Each country has its own nationally renowned landmark/monument, something that visitors from all over the world travel to see; the Eiffel tower in Paris, the pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, and in the United States the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Hollywood sign in California. While the United States has several other natural wonders like the Grand Canyon or Niagara falls, I feel that both Hollywood and the Statue of Liberty represent more of the “American Dream”- freedom and the chance to make it big. Millions of people flock to Hollywood each year to see the handprints outside Grauman’s Theater, their favorite star’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the mansions where the celebs live, and the 45 foot tall letters of the Hollywood sign.
Living in Southern California all my life I have driven by the Hollywood sign many of times on my way somewhere else and never ventured to see it up close; that is until I was moving.
A mere day after putting the finishing touches on my bucket list Devin and I were already crossing something off. It had been raining all week-long, but when I woke up Saturday morning the sun was peeking through the clouds, so I decided it was time to get out and get some fresh air. An hour after forcing myself to get out of bed I was at the base of Mt. Lee in Hollywood strapping on my backpack, getting ready for the hike.
Where the hike started
Devin holding Hollywood in the palm of his hand
The hike started off easy enough, uphill but on a smooth, hard packed trail; after ¼ mile the trail leveled off and was flat, gradually increasing in elevation. Somehow Devin and I missed the turn off to get to the Hollywood sign and ended up going east towards the Griffith Observatory; to get back on track we began cutting through the mountain side. The ground was all muddy, there were steep rocks to climb down and huge bushes to crawl under; the hike had suddenly become very difficult, not what we had been expecting.
We don’t do trails, we create our own path
We only had our one water bottle (after Zion you would think we would learn our lesson), because everything we read about the hike said it was a quick 30 minute hike, uphill, but reasonable; little did we know we were detouring through the mountains. We honestly could have been those people who show up on the news that get lost going on some easy hike and end up dying. Luckily we found our way to the road and got back on track.
Finally we found our way back!
Yeah I said road, after walking on the hard packed dirt for a while it runs into an old service road, so you continue up to the sign on paved asphalt, why we were climbing through the mountains instead of on the asphalt…. I don’t know.
The clouds were rolling in as we were on the final ascent to the top of the mountain (which had become very steep at this point), so we knew we had limited time.
The clouds were rolling in
The closest that you can get to the sign is 20 feet behind a metal chain link fence, but you still get the feel for how grand it is. Even better is the view of the Silver Lake reservoir and the city of Los Angeles.
The City of Angels
The view from the top of the Hollywood Sign
We took a few photos but began feeling rain drops so quickly began heading back down and all of a sudden out of no where gum ball sized hail drops were coming down on us. So we started running down the hill trying to get to our car faster, it didn’t take too long to get there but we were drenched! Afterwards we stopped at Earth Cafe (the guys of Entourage aways went there) to grab a quick bite before heading back to our place in Huntington Beach.
The hike was a great one, very easy as long as you stay on the trail; and provides phenomenal views of the City of Angeles. I am really glad I climbed to the top of the Hollywood sign and don’t have to worry about telling people I never did it while I lived in California. I would recommend it for anyone that lives in California or even for people who are just visiting.
Devin’s Hollywood Head Shot
My Hollywood Glamour Sho
- Check out this guy’s site before you try and go and read it all the way through, he gives you step by step directions so you don’t get lost like I did http://hollywoodsigntrip.com/
- Look for the trail to split left, while you are walking you will pass a part where the trail cuts back behind you, uphill- this is where you want to go
- If you go in the summer wear sunscreen, bring more than one water bottle, and put on a big floppy hat – there is no shade on the trail.
- If possible go in the early morning or evening
That’s my story…
Peace & Love