Hollywood Sign Hike Griffith Park Los Angeles California hiking trail Mount Lee

Want to hike to the Hollywood Sign? One way to get there is a 6.4-mile hike through Griffith Park that summits Mount Lee directly behind the iconic lettering. Beyond just gazing up at the sign, the hike offers the opposite perspective, a chance to look down at the city below. The moderate day hike gains 1,050 feet of elevation over wide fire roads, and the last mile is actually paved.

Note: Shorter hikes to the Hollywood Sign are also available. Alternative routes set out on Innsdale Trail ad Hollyridge Trail to Mount Lee. The Hollywood Sign can also be reached by a steeper hike across adjacent Cahuenga Peak.

Brush Canyon Trail

Begin this hike to the Hollywood Sign from the north end of Canyon Drive. After parking in the free lots along the road, hike around the gate up the center of a wide canyon on Brush Canyon Trail. The dirt road finds the east side of the canyon and climbs above the trees. Plan on being completely sun-exposed from this point on.

Brush Canyon Trail rounds the top of the canyon and comes to an overlook at 1.25 miles. The view down on Los Angeles is so satisfying that many hikers turn around right here.

Hollywood Sign Hike
A view of Hollywood from the overlook

Just above the overlook, Brush Canyon Trail merges with Mulholland Fire Road. Turn left and continue west toward Mount Lee.

Hollywood Sign Hike
Looking west on Mulholland Fire Road toward Mount Lee

Mulholland Fire Road

The hike continues across Mulholland Fire Road with intermittent side views of the Hollywood Sign that reassure you that you are heading in the correct direction.

The road levels out some as it winds around a few ridges. Bear right at a junction with Hollyridge Trail coming up from Beachwood Drive and the horse stables at Sunset Ranch. Hike past another overlook and continue along Mulholland until the trail hits Mount Lee Drive, 2.25 miles from the start.

Hollywood Sign Hike
Looking up at Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

Mount Lee Drive

At the end of Mulholland Fire Road, Mount Lee Drive descends to the left for 0.4 miles to a spur to Hollywood Sign View, which is more easily reached on the hike to the Hollywood Sign via Innsdale Drive, Mulholland Highway, and Mount Lee Drive.

Turn right up Mount Lee Drive and follow the winding, paved road to the summit, gaining 430 feet in 0.95 miles. As you climb, look east for a nice view of the Griffith Observatory. The road eventually ascends to the north side of the mountain for a view over Burbank, the Verdugo Mountains, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Hollywood Sign Hike
Looking through the fence at the Hollywood Sign

At the top of the mountain, the road makes a horseshoe bend to the left, passing a plaque and a junction with Aileen Getty Ridge Trail, which crosses a ridge to Cahuenga Peak. Around the bend in Mount Lee Drive, you will find yourself right on top of the H in Hollywood. A tall chain-link fence keeps hikers from approaching the tall white letters and obscures the view.

Walk up along the fence to a closed-off area full of radio towers and take the dirt path to the left up to the true summit, twenty feet above the road. The 1,700-foot mountain offers sweeping views of the eastern ridges and peaks of the Santa Monica Mountains and the city below. Picture everywhere you can see the Hollywood Sign from and that’s what’s in sight.

Hollywood Sign Hike
Looking out over the top of the Hollywood Sign

Aileen Getty Ridge Trail

If you hiked all the way up Mount Lee from Brush Canyon Trail (3.2 miles) and have the energy for a bit more, extending the hike out to Cahuenga Peak is highly recommended. At 0.15 miles from the top, at the outside of the big bend in the road, find Aileen Getty Ridge Trail and follow this narrow, rugged path west over the ridge to Caheunga Peak.

The terrain drops off steeply on both sides of the ridge, delivering dramatic views that include Lake Hollywood to the southwest. Follow Aileen Getty Ridge Trail for a third of a mile to the 1,820-foot summit of Cahuenga Peak, which was spared from developed by citizens who blocked a housing project and contributed to the Save the Sign campaign. The land was purchased in April or 2010 and donated to the city to become part of Griffith Park.

Aileen Getty Ridge Trail continues down the west side of Cahuenga Peak to Burbank Peak. The single-track trail to the less-visited summit is a nice change from the wide fire roads leading up to the Hollywood Sign.

Hollywood Sign Hike
Aileen Getty Ridge Trail to Cahuenga Peak

After enjoying one or both peaks, simply return the way you came. It is 6.4 miles to Mount Lee and back, or 7.1 miles if you include Cahuenga Peak.

This is a dog-friendly hike and a seasonal drinking hole for dogs can be found about half a mile up Brush Canyon Trail. No fee or permit is required to visit Griffith Park.

For more hiking, compare the other trails to the Hollywood Sign or consider additional hikes in Griffith Park. A bit more fun can be found by heading southeast from the trailhead on a dirt fire road to Bronson Cave. After 1/4 mile, turn left into a quarry with a cinematic tunnel made famous for its portrayal of the Batcave in the TV version of Batman from the 1960s.

The basic directions for Brush Canyon Trail to Mount Lee are:
  1. Hike north from the end of Canyon Drive (0 miles)
  2. Reach the top of Brush Canyon Trail and turn left onto Mulholland Fire Road (1.3 miles)
  3. Stay to the right past the top of Hollyridge Trail (1.9 miles)
  4. Turn right up Mount Lee Drive (2.15 miles)
  5. Round the bend just below the summit, passing Aileen Getty Ridge Trail to Cahuenga Peak (3.05 miles)
  6. Reach the top of Mount Lee above the Hollywood Sign (3.2 miles)

To get to the trailhead: From Franklin Avenue, north of the 101 Freeway and Hollywood Boulevard, turn north on Canyon Drive (between Bronson Avenue and Van Ness Avenue) and drive 1.4 miles to the trailhead. There is a small parking area on the left past a larger lot on the right.

Trailhead address: 3200 Canyon Drive, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Trailhead coordinates: 34.12485, -118.3136 (34° 07′ 29.46″N 118° 18′ 48.95″W)

Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.
Trail Map

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These photos were taken in May of 2010 and August of 2012. Click to enlarge.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Hollywood · Summits · Dog-Friendly Trails · Griffith Park · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 6.4 miles · Elevation change: 1050 feet

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24 Comments on Brush Canyon Trail to Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign in Griffith Park

  1. kshoufer wrote:

    I hiked this trail with the L.A. Meetup group and loved every minute of it.
    Thanks for the detailed post.

  2. Lennie Ross wrote:

    I’ve done this hike a few times from Canyon Drive. It’s great. Excellent directions and photos. Thank you.

  3. Harper wrote:

    I hiked this last May. It is a fun “intro to LA” hike. It was less of a slip hazard than a lot of other trails. I was wearing loafers because I didn’t have any sneakers with me at the time and it wasn’t too bad (although I would recommend good sneakers instead!). Views are great. It is popular, but was not excessively crowded or loud. A great half-day activity for active out-of-town guests any time except the hottest part of summer (take plenty of water and go slow and enjoy).

    Harper's ratings for this hike: Harper gives a rating of 4Harper gives a rating of 4Harper gives a rating of 4Harper gives a rating of 4Harper gives a rating of 4
  4. Novice Hiker wrote:

    What would you say the difficulty of this hike, via Brush Canyon trail, would be? Thanks!

    • Mark Sielen wrote:

      First mile and a quarter lower moderate- steady climb. Rest of hike to Mt. Lee, easy. Go on a clear day and not on a hot day, unless you start early. Take water. Add short fun hike to Cahuenga Peak, but somewhat challenging due to steep and rocky trail . . . just go slow and wear lug soles if you want to do Cahuenga.

  5. […] More information about this hike: Trail information from hikespeak.com […]

  6. kbernal wrote:

    This is a general question about trail lengths on this site. When it says 6.4 miles, does that mean out and back, or just one way?

    • hikespeak wrote:

      Hi- Thanks for the question. For almost all of the hikes on this site, the overall distance given is for the round trip for the whole hike, either an out-and-back return hike or a loop. There are a few hikes that are listed as one-way shuttle hikes, but those will be obviously described that way. For this hike, 6.4 miles is how far you will hike from start to finish (up to the summit and back down). Enjoy!

  7. […] Tim, Richard, and Adam for a hike up to the back of the Hollywood Sign using the 6.4 mile round-trip Brush Canyon Trail. My original choice, the shorter Hollyridge Trail, was closed due to “maintenance” […]

  8. Erinn wrote:

    Great hike and great directions. There weren’t too many people and the views were just spectacular. I highly recommend it!

  9. […] Brush Canyon Trail – 6.4 miles round trip Hollyridge Trail – 3.5 miles round trip Wonder View Trail – 3 miles round trip […]

  10. […] you must plan every minute detail, hikespeak has broken this venture down step by step, and hollywoodsignhikes has excellent directions to […]

  11. Ron Johnson wrote:

    In the early 70’s I started from Burbank, hiking through the cemetery and up the hill until I came out on the other side, at the Hollywood sign. The sign seemed to be in pitiful condition at the time, full of bullet holes. Memorable hike.

  12. Jinny wrote:

    Im kinda confuse about this .. first time go hike. Me and my friend want to go to Brush canyon Trail to Mount Lee & the Hollywood sign. Where is good to meet? I saw the address 3000 canyon Dr. Griffth park. However im not sure that address is start point or whole trail address…

    • hikespeak wrote:

      The hike starts from the end of Canyon Drive. You can meet in the small parking area there or meet outside the park and drive up in one car to save on space.

  13. laurie wrote:

    Hello we want to go behind the sign and see the view from there. Is there a sortest hike please to go behind ? thank you

  14. hector Villanueva wrote:

    this is my first time to go and check the sign, and im from Nevada and thinking taking my mountain bike with me. can you ride bike going to those trails?

    • hikespeak wrote:

      Bikes aren’t allowed on dirt trails in Griffith Park. However, Mount Hollywood Drive (paved but closed to vehicles) is open to bikes and has excellent views of the Hollywood Sign (without actually reaching the sign).

  15. […] more roundabout, laid-back option is through Brush Canyon Trail. Walk up Canyon Drive until it turns into a dirt road. When you hit Mulholland Trail, swing left […]

  16. Angus Beverly wrote:

    Is this trail open to mountain bikers?

  17. Anish wrote:

    Hi! Is this a good trail to get a view of the entire Hollywood sign from the front on the trail itself, AND get up behind the sign? Or is there another better one you recommend?

  18. Chris wrote:

    This article is outdated as the parking lot that is refered to is constantly packed and cars get broken into on a regular basis. There is limited street parking outside the park and cars get tickets or towed on a regular basis.

  19. Cintia wrote:

    Hi, I just want to know how early we can actually get there? Is there a gate or specific park hours? I checked online and it says park hours are 8 to 6, but I have gone to Griffith park earlier than that. I just want to avoid crowds and hopefully some of the heat.