Flashing lights, stars, and glam all embody the Hollywood lifestyle that most dream of, but the trek to grab a close-up sight of the world-famous Hollywood sign brings dreamers to the more real, down-to-Earth side of Los Angeles. The Hollyridge Trail guides hikers to the closest point of the Hollywood sign that the public is allowed by the City of Los Angeles, offering locals and tourists a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are three routes to the iconic landmark, but the Hollyridge Trail is the most popular trail due to its incredible views of both the city and the sign along the way. The hike stretches 3.5 miles and suits well for beginners.
The trailhead for the hike begins at the end of Beachwood Drive. While driving up to Beachwood, you will come across a sign that says, “No access to Hollywood sign.” Disregard this posting, as there is now even a big fence that prevents parking at the trailhead to minimize neighborhood traffic. However, street parking is available from Monday to Wednesday, which is the best time to go anyway because the trails will be less crowded.
After parking, proceed to the gate and enter through the unlocked gate to the left. Once passed the gate, take the first right and follow the sign that says “hikers.” Then, follow the trail to the top. Beware of the few turns that you will have to take, so it may be best to take a map or follow your GPS if possible. The trail is not well marked. The sign will be behind a fence, so prepare to be creative with your photography skills or let this be one of those “you had to be there” memories you will always cherish. When approaching a fork of a paved path, take the left to venture to the front of the Hollywood sign. The views during the entire hike will be breathtaking. Be sure to look behind for the incredible sights of downtown LA, the Pacific Ocean, and Griffith Observatory on your trek up.
The more advanced, lengthier alternative to the Hollyridge Trail is the 6.4-mile Bush Canyon Trail. The dirt trail starts at the East side of the canyon and continues high into the trees. Stay on the Bush Canyon Trail for a little more than 1 ¼ miles. Continue until you see it merge with a road to the right. Merge onto Mullholland Fire Road and follow it left for about a mile or so. Eventually, bear right at a junction with Hollyridge Trail coming up from Beachwood Drive.
You can see the Hollywood sign during the majority of your hike on either one of the trails. Use that as guidance if ever hesitant on whether or not you are headed in the right direction.
Escape the rush of the city to sit by one of the most iconic landscapes in the country. Better yet, consider taking in these Hollywood views at sunset and live out the LA dream.