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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 21 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Luciana Bellini

The Hollywood Sign has long been a powerful symbol for the global entertainment industry. At 14m high and 110m long, you can’t miss it.

Installed back in 1923 as part of an advertising campaign for a suburban housing development called ‘Hollywoodland’, the sign initially fell into disrepair until a group of celebrities funded its restoration in 1978, minus the ‘land’.

Getting to the foot of the sign itself is no longer possible, thanks to tight security. The best option is therefore to hike the picturesque but little-known Hollyridge Trail up to the summit of Mount Lee, from where you can look down on the sign, just 100ft below where you stand.

You’re rewarded with exceptional views of Hollywood and the LA basin to the south, and the San Fernando Valley to the north.

Alternatives to walking

If you don’t fancy the hike, head, instead, for a viewpoint.

First choice should be the observation deck at the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant with outdoor seating, where you can gaze at the sign over a spot of lunch.

Otherwise, try the Griffith Park Observatory (worth a visit in its own right). For more details on viewpoints, see the official Hollywood Sign website.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around
Duration: 2-3 hours

Getting there & doing it

To reach the head of the trail, drive to the end of Beechwood Drive in Hollywood. There’s a dirt car park here, just before the Sunset Ranch horse stables, with the trail marked on the right.

From here the trail climbs paved and dirt tracks, climbing 550ft and 1.5 miles to the summit of Mount Lee. Allow 2-3 hours for a round trip.

For a map and directions, and a detailed description of the trail, see the useful blog Dan’s Hiking Pages.

When to do it

The trail can be hiked all year round, but for the best conditions, go in winter or early spring when the temperatures are moderate and the hillsides are green.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Los Angeles

California, United States of America (USA)

Los Angeles

The bright lights of Tinseltown are home to surfer-filled beaches, glorious mountain hikes, glitz and glamour in spades and year-round sunshine.