Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 22, 2013: Hiking to the Hollywood Sign

Date: June 22, 2013
Event: Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
Location:  Los Angeles, CA
Cost:  FREE
Summary: If you're in LA -- do this!

Catching up on some blogging here – that’s what I do with long holiday weekends, I guess. This one is part of my two-day adventure in LA in late June. On Friday I went to Paramount Studios (I may or may not get a post up about that). On Saturday, I hiked to the Hollywood sign in the morning and went to 24 Hour Plays LA in the evening. I’ve already written about 24 Hour Plays; this post is about the first half of the day: Hiking to the Hollywood sign.

All I can say is that if you have any time in LA, somehow get this on your itinerary. It was so much fun, great views (albeit through haze/smog) of LA, little bits of nature to keep you company, and an up close and personal view of one of the most iconic signs in the world. Do it!

My only warnings would be that nearly the entire hike is exposed to the sun – no shade to speak of what so ever. So, very exposed. Go early in the morning to avoid the heat, wear tons of sunscreen, and take at least one bottle of water (at least). Also, read up on which trails to follow – they aren’t marked – but also know that you can ask the numerous other people making the trek which way to go. In terms of difficulty, it’s about 6 miles round trip and while there is a steady incline on the way out there, it’s pretty mild.

But, all that being said, I can’t tell you how much I recommend this for anyone who wants to add a little something different than the regular tours and sites of LA. You won’t regret it. I sure don’t!

First, as you drive down the only road you can really drive down to get to the public trail head located in a public park, you’ll pass this sign. Which is hilarious. You tried, sign, you tried. But no.


After parking at the trailhead and using their not so pleasant porti-loo, I embarked. Not to the trailhead, but to another Hollywood landmark that is located a short quarter or third of a mile away from the trailhead (though in exactly the opposite direction) as the Hollywood sign. That landmark: The Bat Cave. Or, at least the cave that was used as The Bat Cave in the 1960’s series. And I have to admit…it’s a pretty cool cave!!

Nananananana nanananana BAT MAN!



Then, retrace my steps and off on my main trek! And yet another warning is posted at the trailhead. But as I took a picture of it, my though was ‘I think I’ll risk it’. ;)

The Hike
These photos are in order in which they were taken as I traversed up the trail to the sign. The cool thing about it is that as you travel, you get different views of the sign from different angles. Fun!

The lower part of the trail does have shade, as you can see. It’s very pleasant.

Where that antenna is? That’s where we’re headed!

See how the houses are kind of rippling – HEAT.

Making progress but still a ways to go…

As you can see, the trail is wide and in very good shape. It is also, as I said, extremely exposed. Time to put on another layer of sunscreen!

A short break to talk about not just the views of the trail and the sign but of nature along the way…

Very cool cactus plants, and beautiful wild flowers…


Birds, too. I saw an amazing blue jay but wasn’t able to get a picture. But a group of three finches were more cooperative. :)

And how cute is this little guy?? I saw a number of these small lizards along the way.

Alright, back to our trip… here is one of the neater kind of side view of the sign.

That deserves a close up! Love how you can really see that these letters aren’t actually in one line but are offset from each other quite a bit. Also, those things that look like ladders on the letters…they are ladders! Those letters are that big!

Then you lose sight of the sign as you go on the back side of the mountain to finish the trek. But then… then you turn this corner and you’re above and behind it. And it’s a very cool feeling.

It would be awesome to be able to actually touch it, but that’s not allowed. Though, I must admit, it looked pretty precarious and I’m not sure I’d want to go down there even if it were allowed.

The sign is so big it’s just about impossible to get all of it in one shot, but you can get it…mostly…in two. It’s it cool!?


You then can go up even further, and get a picture. :D

There are a few other places to hike around just a bit for some further views, so I did that. But after a bit, it was time to head back down. HOWEVER, rather than go straight down, I took another side trip – there’s one place on the trail that splits: one direction goes up to the sign, the other goes down and in front of it. I decided to take this second fork and see what there was to see. And it IS a pretty amazingly close view:

Oh, and to give you an idea of the size of the sign and the hike, this is zoomed in but those people you see (they’re the tiny little specks just below the helicopter)? That’s where I just was. As I said, the sign is HUGE.

Then it was back to the trail head. What a fun fun trip. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat if I ever mind myself in LA again.

No comments:

Post a Comment