful qualities. While the pathways surrounding the Hollywood landscape are not exactly the kind of hike you’ll be alone on, many attributes leave hikers fleeing to this unique destination nevertheless. The panoramic scenery, the great Instagrammable workout, and the potential for celebrity sightings are more than enough to make up for the masses. Whether you are looking for the perfect view of the Hollywood sign or are trying to forget it exists, the perfect Hollywood trail exists and awaits.

 

What is the Hollywood Sign?

Though this landmark has become synonymous with the greater Los Angeles area, it surprisingly originated as an ad campaign announcing the Hollywoodland housing development. Regardless of how it came about, the Hollywood sign trails have always lined the sign’s majestic poise tucked in the midst of elusive nature.

Hollywood Sign Hikes for the Pickin’

Hike up to the Hollywood Sign to get an up-close look at the famous Los Angeles landmark and other top attractions.

1. Hollyridge Trail to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint

Location: Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 5.1 miles
Duration: 2hr 21min
Elevation: 850 ft
Route: Out and back
Dogs: Allowed on leash

The five-mile out-and-back Hollyridge Trail leads to the Mount Lee Summit via the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail, unveiling the best view available behind the Hollywood Sign. While plenty of trails and parking lots provide brilliant views of the sign, there are hardly any access points to the back of the icon.

With the sign’s delicate nature in mind, strap on your hiking shoes and head out through Canyon Drive, just two blocks east of Beachwood Gate. Remember to bring lots of water, as the steep hillside provides little to no shade. Enjoy a varied early-bird trek or a late afternoon hike as the route offers a series of fun ventures like horseback riding and trail running. Trekking poles and baseball hats are not out of place along this SoCal hiking trail, so don’t hold back from bringing them along.  As you reach the top, bask in the dramatic views of this Hollywood Sign hike knowing you’ve just made your day in L.A well-spent.

Make sure to bring your camera when trekking up to the Hollywood Sign. There are countless photo ops you won't want to miss.

2. Griffith Park 10 Peaks Challenge

Location: Merry Go Round Lot Two, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10.3 miles
Elevation: 2520 ft
Duration: 5hrs 36min
Route: Loop

As Los Angeles’ largest historic landmark and one of the biggest municipal parks on the entire continent, Griffith Park has a lot to offer. The entirety of the park covers over 4,500 acres, encompassing 53 miles of hiking trails. With opening hours stretching between 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., you’ll have ample time to take this Griffith observatory hike and experience the open natural areas as well. 

On this moderately challenging trail, you’ll be able to work-in that exercise you were craving throughout the week. Pack some water, put on a cap, and keep an eye out for the local wildlife—which includes quail, deer, rodents, and rattlesnakes—as you check out some of the best hiking trails in L.A.

3. Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop

Location: Fire Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Parking: 3 available parking spots
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation: 390.4 ft
Duration: 1hr 7min
Route: Loop

The now-abandoned zoo serves as one of the coolest and one of the least talked about Griffith Park trails. While the approximately 2.5-mile loop is not as lively today, it was once the bustling site of the original L.A. Zoo. After the zoo moved to its current location, the old spot was taken over by Griffith Park and spruced up with quaint picnic tables and shrubbery. While it is easy to miss, the zoo’s enclosures are hidden in plain sight, just beyond the Griffith Park merry-go-round. 

Once you arrive at Griffith Park, follow the signs to the merry-go-round parking lot. From here, look for the gated road with a dirt path just beyond it and discover the wilderness is fun in L.A., too.  Though this road is closed to vehicles, the hiking trails are open to pedestrians; so, trek on, taking the right trail at the fork. The pathway weaves around and eventually, brings you to cages and enclosures that once held furry friends, both large and small. After climbing around the exhibits, end this Hollywood hike as you continue following the route to find yourself back at the merry-go-round.

4. Bronson Caves

Location: Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA 90068 
Parking: Free parking at "Camp Hollywoodland"
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.62 miles
Elevation: 75.5 ft
Duration: 15 min
Route: Out and back
Dogs: Allowed on leash

The Bronson Caves, also known as Bronson Canyon, is a section of Griffith Park that was formerly home to the Union Rock Company quarry.  Hike to the Hollywood sign on quarry dug caves and crushed rocks, which were used in the creation of city streets during the 1910s and 1920s. However, the land was renamed the Bronson Caves, thanks to a neighboring street, soon after the quarry was abandoned. 

While the history is enough to draw some geology fanatics to this California cavern, most visitors are more interested in the site’s film career—specifically its role as the Batcave in the 1960s Batman series. The half-mile route to the caves is easy and can be considered a walking path rather than a hiking trail. Three lengthier pathways lead past the caves, providing plenty of opportunities for those wanting to continue with a more demanding trek.

Set your sights on the Hollywood Sign as you make your way up to the peak — the effort is well worth it.

5. Brush Canyon Trail and Mount Bell Loop

Location: 2734 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 4.7 miles
Elevation: 1,000.6 ft
Duration: 2hr 24min
Route: Loop
Dogs: Allowed on leash

Much like the aforementioned Hollywood Sign hike, the Brush Canyon Trail allows hikers to see behind the iconic landmark, offering scenic views of its frontside along the way. Park inside the Griffith Park gates, and walk north to the trailhead to begin the hike. After about 1.5 miles, a fork in the road presents the options to go left toward the Hollyridge Trail and Mount Lee Drive via the Mulholland Trail or to veer right toward the Griffith Observatory. Whichever way you choose, many other hikers are bound to join you along the way.

Want to see the icon but don't feel like a long hike? You're in luck. Try one of these short Hollywood Sign trails.

6. Runyon Canyon

Location: Inspiration Point Hiking Trl, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Parking: Street Parking
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 2.6 miles
Elevation: 748 ft
Duration: 1hr 33min
Route: Loop
Dogs: Allowed on leash

Runyon Canyon is one of the most popular hiking locations in Los Angeles, boasting a multitude of trails and breathtaking sceneries. Walk along the approximately three-mile loop to take advantage of the park’s surprise offerings. Make sure you come prepared for a photo-op since it’s not uncommon to run into celebrities or simply for the iconic LA hike views.

Once you’re on this Hollywood sign hiking trail, expect millionaire mansions, Hollywood sign views, and cityscapes to replace the traditional trees and ground cover of a wilderness hike. While it’s not quite what a true hiker might expect from hiking trails, these pathways are just about as good as it gets in the middle of Los Angeles. Bring a camera to capture the sweeping views, and give yourself ample time to find parking. 

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