We were looking for a hike or walk closer to home and stumbled across this “urban” hike right in our backyard. Griffith Park is a gem in Los Angeles offering up a respite from the traffic and commotion, an oasis in the midst of LA. This hike takes you up in Mt Lee to take in the “Hollywood” sign from afar and from behind. The hike starts near the Bronson caves where Canyon Drive comes to an end. There’s plenty of parking along the street in a dirt lot or out in the surrounding neighborhood if you can’t find anything close.
It’s a steep fire road ascent out of the canyon and everyone (especially Max the wonder dog) was feeling the late summer heat. As you continue to climb you begin to gain some views of Hollywood and the city below.
At the first trail intersection we took a left towards Mt. Lee the trail is relatively flat but sadly it eventually is paved as I believe this is a remnant of Mulhollland Drive. We bore right on the paved path and made our way up Mt. Lee. Again this road is paved which is a bummer but it climbs steeply and relentlessly up Mt. Lee. Eventually the road crests over a ridge and you gain views of San Fernando Valley, Burbank, and beyond. With one last push you arrive at the top of Mt. Lee and arrive behind the Hollywood sign. There is a large fence to prevent vandalism of the sign but you can grab great views of the sign from behind.
Mt. Lee offers a great view of downtown LA in the distance and Hollywood is right below you. Even in the midst of our epic drought there is still a full Hollywood Reservoir down below. We enjoyed the view for a few minutes before heading back down to find another view of the “sign”.
We headed back down and veered right at the next trail intersection to get the iconic Hollywood Sign shot. We took a few obligatory shots of the sign before turning around back for the car. The late summer smog hampered some of the views and I bet this would be awesome after a rainstorm clears out the haze or the hills are green from a wet winter. We’ll make sure to come back in the winter on a clear day to enjoy the city views.
Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation: 1000 feet