Sunday, September 20, 2015

LA: Hiking up to the Hollywood Sign

courtesy of discoverylosangeles
Ever dream of climbing ONTO the Hollywood Sign (maybe the letter "O") mesmerizing the panoramic view of LA below? **snap snap, reality check! It was doable in the early days of the sign, but now not anymore! I did not know that before the hike... dream scattered but I never regretted ascending above the 45-foot-tall aluminium letters.

Preparing for the hike:

1. Do some homework: find out as much as you could about the trail.

2. Choose the trail according to your stamina

3. Bring water!

4. Suitable shoes.


There are 3 "official" trail for the hike, all differs in difficulties, condition of the trail (steepness, shades provided and accessibility) and also the views (depend on visibility).

1. Mt Hollywood Trail 
How long: 3.5 mile round trip
Level: Easy
Trailhead: Griffith Park (start from Griffith Observatory parking lot or fire road intersecting N. Vermont Canyon Rd., just past the Greek Theater )
Look for the sign of Charlie Turner Trailhead and Mt Hollywood trailhead.
See: Berlin Garden
View: Side-angle view of the Sign,

2. Bronson/Brush Canyon Trail
How long: 6.5 miles round trip
Trailhead : Griffith Park
See: Adam West’s Bat Cave (Bronson Cave), home of the Batmobile in the 60’s Batman TV series. View: city view from behind the Hollywood Sign.

3. Cauhuenga Peak/Wonder View Trail
How long: 3 miles round trip
level: difficult
Trailhead : The View  from the Hugh Hefner overlook Aileen Getty Ridge Trail
See: Wisdom Tree, (you may spot :) Mountain lion P-22
View: Hollywood Reservoir, the San Fernando Valley, side view of Hollywood sign.

Which one did We choose?

We decided to take on the easy route (Mt Hollywood trail), starting our hike from the Griffith park at the end of the parking lot. We got lost/bored somewhere so we took some short cuts passing bushes and slopes (not advisable) , ending up on the path of the Canyon trail. We ended the hike right at the back of the Hollywood sign, rest well and made our way down following the paved road, passing residential areas of the hill. There were people selling ice creams and chilled mineral water, so I guess that is one of the many trails leading up to the sign. We called an uber halfway down using (public? or the password was too simple to guess?) WI-FI (or we pronounced it as "We-Fee", just for a day).


1. Wildfire danger on the trails (do not smoke, do not take on the hike if fire danger is on "High")

2. Rattle Snakes (do not wander off the path!)

3. Dehydration (bring water!)

4. DO NOT climb the Sign/ Letters
There are:

  • A tall perimeter fence with razor wire
  • 24 hour electronic surveillance by City of Los Angeles authorities
  • Infrared lights and cameras that can see equally as well in the day and on a moonless night
  • Monitoring microphones and bullhorns
  • Web cameras
  • Motion sensors
  • Regular patrol visits by city police and park ranger helicopters

Just for a sign? Of course, it is an iconic landmark of Los Angeles!

No comments: