As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Hollywood Sign (Mt. Lee) from Brush Canyon
- Location: Griffith Park. From Los Angeles, take the 101 freeway to Gower Street (exit 8C), take the Beachwood Drive ramp, stay straight and go right on Franklin. After half a mile, take a left on Canyon Drive, follow it to the end and park. From the Valley, take the Vine exit off highway 101 and keep left at the fork to get to Franklin.
- Agency: Griffith Park
- Distance: 5 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,050 feet
- Suggested time: 2.5 hours
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Best season: Year round (hot in summer)
- Recommended gear: Sun Hat
- USGS topo map: “Burbank”
- More information: here
- Rating: 5
Now that we’ve established that the famous Hollywood sign is not on Mt. Hollywood, let’s look at where it actually is: Mt. Lee.
There are several ways to reach the 1,680 foot summit, and this one starts with a quick ascent on the shaded Brush Canyon trail. After 1.1 miles and 600 feet of elevation gain, you get to the dirt Mulholland Trail. At this point you have some nice views of Brush Canyon on the left. Head left on the Mulholland Trail, and after about half a mile, stay to the right as the Hollyridge Trail merges. After another quarter mile or so, take a right Mt. Lee Drive, which is paved but closed to traffic. Mt. Lee Drive curves up around the north side of a ridge, taking in views of the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains. After about half a mile, the trail curves to the left and arrives at a fence that blocks further access. From here, you get a good aerial view of the famous sign, and on clear days you can see to the ocean to the south and Mt. Baldy to the east.
If you’re pressed for time but still want to see the Hollywood Sign, it can also be accessed by the Hollyridge Trail, which is a shorter (3 miles, 750 feet elevation gain) hike. To get to this trailhead, stay on Beachwood Drive and follow it to the end.