Once in Hollywood, here’s route to trail:
To get to the trailhead, 3200 Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068: From Franklin Avenue, north of the 101 Freeway and Hollywood Boulevard, turn north on Canyon Drive (between Bronson Avenue and Van Ness Avenue) and drive 1.4 miles to the trailhead. There is a small parking area on the left past a larger lot on the right. map
Distance: 6.27 miles Time: 2:52:07 Steps: 12,669
Water: Drank 1.5 l took 3l Snacks: hard-boiled egg, Pro Bar
Trail Condition: Excellent flat, wide. service road some parts of trail Temp: 70’s
Much of this hike is exposed to direct sun, there are certain sections of the trail that offer shade. That said, always, always, bring more water than you need, sun protection and stop if you need.To add some novelty, adventure and glamour to your hiking menu not too mention hiking a iconic symbol representing movie stars, glitter and the ritz of LA, I highly recommend hiking the Hollywood Sign in the Hollywood Hills. There are 3 ways to do this, each offering their own unique experience and adventure, from easy to difficult. Quite frankly these trails all cross or intersect with each other and many hikers create hybrid hikes out of the miles of trials and these 3 mentioned routes. That said I wanted a challenge, a workout and a bit of distance in reaching the sign, so I chose The Brush Canyon trail.
3 ways to Hike the Hollywood Sign
- Brush Canyon Trail – 6.4 miles round trip with 1,050 feet of elevation gain
- Hollyridge Trail – 3.5 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation gai
- Wonder View Trail – 3 miles round trip with 875 feet of elevation gain
The Basic Trail Directions of this Hike are:
- Hike north from the end of Canyon Drive
- Reach the top of Brush Canyon Trail, turn left onto Mulholland Fire Road @ 1.2 miles
- Stay to the right past the top of Hollyridge Trail @ 1.9 miles
- Turn right up Mount Lee Road @ 2.15 miles
- Reach the top of Mount Lee above the Hollywood Sign @ 3.1 miles
The Brush Canyon Trail starts out in shade wandering through a grove of tree cover and low lying brush. After .5 mile the trail starts its gradual incline ascent which for most of the 3.1 miles to the peak of Mount Lee, is consistently the same. There is a section of the trail between the 1.2 mile and 2.1 mile mile that offers a reprieve with a steady level flat piece of trail. This is where you turn left from the Brush Canyon Trail onto Mulholland Fire Road, which is about the 1.2 mile mark. Keep left as the trail dips and winds and climbs again to the right. From here you get a great view of the sign off to the upper left. Stay to the right past the top of Hollyridge Trail @ 1.9 miles.
At this point you will come to Mount Lee Road. For the shorter trail view of the sign, go left, for a much more rewarding view and a strenuous workout stay right on Mount Lee road and began your climb to the back of the sign. From this point onward the trail is a paved access road that leads right to the peak. Not easy, but very doable. On this day I was surprised at the amount of people, (and horses,) hiking the trail. It was college and school Spring break so that could explain the crowds. yet I’m thinking even during non-holidays this trail is a popular one to hike. A thing to understand about hiking “The Sign,” is that where ever you are even when the sign is in view, you never really get a straight head on “Photo” view of the sign, In fact the route I took going up the Mount Lee access road offers you the best view of the sign, from behind, which offers great views up close of the over 6 feet tall letters and in the distance a great view of the skyline of LA.
The route back is the same one hiked up. I enjoyed the hike back as much as up due to the fact of the great views of Downtown LA as well as being able to take in the trail more as you are not as focused on “finding” the large white letters of the sign, as you are on the way up.
For a must do adventurous hike loaded with energy, glamour and the movie stardom of the Hollywood Hills, hiking the Hollywood sign is a must do on any serious Socal hikers bucket list of hikes to do!
As always, hike with a partner, respect your limits, respect your partners limits, lots of water….Be safe!……Have Fun!….