How To Hike Up To the Hollywood Sign

There are three main trails up to the Hollywood sign. The most popular one usually involves a far away view of the Hollywood sign, but I wanted to get up close and personal. I wanted to get up to the sign as quickly as possible because I had afternoon appointments and though google stated it would only take 48 minutes to get there, I wanted to plan extra time because I wanted to take some photos, of course!

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I parked on Lake Hollywood Drive and started my walk up through a quaint little neighborhood which sits at the edge of the hills. There was a yellow gate that marked the beginning of the hike. I started my trek up at about 9 AM because I wanted to miss some of the tourist. The Wonder Tree Trail is one of the hardest climbs up to the sign but it is the fastest way. The hard trek quickly paid off as I watched the sun peek through the fog and/or smog and was able to snap a bunch of photos with the beautiful blossoming flowers.

I had no idea what it would look like at the Wonder Tree; how would I know if I was at the Wonder Tree? Why was it called the Wonder Tree? How long would it actually take to get there? All questions answered very quickly! The Wonder Tree is a stand alone tree at the top of the hill and as LA is mostly in a desert, a tree at the top of a hill would be pretty rare. It took the majority of the hike to get there. If you walked straight there (without stopping for photos), I think it would have taken about 30 minutes of a pretty intense hike.

From the Wisdom Tree to the Hollywood sign was flatter ground, though it was no less dangerous! You are pretty much walking on the cliffs edge and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if you have any injury or young kids. All great things don’t come easy and it was definitely worth it for the view. This picture was a bit difficult to capture and I had to ask someone to stand on a make shift bench with my wide angle lens to capture it, but I love it for the memory!

Now is probably a pretty good time to mention that you should consider getting travel insurance when traveling out of country, this is the best and cheapest option I have found out there, I hope it helps give you peace of mind and a bit more of a safety net than you probably currently have; World Normal Travel Insurance. Anyhow, as I mentioned, I took the hard way, there is an easier way to the sign. This way takes a little longer, I believe you have to park in a lot at the bottom of the hill and get bused up to the Griffith Observatory but from there I hear it is a bit of an easier hike, you can still get to the Wisdom Tree by going this way.

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