The Hollywood sign hike is one of the top things to do in Los Angeles, and we got up there without expensive tour guides for $0.50 each. It won’t cost much more if you’re staying further afield in Los Angeles such as Santa Monica or Venice. We stayed in one of the best hostels in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard that has great transport connections. You could even hike to the Hollywood sign for free from Hollywood Boulevard if you fancy a 2 mile uphill walk prior to the Hollywood sign trail. We opted for the bus and we’re glad we did, the hike is pretty tough in Californian weather. Here’s how to do it:
Look for the DASH bus stop signs around Hollywood, we hopped on at Hollywood/Vine.
Make sure the destination on the sign is ‘BEACHWOOD CANYON‘. You will be exiting the bus at the last stop, Beachwood Canyon, also known as ‘Hollywoodland‘. Pay 0.50c to the driver for a one way ticket.
Click for DASH BUS ROUTE MAP
Keep right and stay on Beachwood at all possible turning options. Keep going until for around 10-15 minutes until you arrive at a gate that ends any vehicle access.
Walk through the gate and you have started the official Hollywood sign trail.
This is the full route to the Hollywood sign on foot and our recommended route to get back down.
- Dark green indicates walking up a road
- Light green up a dirt path
- Dark orange is walking back down on a road
Unless you want to take the horseback route around the Hollywood Hills from the Sunset Ranch, stick to the right hand path where you will see a sign for ‘HORSES (left) and HIKERS (right)’. We took some amazing pictures here of people riding horses.
This will be the point where you are now on an ‘off road’ path. Keep your eye out for snakes and lions, stay central to the path where possible. Keep walking up hill.
After plenty of photo opportunities, you will eventually arrive at a tarmac road again. Take a right turn here and follow the road straight, this will take you to all the way to the Hollywood sign.
Keep walking up the winding hill.
All of a sudden, you’ll see this fence. Though you can’t get a fantastic picture while you are standing on the road, fear not, for there is more.
Turn around and look up, you will more than likely see people on the top of a small dirt hill. This hill is accessible by walking to the end of the road by the satellite mast and up a steep dirt path, be careful as it isn’t very tourist friendly.
After capturing a million photographs, the tourists started to arrive just as we were leaving at around noon. We headed back down the hill and spotted what appeared to be a hidden path up. This was located by the memorial in point 5 on the left hand side if you are walking down the hill.
Once again, be careful of the snakes and lions, we didn’t see any but this area is a little grassy and isolated. Head through the trees and up to the top of the hill for a beautifully unspoiled view.
The one rule we tried to stick to the most on our round the world trip was to never walk the same path twice. By taking a different route back down from the sign, and by taking Deronda and the famous Mulholland Drive, you won’t be disappointed.
From the sign, walk back down the hill you came and at the first point you have to choose to go left or right, go right. Left would take you back the route you came. Walk downhill for approximately 15 minutes and you will eventually be able to turn around and see the sign from the front with a spectacular close up view by the residential housing on Deronda.
Walk through the gates at Deronda and head downhill. Your aim is to get to the bottom of the hill back to the bus stop, weave in and out of the streets for full exposure of the fancy residences of Hollywood. There are some fantastic houses to peer into. We discussed who might live there on our way down and there was one house in particular that we fell in love with.
See if you can spot the ‘Garden of Oz‘ on your way down, we’d love to meet whoever owns this place and salute them for their creativity.
You’ll eventually arrive back at North Beachwood Canyon Drive on foot where you will be able to catch the bus back to Hollywood Boulevard from the stop on the opposite side of the road.
This bus stop is beside an outdoor public library which is definitely worth checking out before you hop aboard the DASH.
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We have derived this list from personal experience after spending Hiking the Hollywood sign ourselves during our stay in Los Angeles. We’d love to evolve this post and we invite you to leave any suggestions in the comments below.
We hope you enjoy the Hollywood sign hike, let us know what you enjoyed the most.