8 Best Hollywood Sign Photo Spots in Los Angeles

Hollywood Sign photo spots are among the first destinations every traveler looks for in Los Angeles. The best places to take incredible photos with the Hollywood Sign in the background though require some creativity and… hiking.

8 Best Hollywood Sign Photo Spots in Los Angeles

After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, I knew exactly where to look for the best Hollywood Sign photo spots, but never really ventured there. Earlier this year though we decided to get to the famous attraction as close as possible. Since our 2-year-old baby was about to hit the trail as well, we succumbed to the easiness of the Mt. Hollywood Trail. Although we enjoyed the amazing views of the Hollywood Sign, it was certainly not one of the best photo spots on an early Sunday morning. Crowds of the hikers, already climbing up and down the hill, made us feel like we were searching for the best Hollywood Sign photo destinations somewhere on intersection of Hollywood and Highland, not Griffith Park.

As we were walking back past the Griffith Observatory, an Uber pulled over almost in front of us. A young girl emerged as soon as the car stoped. It was obvious, she was a tourist. Who comes to the Griffith Observatory in an Uber? Before the young traveler even closed the door of the car, in her “flavorful” Russian she started cursing her friend. Apparently the Griffith Observatory, one of the most convenient Hollywood Sign photo spots, was not what the girl had expected.

Indeed, Los Angeles, a proud owner of the most famous sign in the world, offers many places to admire its precious jewel from a distance. The Instagram-worthy Hollywood Sign photo spots, however, are scarce. You need to be a local or have a local by your side to find them. Let me be that virtual local guide who can show you the best Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles.

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The Best Hollywood Sign Photo Spots: the Griffith Observatory

Address: 2800 E Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The friend of that disappointed Russian tourist was right. The Griffith Observatory falls into a category of the best Hollywood Sign photo spots. Yes, the landmark is not that close. In fact, in order to make the Hollywood Sign look Instagram-appropriate, you want to get a bit creative. Zoom in, try different angles – do whatever it takes to make the best out of such Hollywood Sigh spots as the Griffith Observatory.

Although the sign itself is a bit far, other advantages of the place outweigh this shortcoming. First, you don’t need to hike. The majority of the trails that offer the amazing Hollywood Sign photo spots spread over a few miles. Each of such hiking endeavors can last an entire day. It’s certainly out of question for those who have just a few days to spend in Los Angeles. Second, at the Griffith Observatory you can kill two birds with one stone: find one of the best Hollywood Sign photo spots and visit the famous observatory.

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The Griffith Observatory

Photos of the Hollywood Sign from the Mt. Hollywood Trail

If you still struggle to find the least crowded Hollywood Sign photo spots by the side of the road near the Griffith Observatory, consider hiking. The moderate Mt. Hollywood Trail is best for those who are short on time. Just a short walk up the main trail opens a beautiful view of the favorite sign. You don’t even need to conquer the entire trail to get that gorgeous picture with the Hollywood Sign in the background.

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The Mt. Hollywood Trail

The Hollywood Sign from Dante’s View

If the time is not an issue and you want to get as close as possible to the Hollywood Sign, continue on to Dante’s View along the Mt. Hollywood Trail. It’s quite a hike, but the views are worth it. Apart from the stunning photos of the Hollywood Sign, your collection will get expended with the incredible pictures of the Griffith Observatory and Downtown Los Angeles.

Behind the Hollywood Sign

Standing behind the 45-foot white letters is undoubtably a dream come true for the majority of the picture-thirsty visitors. But while the photos look amazing, you need to shed some sweat in order to get to this Hollywood Sign spot. There are a few trails that will take you to the place:

  • The Hollyridge Trail is a 5.1-mile out and back path to the Hollywood Sign Viewpoint in Los Angeles. The trail is regarded as moderate, but expect to meet many hikers traversing up and down the hill.
  • The end of the Mt. Lee and Hollywood Sign hike is by far one of the most popular Hollywood Sign photo spots. Needless to say, the route doesn’t lack attention from the locals and visitors alike. Nevertheless, it is worth all the troubles. Additionally, you can take a short detour and explore Bronson Caves, the famous Batcave in the 1960s Batman television series, along the way.
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Behind the signature sigh. Photo by Izayah Ramos

The Hollywood Sign from Lake Hollywood Park

Address: 3160 Canyon Lake Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Hiking to the Hollywood Sign ensures some of the best spots to take photos of the world-recognizable letters in all their glory. Nevertheless, you will get not less spectacular pictures from Lake Hollywood Park. I will tell you more, you can even bring all kinds of props to the park to add authenticity to your Hollywood Sign photos.

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Lake Hollywood Park

Runyon Canyon Park

Address: 2000 North Fuller Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046

I didn’t go to Runyon Canyon Park to look for the best Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles. On the contrary, hiking, it particularly the fame of the park as every celebrity’s hiking place, drew me here in the first place. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Obviously, I didn’t see any movie stars. Maybe they were hiking next to me, but I was more focused on the splendid views of the Hollywood Sign in the distance.

Just like the Griffith Observatory, the park is often overlooked as one the best Hollywood Sign photo spots. Yes, it is true, just point and shoot is not an option to get the perfect pictures of the iconic landmark here. Still give it a shot. Runyon Canyon Park has all the potentials to surprise you. The last thing before we move on to other Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles, be sure to arrive early. Runyon Canyon Park gets packed fast.

The Hollywood & Highland Center

Address: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028

The Hollywood Sign wouldn’t exist without Hollywood. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the Hollywood & Highland Center, located on Hollywood Boulevard, is also one of the best Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles. Use the escalators to get to the third and fourth levels for the picture perfect views. The crowds, however… oh well, you have to bear with them.

Read more: A Day in Hollywood, the Busiest Neighborhood in Los Angeles

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The view from Hollywood Boulevard

The Photos from Palm Tree Lined Street

Address: South Windsor Boulevard, between 4th and 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020

South Windsor Boulevard between 4th and 5th Streets will surprise you with the epic palm tree lined street with the Hollywood Sign in the background. The sign is far away, though. So grab a zoom lens and take the best Hollywood Sign photo of the day.

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The iconic palm tree lined street


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