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 persistence, creativity and… hiking.
Last updated: December 6, 2021
The 8 Best Hollywood Sign Photo Spots in Los Angeles
After living in Los Angeles for more than a decade, I knew exactly where to find the best Hollywood Sign photo spots, but had 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 with us, we succumbed to the easy, relatively flat Mt. Hollywood Trail.
Although our group of three 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 hikers, already climbing up and down the hill, made us feel like we were searching for the best Hollywood Sign photo destinations somewhere near the 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 this 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.
THE BEST HOLLYWOOD SIGN PHOTO SPOTS IN THE CITY OF ANGELES
1. 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 the category of the best Hollywood Sign photo spots. Yet the landmark is not that close. In fact, in order to make the Hollywood Sign look Instagram-appropriate, you want to get a little bit creative. Zoom in, try different angles – do whatever it takes to make the most of such popular Hollywood Sigh photo 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 other trails that abound with the amazing Hollywood Sign photo spots run for at least a few miles. Each of these hiking endeavors can last several hours. 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 structure. And you don’t need more than 2-3 hours for it.
2. Photos of the Hollywood Sign from the Mt. Hollywood Trail
If you still struggle to find the least crowded Hollywood Sign photo spots near the Griffith Observatory, consider hiking. The moderate Mt. Hollywood Trail is the best option 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.
3. 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, you get the incredible pictures of the Griffith Observatory and downtown Los Angeles.
4. 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. Here are a few trails that 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. Yet expect to meet many hikers trekking 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, a famous Batcave in the 1960s Batman television series, along the way.
5. 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’ll tell you more, you can even bring all kinds of props to the park to add authenticity to your already outstanding Hollywood Sign photos.
6. 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 can be true. Just point and shoot is not an option to get those perfect pictures of the iconic landmark here. Still give it a shot. Runyon Canyon Park has all the potential to surprise you.
One more thing before we move to the other Hollywood Sign photo spots in Los Angeles. Be sure to arrive early. Runyon Canyon Park gets packed fast.
7. 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 an escalator to get to the third and fourth levels for the picture perfect views. The crowds, however… oh well, you have to bear with them.
8. 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 your best Hollywood Sign photos yet.