Hollywood Sign Hike

Though I got to visit LA for a couple of days last spring break, there were way too many things to do in the city in such a short time! So in my most recent visit, I got to check off a few more items – like go to LACMA and complete the ever-so-touristy Hollywood Sign Hike:

We started off at the bottom near Sunset Ranch, which offered horse tours up to the Hollywood Sign.

Sunset Ranch Los Angeles

No thanks, I’m doin’ this one on foot! But we definitely saw several horse tours pass by. I was especially happy with my decision after witnessing those horses gallop around the edge of a cliff! :O


It never occurred to me that LA was essentially in the middle of the desert. I always imagined it to be some kind of tropical oasis, especially with all those palm trees seen in movies! But the pictures here show the kind of views that we actually saw on the hike – desert, desert, and more desert.

Pointing out the obvious.

This hike led me to question what was the significance of the Hollywood sign? I found out that it was originally conceived as an outdoor ad campaign for a suburban housing development called “Hollywoodland.” So yes, the sign used to spell out “Hollywoodland” when it was erected in 1923! After the Great Depression, WWII, etc. the sign was left in ruins. In 1978, it was decided that the sign would be completely rebuilt – into the icon that we see today. I was also surprised to learn how accessible the sign used to be – like a girl committed suicide by jumping off the “H” and an arsonist set fire to the “L.” Obviously, it is completely off-limits now. (Source)

Those horse tours I was talking about…

Hollywood Sign Hike

If you ever choose to go on this route, beware of all the horse poop! Humans and horses shared the same trail.

Hollywood Sign Hike

When we came across a fork in the trail, we took the path along the road to get closer to while still having the Hollywood sign in the background. The other path lets you climb up until you’re right behind the letters (I believe).

And my favorite shot of the entire hike:


Have you ever done the Hollywood Sign hike? Which route did you take? What other Southern California hikes do you recommend?

Thanks for reading!