Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hollywood Sign Hike

Hey guys,
I'm back in the United States.  Since many of you are international readers, I thought I might add some of my fun US adventures into the blog.

Over Christmas, I decided to hike to the Hollywood Sign.  There was a video circulating on Facebook that pointed out that there was a trail that could get you right up to the Hollywood sign instead of the view from the Observatory 3 miles away.

If you type in the Hollywood Sign into Google Maps, it sends you to the observatory.  So, you can either view the Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood Park, Griffith Park or venture up through the finicky Beachwood Canyon neighborhood and get up close and personal by taking the Mount Lee Trail.

Griffith Park is a long hike.  It's approximately 6.5 miles round trip.  The trail is mostly dirt and gravel, but there is not a lot of shade along the hike. The benefit, however is that the parking situation is fairly good.

Lake Hollywood gives you a really nice view from a few miles away and again, the parking is tolerable.

But if you're in for adventure and an easier hike to the sign, you can battle parking restrictions and get to the sign fairly quickly.  Neighbors within the Beachwood Community have gone to great lakes to prevent visitors from parking on their wind-y, narrow streets.  However, if you venture up on a weekday, you're in luck as the parking is not restricted.  You can get right up to the trail opening at Deronda Dr. and Rockcliff Dr.

Here are the directions:
From the 101, get off at Beachwood Dr., take a left at Ledgewood Dr.  It will jog around for a bit and appear to dead end. Take a left for a couple of meters, then a quick left to continue onto Ledgewood Dr.  Then, you'll take a sharp U-turn to Rockcliff Dr.  Where Rockwood Dr. meets Deronda Dr., there is a white entrance...BINGO!

There is a gravel platform that gives you an amazing and unobstructed view of the Hollywood sign.  Perfect for jumping photos, selfies and other debauchery.

The only riff raff on the mountain, was us.

If you walk back down toward the front gate and take a sharp U-turn, you enter the Mount Lee Trail. This 1-mile walk takes you up and behind the Hollywood Sign.  You can literally get within 10-feet of the letters.  No, you can't sit inside the 'O' like Hollywood films like you to think you can.  There is a strict trespassing policy and violators will be cited.

You can see from downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean

This hike is definitely on the easier side.  It's a steady incline up and pets on leashes are allowed.  Everyone hiking is very friendly and it's secure and free of peddlers and riff raff.  if you make it to the top, you can see from the valley to the ocean.  You can even see the controversial vineyard on the side of the mountain.

Made it to the top!

Hike away, folks.  It really is worth the parking hassle.

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