Hollywood Sign (Mt. Lee) from Brush Canyon

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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.

Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities.  By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail.  Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

2 thoughts on “Hollywood Sign (Mt. Lee) from Brush Canyon

  1. I was visiting from Australia, and I recently hiked this trail. Unfortunately I got separated from my group, and took the wrong fork on the way down. I was not aware that there were two car parks, and arrived at the wrong one. I found that the trail was not well signposted.

    1. Sorry to hear about that, you’re right, Griffith Park’s signage isn’t always great. Hope your next trip there is better.

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