I’m a bit ashamed to say that I lived in LA nearly five years before I finally hiked up to see the Hollywood sign up close. Sure, I could see it from just about every building I ever worked in, but I’d never ventured up the hill. Until recently.
A friend was visiting from out of town and suggested we hike to the Hollywood sign. I’d confessed that I’d never been but thought it would be a great afternoon adventure. And it definitely was that.
I’ve never been the greatest with directions, and I’ve gotten lost more times than I can count. This day was no exception. Fortunately, I was equipped with Google maps on my iPhone, so that made it a bit easier. Though not by much, since service isn’t that great.
So let me make it easy for those looking to find the trailhead. Plug in “Hollyridge Trail” to your GPS or start at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Beechwood Drive.
From their, you’ll drive north on Beechwood Drive for about two miles. It’s a bit windy and confusing, but just stay on Beechwood until you see signs for the Hollyridge Trail, and you’ll be fine. If you’re like me, you’ll think you’re lost, but just keep driving, and I promise you’ll get there (eventually).
As much as I love hiking in LA, most trails (this one included) are not what I consider “real hiking.” Meaning, it only took about 45 minutes to reach the top (even with a few photo breaks), and I could have hiked the trail in jeans and flip flops. But what it lacks in intensity, it makes up for in views, so you’ll definitely want to bring your camera with you.
If you want a bit of a challenge, take on the trail running. It’s straight up for three miles, but once you reach the top, it’s all downhill from there (literally).
Unfortunately, access to the sign is restricted and you can’t get much closer than we did (see above photo). But from the top on a clear day, you can see all of downtown, the Pacific Ocean, and of course, the back of the sign. It’s not quite like all the movies, but for me, it was a bit surreal being so close to something so famous.