Mt Hollywood Trail: The Easiest Hike to See Hollywood Sign

The Mt Hollywood Trail is one of the easiest hikes in Griffith Park. The trail climbs to the top of Mount Hollywood, adorning your way with iconic views of the Griffith Observatory, downtown Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Sign.

Last updated: April 24, 2024

Mt Hollywood Trail in Griffith Park | Roads and Destinations
The Mt Hollywood Trail – the easiest hike to see the Hollywood Sign

Looking for the Iconic Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most photographed sites in Los Angeles. The world-famous landmark perched on Mount Lee can be seen from different parts of the city: centrally-located parks, busy streets, and secluded alleys. You can photograph the Hollywood Sign while driving around LA or in between your shopping sessions on Hollywood Boulevard.

Yet only getting closer to the iconic white letters makes the whole experience feel real. Getting closer also means hiking. Treading up to the mountain summit, however, can make your heart beat faster and take your breath away. But the views of the Hollywood Sign, tall offices of downtown Los Angeles, and the classic Griffith Observatory are well worth it.

Hiking the Mt Hollywood Trail to See the Iconic Hollywood Sign

Many years ago as a new resident of Los Angeles, I made a few attempts to hike to the Hollywood Sign. The trails I picked were challenging. To make things worse, I would take a wrong turn after a wrong turn and end up in places nowhere near the Hollywood Sign, until I heard about the Mt Hollywood Trail.

Mt Hollywood Trail Facts

  • Distance: 2.5-mile, round-trip hike
  • Elevation gain: 500 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Behind the Griffith Observatory
  • Parking: The Griffith Observatory parking lot (normally busy) or on the side of the road near the Observatory
Hollywood Sign Photo Spots | Roads and Destinations
The hike with the up-close view of the Hollywood Sign

What Is Mt Hollywood Trail?

The Mt Hollywood Trail is one the shortest and easiest hikes in Griffith Park to see the famed Hollywood Sign up close. Often referred to as the Charlie Turner Trail, the well-trodden path is about 1.2 miles long, one way. Normally, it takes 1.5 hours to complete the entire hike.

TIP: Since the Mt Hollywood Trail runs uphill in a steady manner, it may be slightly challenging for beginner hikers. Make extra stops to catch your breath before continuing to the viewpoint that overlooks the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park.

Hiking to Mt Hollywood summit with kids, including babies and toddlers in baby carriers, is possible. In fact, you will share the trail with many families with kids when you hike to the Hollywood Sign overlook on weekends.

Strollers and wheelchairs should not be used on the Mt Hollywood Trail. Due to the steady incline, some sections of the trail are rather difficult to go through with the stroller or wheelchair.

Trailhead. The Mt Hollywood Trail starts at the Griffith Observatory parking lot, near the tree dedicated to George Harrison.

Hiking with Pets. Dogs must be on leash at all times while in Griffith Park.

Highlights of the Trail. At 1,625 foot, Mt Hollywood is the second tallest peak in Griffith Park. Despite this imposing height, the Mt Hollywood Trail is not the most challenging. On top of that, it rewards the hikers with the panoramic views of downtown LA, the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Sign, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Along the trail, you will come across Berlin Forest (250 feet from the trailhead), Captain’s Roost (0.9 mile), and Dante’s View (1 mile). The Mount Hollywood Summit sits 1.2 miles away from the trailhead.

What Is Mt Hollywood Trail Not?

The Mt Hollywood Trail is NOT the Hollywood Sign Trail. The views of the iconic sign from the trail are spectacular and pretty up-close. Yet this hike doesn’t take you all the way to the Hollywood Sign, let alone, allow you to stand behind the 45-foot-tall capital letters.


The Mt Hollywood hiking area doesn’t have its own parking lot. Hikers are welcome to park in the Griffith Observatory parking lot. Yet keep in mind it’s a paid parking lot. Nevertheless, you have two options to avoid parking fees.

  • Parking at the Griffith Observatory parking lot is free until noon, from Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the parking is enforced from 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.
  • You can park a little bit further down the road, before you drive across a small bridge on your way to the Griffith Observatory. Parking here is free, first-come first-served. The downside, it extends your hiking distance to the Mt Hollywood summit.

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