The Hollywood Sign, located in the Hollywood Hills of LA, USA…you see it in so many films and TV shows yet it’s always so far away. My goal – to touch it…to see how big it really is close-up. After lots of Google researching, you discover it’s totally off limits and you’re only ever going to be able to touch it, if you dress up as a shrub and SAS crawl on your belly under the fence that guards it. However, there are a couple of trails that you can hike that get you behind the sign.
We chose a trail that starts at the end of Canyon Drive because of the parking facilities (it even had a porta-potty which was handy!). It’s not exactly a steep hike, just pretty long, it took around 2hr30 to get to the top. Don’t let the rattle snake warning signs put you off, apparently they only come out at dawn…we decided to believe this piece of information! We passed a couple of other tourists, a few people on horses, but mainly locals walking dogs who got pleasure in telling us just how long was left to go, yet overtook us, reached the top and then passed us on their way back down before we had even progressed a little bit further.
You can’t actually see the sign very often while walking up to it. Just when you think you’re getting nearer, you turn a corner and the path switches back, going off in the opposite direction again! Nearing the top, the path splits into 2, one leads to the front, the other, up behind it. Other than this part, it’s obvious which direction you should be going.
Once at the top, you can finally get a feel for just how big the sign really is. It actually curves around the hill though, so it’s hard to get a photo of it all in one shot.
The fence, is as close as you can get to the sign (this picture was taken through a gap between the links). Hiking TO the sign is forbidden and carries fines. It is protected by various security systems to stop vandals from reaching it.
Taking the other path, to the front, this is as far as you can get…
…and even then I don’t think you’re technically allowed to get this close. A family of tourists carried on along the path, heading closer to it and a loud speaker came out of no where and told them to turn around and go back…the sign really doesn’t lie, they watch you like hawks.
The trip down is a lot quicker.
A couple of the other trails are apparently shorter, but they don’t come with huge car parks like the one at the end of Canyon Drive.
Top tip: start it early in the morning and take water! Although it can be foggy, by the time you get to the top, it clears so you can see the views over the city and you avoid doing the hardest part during the hottest time of the day!
It was one of my highlights from my time in Los Angeles! It was nice to get away from the craziness of the city for a morning! (Although it did nearly kill off my Dad and Sister but then they aren’t really walkers!)