• Name: Mount Hollywood Trail from Griffith Observatory to Mount Hollywood
• Distance: 2.5 miles round trip
• Trailhead/Parking: Charlie Turner Trailhead off the Griffith Observatory parking lot at 2800 E. Observatory Rd., Los Angeles
• Reason to Hike: Great Views
Rising above sprawling Los Angeles like an island in an urban sea, Griffith Park covers more than 4,500 acres of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a rugged landscape of dry hillsides covered with scrubby chaparral and deep canyons sheltering oak and walnut trees. Even more important for visitors, Griffith Park is home to two of the city’s most recognized and iconic attractions: Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood Sign.
Confusing matters for tourists just a bit, the Hollywood Sign sits atop Mount Lee, and Griffith Observatory occupies the slopes below Mount Hollywood. Hike to the top of Mount Hollywood and you’ll have a sideways view of the Hollywood Sign more than a mile away as the crow flies.
Those hikers wanting to snap a selfie with themselves and those famous giant letters might be disappointed by a hike to the top of Mount Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the effort. Starting at the Griffith Observatory parking lot, the path up Mount Hollywood Trail is broad, easy and just 2.5 miles one way. And while the sign may be off in the distance, the views of the observatory’s distinctive domes with downtown Los Angeles in the background are spectacular. It’s a classic postcard view of L.A.
A couple of notes you’ll want to keep in mind:
• Griffith Park is laced with a network of more than 70 miles of trails, and you’ll encounter several intersections on this short hike alone. Just follow the signs, and you’ll be fine.
• Temperatures can soar in the summer, so bring plenty of water.
• Parking at the observatory can be a problem, so either start out early or take the DASH bus that runs from the Vermont/Sunset Metro Red Line Station to Griffith Observatory.