My very favorite hike in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Sign trail. It’s a little jewel box of an outing in so many ways: It’s got epic views (obvi) with appeal for locals and out-of-towners alike. It strikes the right balance between challenging and still chat-friendly in terms of difficulty. And it’s right in the middle of town, making it accessible for a quick-ish jaunt if time is limited (as it always is these days), solo or with friends.
It was also closed for nine months, while a dispute with neighbors over parking and congestion and other havoc tied things up. But as of this week, it is at long last open again. So I gave it a go yesterday, and it held up every bit to my memory.
Here’s what you need to know to hike the reopened Hollywood Sign trail.
How to Hike the Hollywood Sign Trail (Now Open Again!)
In Los Angeles, find the intersection of Beachwood Canyon and Franklin. Turn up Beachwood and take it up, up, up until it ends in the hills. Find parking as close to the top as possible. It’s now permit-only on weekends, so be mindful of signs, and figure this into your plan.
Enter the newly installed gate and walk on foot up to the trail head (passing what was formerly the small parking lot on the right). Head right onto the Hollyridge trail.
Carry on for about 15 minutes until you see a hairpin turnoff to the left. That’s that Mulholland trail, and it’s what will take you west toward the sign.
When you reach a paved road in about five minutes’ time — that’s Mt. Lee Drive — take it to the left. (To the right, you’ll walk around the front of the Hollywood sign—and that’s a neat view, but it’s one you can see on any postcard.) You’ll get to climb to the very top of Mt. Lee, high above and behind the sign for the really eye-catching and unusual view of the scaffolding that holds it.
It’s about a 75-minute round trip (in my shoes).