Hometown Tourist: Hike to the Hollywood Sign


My first hike to the Hollywood sign was in stilettos.

When I was a high school junior, I grew so fast my lung collapsed, and I spent three days in the hospital recovering.  By the end of my growth spurt, my awkward long limbs became an asset to pursue a short-lived modeling career.

After signing a contract with an agency, I had my first test shoot to begin building my portfolio. Dressed in fishnet stockings, stilettos and a backless trench coat, I posed for the photographer in front of the Hollywood sign.  Being an awkward seventeen year old, I tried my hardest to look sexy.  I watched Pretty Woman enough times to fake it, but I was distracted by tourists trying to take photos of my backside.


As an adult, most of my hiking adventures take me outside the city, so I hadn’t considered hiking to the Hollywood sign again until my friend Caitlyn came to visit from the East Coast.  We began the 4 mile roundtrip hike from Sunset Ranch at the end of Beachwood Drive.  My limbs were still sore from the snowy hike to Mount Baden Powell summit the day before.

View from Beachwood Drive

View from Beachwood Drive


Caitlyn climbing to the first vista

The trail was quiet on an gloomy Monday afternoon, though Caitlyn still managed to spot a celebrity.  We followed the trail uphill for two miles to view Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood sign.

Los Angeles Skyline

Los Angeles Skyline


Creepy Lookout


Caitlyn behind the Hollywood Sign


We made it.

We couldn’t touch the Hollywood sign like in the movies, but we got pretty close. Whether you are visiting Los Angeles for the first time or you live here full-time, I highly recommend doing this hike at least once.  In sunny California, you can expect sunshine 362 days of the year, but you should probably bring your backless trench coat just in case.

Hollywood Sign Trail via Beachwood Drive

  • Trailhead Parking:  Free
  • Trail Distance: 4.3 miles round trip
  • Fitness Level: Moderate with a good hill climb
  • Source: Go to EveryTrail.com for trail directions.

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