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The Best Way to Hike to the Hollywood Sign

The Best Way to Hike to the Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign is among the most recognizable landmarks in the United States. While there are many spots to view it, sometimes you want to get as close as possible. Did you know you can hike to the Hollywood sign? Doing so gives you a unique look at this popular site. So how long is the Hollywood sign hike, and is it worth it?

Today, we’re looking at this hike and seeing if you should give it a try on your next visit to the City of Angels. Let’s get started!

What Is the Hollywood Sign?

The Hollywood sign is a famous location in Southern California’s Griffith Park. The sign sits on Mount Lee, a part of the Santa Monica Mountains. It stands 45 feet tall and spans 350 feet across the mountain, overlooking Hollywood.

The sign was a temporary advertisement to help the local real estate market in the 1920s. However, in 1978, officials upgraded it to an all-steel structure that is much more durable. As the sign has been the site of many pranks, park officials installed high-tech security systems to deter pranksters’ efforts. This way, people are less likely to hike to the Hollywood sign to vandalize it.

How to Hike to the Hollywood Sign -

Why Is the Hollywood Sign Famous?

The Hollywood Sign has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States due to its visibility in one of the country’s largest cities. However, you don’t have to travel to Southern California to see it, as it frequently appears in many blockbuster movies and television shows.

The sign is a part of pop culture, and it’s nearly impossible to visit Southern California without seeing memorabilia and souvenirs replicating it. It has become an iconic piece of Hollywood. Tourists flock to the sidewalks and parks in the area to capture selfies with the landmark in the background. 

Tom and Cait at Griffith Observatory with hollywood sign in background
A hike to the Hollywood sign will leave you with lifelong memories.

Can You Actually Hike to the Hollywood Sign?

While viewing the sign may be enough for many visitors and locals, there’s an option for those who want a closer look at the Hollywood Sign. Three hikes provide a personal view with incredible displays of the city. Trails range from easy to difficult, so keep reading to discover which one is best for you. 

What Is the Easiest Hike to the Hollywood Sign?

The most accessible hike that takes you to the Hollywood Sign is the Mt. Hollywood Trail. This is a 5.3-mile hike with an elevation gain of 1,250 feet and is excellent for families, leashed pets, and runners. The views are spectacular, and you can see the expanse of the city on a clear day.

Pack plenty of water, especially if you visit during the summer. The heat can be rather intense, so plan to start early. It’s easy to underestimate how much water you’ll need during your hike, and it’s better to have too much than not enough!

Pro Tip: After hiking to the Hollywood sign, spend the night at one of these 11 Best Campgrounds on the California Coast Near the Beach.

Group of women posing for photos while hiking by the Hollywood sign
There are many great hikes to get you amazing views of the Hollywood sign.

How Long Is the Hollyridge Trail Hike?

The Hollyridge Trail to the Hollywood Sign is a 5.1-mile out-and-back trail. This trail is moderate in difficulty and typically takes hikers 2.5 hours to complete. It is very popular with hikers, trail runners, and horseback riders.

The trail is open all year and allows pets, but they must remain on a leash. There’s limited shade, so bring sunscreen and water. You can hike to the Hollywood sign and enjoy views of the city’s skyline and the many peaks surrounding you.

Is the Hollyridge Hike Difficult?

The Hollyridge Hollywood Sign hike is not very long, but it has an elevation gain of 849 feet over the 5.1 miles. It’s no walk in the park, especially at the start. Your thighs and calves will get a workout, but the views are worth it.

Bring abundant water and watch out for wildlife. There have been sightings of rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and other animals. Stay alert and maximize your safety on the trail.

Couple hiking trail up to Hollywood sign
Stay alert for wild animals while hiking up to the Hollywood sign.

Can You Touch the Hollywood Sign?

You cannot legally access the Hollywood Sign close enough to touch it. The sign is under constant monitoring by the Los Angeles Police Department’s security system, which includes a closed-circuit camera system and motion detectors. 

Law enforcement gets an instantaneous alert whenever the system detects movement in the area. Officials take trespassing very seriously and will prosecute offenders. Trespassing offenders could face massive fines, community service, and jail if the police charge them with a misdemeanor. However, aggravated trespassing could bring felony charges, which would mean longer jail sentences or possibly prison.

We understand you may want to get as close as possible to the sign, but don’t do it. Settle for a selfie with the sign in the background and keep yourself out of legal troubles. They’re not worth it!

Pro Tip: While exploring California, make sure to check out these 7 Best National Parks in California.

View from behind the Hollywood sign letters
Hike up to the Hollywood sign via the Mt. Hollywood Trail.

Other Hiking Options

There are three designated trails for hikes to the Hollywood Sign: Mt. Hollywood Trail, Brush Canyon Trail, and Cahuenga Peak Trail. There are also viewpoints of the sign city-wide. Two popular views are at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and at the Griffith Observatory. But what about the other hikes to the Hollywood sign, and how long are they?

Brush Canyon Trail is a moderate hike but allows visitors to visit Bronson Caves. Those who enjoy the 1960s Batman TV series will remember Bronson Caves as Adam West’s Bat Cave. This is a 6.5-mile trail with more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Expect this hike to take close to three hours to complete, and bring plenty of water!

The other hiking option to the Hollywood Sign is via Cahuenga Peak Trail. This is a moderate hike at 2.2 miles, with an elevation gain of 853 feet. Most hikers complete the trail in 1.5 hours, and you’ll see plenty of other hikers and runners. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water as there’s very little shade. However, the views along the way and at the top of the trail are worth the sweat and sore muscles!

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Is It Worth Hiking to the Hollywood Sign?

Hiking to the Hollywood sign can be a fun experience. Any of the designated hikes provide a closer look and incredible views of the surrounding landscapes. The walk is worth it if you have a few hours to spare and are already planning a trip to Griffith Park or the observatory! However, if you have a tight schedule, settle for a selfie from one of the viewpoints around the city and put it on your to-do list for future trips.

After your Los Angeles adventures, head north for some fun in the sun and sand at Pismo Beach. Find a place to park your RV here: 7 Best Places for Pismo Beach Camping.

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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