There are several ways to see the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, but did you know you can actually hike behind it?
Hiking Mt. Lee to one of the world’s most famous landmarks offers a great panoramic view and solid workout. This 6.5 mile roundtrip hike in Griffith Park is mostly shadeless and has a steady incline for the entire trip up. It’s about a 1098 foot elevation gain, so be sure to bring water, wear sunscreen and be prepared to sweat!
Most of the trail is well-maintained and the last portion of the hike is on a paved fire road, appropriately called Mt. Lee Drive. When you reach the paved road, be sure to turn RIGHT and follow the road. At this point, it may seem like you’re going in the opposite direction of the sign, but it loops back around to the top of Mt. Lee and behind the sign.
Study maps before you leave because there is little signage, and don’t be scared to ask a fellow hiker if you’re headed in the right direction. Throughout the hike, you’ll reach different points where the sign is visible for photo ops.
Leave ample room on the trail for horses, as you’ll be passing Sunset Ranch and possible tours on horseback.
How to get there: Take Franklin Avenue to Canyon Drive and head north into Griffith park. Once the road enters the park, it’s stopped by a locked gate at the trailhead. Park in the small lot nearby, along the street or in the spillover lot just south of the trailhead. Tap here for a map and directions.
And if you’re curious, HollywoodSign.org has a detailed timeline about the history of the iconic sign.
It was first built in 1923 as an outdoor ad campaign for an upscale real estate company and spelled “Hollywoodland.” It suffered its fair share of decay and neglect for years, but the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce eventually restored the sign in the late 1970s.
While the sign’s appearance and purpose have evolved, it still stands as a national landmark and more symbolically powerful than ever.