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Hollywood Sign & Hollywood Hills, CA


• 5-star hike
• 2.5 to 5.5 mi options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 510 to 1,290 ft
• Southern California | Hollywood CA
• Driving directions: Brush Canyon, Wonder View, Mt Lee


The Hollywood icon, looking out over LA and beyond from Mount Lee.

We've researched and hiked the best routes to access the iconic Hollywood sign and list them below, for your consideration. However, if you're looking for your photo-opportunity without ANY hiking involved? You can drive straight up to Lake Hollywood Park (driving directions) which has great views from this well kept grassy park, assuming you can find a spot to leave the car. If you want to get even closer without a hike, then check out the viewpoint near the Mount Lee Drive trailhead that's described below.

All of the following hikes will take you behind the Hollywood sign and to the top of Mount Lee. The sign itself is fenced off and under video surveillance but there are plenty of opportunities for mostly fence-free photography. Also check out the Hugh Hefner Overlook just off the junction with Wonder View Trail. Hefner was a strong supporter for conservation of the Hollywood sign and hills.

Sidebar, Fullscreen Map.

Brush Canyon
Brush Canyon & Mt Chapel
Wonder View
Mt Lee Drive

Trail Descriptions:

Brush Canyon | 4★, 5.5 miles, Out & Back, Easy, Gain 1,145ft - Brush Canyon Trail is a wide, flat trail with gentle elevation gain, providing increasingly impressive Southerly views of Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Head right at the junction with the paved Mount Lee Drive and continue upward to the summit along the Northern flanks of the mountain.

You can often find yourself sharing the trail with horse riders taking a tour offered by the Sunset Ranch Hollywood. I even spotted a couple of coyotes on my morning hike up Brush Canyon. The trailhead is just north of two parking lots - one large, and another smaller one a little further up the road. Be mindful however that the popularity of this trail means that the lots can fill up quickly - particularly at weekends.

Sign Lookout Side-Trip There's a great photo-op in front of the Hollywood sign near the Mount Lee Trailhead if you're prepared to hike an additional mile. Where Brush Canyon Trail meets Mount Lee Drive, turn left downhill and proceed to a gate. Don't go through the gate, but head back uphill to your right and you'll reach the lookout point.

Bat Cave Side-Trip An extra side-trip marked on our map and located near the Brush Canyon trailhead is the ½ mile round-trip hike to Bronson Caves, which was the filming location of the Bat Cave from the 1960's Batman TV show. When we were there the caves were covered by construction fences, but we're still glad we got to see it.


Sharing the Brush Canyon Trail with riders from Sunset Ranch.

Brush Canyon Mt Chapel Loop | 5★, 5.1 miles, Part-loop, Medium, Gain 1,286ft - Returning along the narrow Mount Chapel trail is actually a shortcut when compared to the Brush Canyon Out & Back. You could also save some elevation gain by circumnavigating Mount Chapel with a use of a bypass trail on the Southern flank.

Reaching the summit of Mount Chapel requires a little rock scrambling, and descending back to the Brush Canyon Trail can be a bit steep but nothing someone of average fitness wouldn't be able to handle.

Wonder View Trail | 5★, 2.9 miles, Out & back, Medium, Gain 1,050ft - Start at the intersection between Lake Hollywood Drive and Wonder View Drive where you can leave your vehicle and walk up a quiet residential street to the Wonder View trailhead. From here it's a 700 foot climb up a rocky foot trail to Burbank Peak and the Wisdom Tree - apparently the only tree on the hill to survive a 2007 wildfire. Check out both the Warner Brothers and Universal Studios below you to the Northwest.

Proceed East along the ridgeline and over Cahuenga Peak to complete your outward journey to the summit of Mount Lee and the Hollywood letters. The trail remains narrow throughout with occasional minor rock scrambling.


The Wisdom Tree atop Burbank Peak, on the Wonder Trail.

Mount Lee Drive | 4★, 2.5 miles, Out & back, Easy, Gain 509ft - Located at the end of what should be a quiet residential neighborhood is the trailhead for not just the 2.5 mile round-trip hike up Mount Lee Drive but also access to one of the best Hollywood sign lookout points.

A cat-and-mouse game between frustrated locals, city planners and tourists has ensued here, to the point that locals have erected their own unofficial signage and almost hidden from view the gate to access this trail. Should you still want to use this trailhead - obviously in a way that is respectful to local residents - then note that parking is non-existent. I've seen rideshare users get dropped off here. I also imagine there are parking opportunities not too far away down the hill that would require a little extra walking.

Start at the end of Deronda Drive, ignore the large double gates which mark the start of Mount Lee Drive and look for an obscured access gate to the left. Before you begin your walk up to the summit, be sure to check out the lookout point on the left. Then you'll need to double-back to get back on the trail to the top of the mountain and the Hollywood sign.


I'm ready for my closeup; at the Mount Lee Drive trailhead.

Tangents:
• Trail Links: Official
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