The famous Hollywood sign

The famous Hollywood sign

So while driving around LA to check out different replacement vehicles (I’ve been looking into both RV’s and Subaru Outbacks), I’ve had the opportunity to see lots of different areas of town. Los Angeles is all over the place! One of the cars I went to go see was in Hollywood and since I had some extra time in the area, I drove through some of the Hollywood fanfare and made my way towards Griffith Park, home of the famous hollywood sign.

Hollywood sign in the distance

Hollywood sign in the distance

I figured that since the sign was a both popular tourist attraction and in a park, there would be pretty easy access to drive there. Well it turns out that’s not the case, oddly enough…

Getting there involves going up the curvy residential roads lined with multi-milliondollar properties. You’ll definitely want a GPS to get to the “parking area.”

Looking at the map below, you’ll see two points marked. The upper one is the actual sign and the lower one is the parking area you drive up to. You gotta go through that whole twisted maze of roads taking lots of sharp, blind turns. There is another road that comes in from the side, but that’s an access road that’s blocked off and reserved only for ppl who work there.
View Hollywood Sign in a larger map

The first time I tried to get up there, simply punching in the approximate region into my GPS and hoping it’d be close enough, I was able to get all the way to a dead end that wouldn’t take me any further. A couple other cars also came up this route and turned around. We looked at each other and laughed. Yeah.. this isn’t gonna work. :)

A Hollywood sign house at a dead end

A Hollywood sign house at a dead end

Close, but no cigar. Let’s punch “Hollywood sign” into the GPS and see what happens. Ah, another route taking us right to it. Let’s follow this new route.

It leads us here.

Parking area in front of the Hollywood sign

Parking area in front of the Hollywood sign

It was really confusing to arrive here. You see, it’s just another dead end’ish area at the end of a residential road. There’s not really even any parking here, as you can see by me parking my car up on the side of the hill. :)

Standing where this picture was taken, to the left is where we drove in from, to the right and slightly behind me is a blocked off road, and in front beyond the cars is just a short undriveable path maybe 30 feet long or so. There’s not really any parking here so all you can do is get out, snap a few shots, and that’s about it. However, the is a hiking trail that leads right up to the sign. Success!

When I was there, a really friendly guy who lives in this area also came by to bring his friends here. He offered to shoot a picture of me and then suggested that I stick my hand up as if I was holding the sign. Apparently that’s one of the funny images to shoot here, similar to the classic picture of holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Holding up the Hollywood sign

Holding up the Hollywood sign

Since the guy was from around the area and there was no parking allowed in this area, I asked where a good place to park would be if I wanted to hike up to the sign. There was a trail leading right up to it. He said you could simply park along the street in front of the houses like the other cars were doing. Alrighty then.

Parking the car, prepping my daypack, and changing into more warm weather hiking appropriate clothing, I set off to go hike up to the sign!

Hiking to the Sign

So the guy had suggested I take the route that goes left. It was the easiest route and would take about 20 min. If you look at the pic above with my car parked in front of the sign, you’ll see two main routes. The first is right up the center of the image through the bushes, the path I was gonna take at first, and the second path starts up the dirt hill on the left and runs up the left side of the mountain. It was definitely a good suggestion to take the left path because it was already a pretty tough route! The climb was very steep, even requiring me to go 4×4′ing by using my hands to help me climb up, and so on. Fortunately it was a blazed trail up a dirt path, but it was still pretty challenging.

Trail to the Hollywood sign

Trail to the Hollywood sign

Let’s get a self-portrait too. Why not?

Ariel in front of the Hollywood sign

Ariel in front of the Hollywood sign

Thank goodness I managed to get both my face and the sign in the picture without one covering with the other or chopping off either one! Not bad!

By the time you practically claw your way up to the sign, the trail finally brings you to the D at the end of Hollywood.

Standing by the Hollywood sign

Standing by the Hollywood sign

There’s a bunch of security cameras back behind the sign up on the hill, as well as a little trail that runs down along the front of the sign. So off we go, walking under the sign! As you approach the very first O in Hollywood (the second letter), there’s motion detectors warning you to not go any farther towards the H.

In this video, we’ll walk around underneath the sign for a few minutes, starting at that first O, and then follow the surprisingly dangerous trail back down.

7 Comments

  1. mike
    on November 17th, 2010
    1

    hey man that was pretty cool, the video said it was private. anyway you could send it to me on youtube? maddrummer910 im thinking bout hiking up pretty soon.

  2. Ariel
    on November 17th, 2010
    2

    Ah you’re right. Changed. Thanks. :)

  3. skylar
    on June 19th, 2011
    3

    what roads did you take to drive up there?

  4. Ariel
    on June 19th, 2011
    4

    I don’t remember. Just studied some maps and had a GPS to help guide me there. There’s a bunch of crazy roads to get up here.

  5. Ashley
    on August 1st, 2011
    5

    Were there any No Trespassing signs? Because I have heard there is a lot of security around the sign and Helicopters watching it ?

  6. George
    on February 21st, 2012
    6

    Hi,

    Googling the way to hike the Sign says its motions detectors all over the place and helicopters and police will take you if watching it from where you did.

    Looks like no problem standing up there in your video?

    /George

  7. Holly
    on February 24th, 2012
    7

    You can get here off of mullholland hwy, not drive. Going to LA next month and have researched the he’ll out of how to get there. Google earth is your friend. :) 6084 mullholland hwy. Hope this helps!

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