How Close Can You Get To The Hollywood Sign?

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As one of the iconic monuments in the US, the Hollywood sign on Mount Lee is a must-visit for all visitors to Los Angeles.

The closest you can reach the Hollywood sign is a few feet above or behind, but you can not touch it.

History of the Hollywood Sign

Originally set up in 1923 and written as Hollywoodland, the now popular landmark was initially a temporary real-estate advert.

The sign had light strings illuminating it all over Los Angeles and comprised metal frames, wires, and telephone poles.

Mt Hollywood Trail view
Mt Hollywood Trail

Today, it is a well-loved site for visitors, pranksters, and movie producers and is part of Griffith Park, a state-owned property in Los Angeles.

After its refurbishment in 1949, it now reads Hollywood as a bold statement to signify the region’s success.

The sign remains under 24-hour surveillance by the Los Angeles law enforcement teams and park rangers.

Visitors looking to take photographs can only access the park through particular viewpoints and hiking trails. However, it is prohibited to touch the sign. 

Ways You Can Get Close To The Hollywood Sign

Although you can spot the sign from most of Los Angeles, you can hike through Griffith Park if you want a closer look.

The park is on the east side of the Santa Monica Mountains and is open all day throughout the year.

There are three authorized hiking trails to access the sign’s viewpoints. All trails are well-maintained and range from easy to difficult for all physical fitness and endurance levels.

Depending on your company, anyone can hike to the sign, including children and older people. These hiking trails help you get close to the Hollywood sign.

Want to beat the crowds and take the shortest hike to the Hollywood Sign? Follow this local’s insider route.

Hike the Mt. Hollywood Trail

Mt Hollywood Trail hiking
Mt Hollywood Trail

It covers approximately 4 miles as a moderate trail and can take about 2 hours to complete. It is one of the most well-liked trails by runners, dog walkers, and hikers of all ages.

Since it is open all year, you will encounter many visitors when you visit. The Hollywood sign sits at the summit of Mt. Lee at slightly above 1,700 feet.

Hike the Brush Canyon Trail

The Brush Canyon trail can get busy most days despite being almost 7 miles long.

Once you reach the peak where the Hollywood sign is, the Los Angeles views are breathtaking. 

Hollywood Sign Brush Canyon Trail
Brush Canyon Trail

However, since the trail is longer, reaching the top can take about 3 hours. The Griffith Observatory parking area also fills up quickly.

Try to get there early or take the bus from Vermont Metro Station.

Hike the Cahuenga Peak Trail

As the most challenging of the three trails, it is also very fulfilling as it provides a wider view of Los Angeles.

You will also see Burbank Peak from the Hollywood sign on the mountain’s west side.

The paths could be clearer in some spots, and the rocky sections make it ideal for experienced hikers.

The trail is also open from dust to dawn, and one can expect to take slightly under 2 hours to complete the 3-mile hike. 

Tips Before Hiking To Get To The Hollywood Sign

The trail is easy, with glimpses of the sign most of the way. Take breaks to soak in the beautiful views and fresh air to make it more enjoyable. 

Hiking to get to the Hollywood Sign guide
Hiking to get to the Hollywood Sign

Below are a few tips to help you make the most of your hiking trip to the Hollywood Sign.

  • The park is a wildfire hazard area, so be on the lookout. As a result, smoking or the use of open flames is not allowed in the park.
  • The sign has a fence, security cameras, and a guard or police officer manning it to prevent trespassing, which is illegal. Do not be tempted to vandalize or cross the fence.
  • You can take photos, although getting the perfect angle up close may be tricky.
  • Carry plenty of water as it can get quite hot.
  • Although there is no charge to see the sign, those not willing to hike can view it by taking a bus to the Griffith Observatory at a small fee.
  • If driving, use the hiking trail that has free parking spots in the park. If you park in one of the residential areas, you may be charged by law enforcement as they require permits.
  • There are no guided tours to the Hollywood sign, so prepare to hike alone or with your travel partner. However, the trails are well-marked.
  • If you have a dog, ensure it is on a leash and bring their food and water.
  • Although the sign is visible all day, it is not lit at night. Ensure you leave the area within the allowed hours.
  • A few wild animals call the Hollywood sign area home, especially the famous P-22 lion. Watch out for it, but you will unlikely spot it during the day.


If you are still wondering how close you can get to the Hollywood sign, there’s only one way, hiking.

Mount Lee is home to the iconic movie landmark that receives millions of visitors annually.

Pro tip: Los Angeles is hot all year, so plan to hike early or later in the day.

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