Hike Behind the Hollywood Sign - 3 ways

3 ways to hike behind the Hollywood Sign with various difficulty and lengths.

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Griffith Park, the home to LA's largest park hosts a variety of hiking trails and options including the Hollywood Sign. The closest you can get to the Hollywood sign is located on Mt. Lee Road, keep in mind all options hiking to the sign will require linking up with this road.

An Unfortunate Event, Closure of Beachwood entrance: Hiking from Beachwood Drive used to be the easiest and most accessible way to get to the Hollywood sign. But In summer 2017 the city permanently closed this entrance. It was closed because the company Sunset Ranch successfully sued the city to close the Beachwood entrance. They claimed the use of the Beachwood trailhead disrupted their horseback riding business. As of New Years day 2018, newly installed NO PARKING signs are all over Beachwood and the gate to access the trail is closed indefinitely. 

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With a little background, here are three ways to hike to the Hollywood Sign:

1. Wonder View Trail-head (Wisdom Tree Hike) - 3 miles round trip with 875 feet of elevation change

Parking: 3699 Wonder View Dr, Los Angeles, CA 900689

Trail Directions: Take the Tree of Life Trail to Mt. Lee Rd. 

Trail Map: 

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Directions, courtesy of google maps. I inserted the directions from Wonder View Trail Head to Hollywood Sign and got this. They track the hike at 37 minutes, 1 way with 1.2 miles. But they probably do not account for elevation gain.

Hike Stats:

Total Hike Distance: Approximately 3 miles

Elevation Gain: 875 feet

Time: 2.5 hours

2. Bronson Caves Trail-head - 6.4 miles round trip with 1,050 feet of elevation change

Parking: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Trail Directions: Walk up Canyon Drive, Take the Brush Canyon Trail to Hollyridge Trail. Take Mullholland Trail from Hollyridge Trail which meets with Mt. Lee Road. Hike Mt. Lee road to the top.

Trail Map:

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Directions from Google Maps. Imputed Bronson Canyon Trail head with Hollywood sign. Google maps lists 2.2 miles one-way, but they are not completely accurate, also does not account for elevation gain.

Hike Stats:

Total Hike Distance: 6.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 1050 ft.

Time: 3 - 4 hours

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3. Innsdale Drive - 4.6 miles round trip with 750 feet of elevation change

Parking: 6301 Innsdale Drive, Los Angeles, CA

Trail Directions: Walk Innsdale Drive to Innsdale Trail. Connect Innsdale Trail to Mullholland Hwy. Take a left on Mullholland Hwy and connect this street to Ledgewood Drive. Walk Ledgewood drive south to Rockcliff Drive and Rockcliff Drive to Deronda Drive. Deronda Drive connects with Mt. Lee Road, which leads all the way to the Hollywood Sign.

Seems like a lot to remember, but if you read the street names as you hike, it will be intuitive to find the way.

Trail Map:

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Map courtesy of Google Map Directions. Imputed Innsdale Drive to Hollywood Sign.

Hike Stats:

Total Hike Distance: 4.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 750 feet

Time: 3 hours or less

Top 5 Roads for Exploring the San Gabriel Mountains

Angeles Crest Hwy. - Mt. Islip Hike

Angeles Crest Hwy. - Mt. Islip Hike

Adventure begins when the tires hit the pavement but more so when the boots hit the ground. Here in the San Gabriel Mountains I can recommend a few great roads that are amazing for hiking and scenic lookouts. These roads are scenic drives and many trail-heads begin from these roads. As always, have your Adventure Pass on hand if you intend on parking and leaving your car for a while in the San Gabriel Mountains. These roads lead to many hikes which require an Adventure Pass. Info on the Adventure Pass and where to get one is here. Enjoy and keep your eyes on the road

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5. Big Tujunga Canyon Rd.

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Big Tujunga Cyn Rd.

A great driving road which connects to the Angeles Crest Highway and Upper Big Tujunga Cyn Road.

Big Tujunga Canyon Road begins in the city of Sunland - Tujunga. The entire road extends 12 miles ending at the Big Tujunga Canyon Reservior and merges with the Angeles Forest Highway. Taking this stretch of the Angeles Forest Highway up from Big T Rd. will lead to the Angeles Crest Highway. Which is an alternate route to getting to this road. 

Hikes off this road:

Trail Canyon Falls - (4 mile hike), Condor Peak- (16 mile hike), Fox Peak - (12 mile hike), Mt. Lukens - (9 mile hike), Fall Creek Falls - (3 mile hike)

 

Big T Canyon Rd. Begins at: 34.272414, -118.315665

 

4. Angeles Forest Highway

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Angeles Forest Highway

More of a road to get through the mountains.

The Angeles Forest Highway is named similar to the the Angeles Crest Highway, but it is located in the lower elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains. It cuts through the west side of the mountain and is used more often as a commuting road through to Palmdale. Hikes here are generally set in a more arid and dry landscape.

Hikes off this road:

Mill Creek Falls (~2 mile hike), Monkey Canyon (~3 mile hike), Monte Cristo Campground & hike (~1 mile hike)

 

Angeles Forest Highway Begins at: 34.435348, -118.089635

 

3. Mt. Baldy Rd.

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Mt. Baldy Rd.

At the base of Mt. Baldy access to the Mt. Badly village and the Mt. Baldy hike begins from this road. This road sees thousands of visitors a year as those who make the summit up to Mt. Baldy.

Hikes off this road:

Ice House Canyon to Ice House Canyon saddle (8 mile hike), Cucamonga Peak (14 mile hike), Mt. Baldy(12 mile hike), Stoddard Canyon Falls (2 mile hike)

 

Mt. Baldy Road begins at: 34.138460, -117.707103

 

2. San Gabriel Canyon Rd. (39)

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Everyone hiking to the Bridge to Nowhere has driven on this road. This road also connects with the East Fork Road leading to the Bridge To Nowhere trail-head. The road is commonly used only to access hikes in this part of the San Gabriel Range, but also to the few mountain residents and camps that are off the roads here. This road used to once connect to the Angeles Crest Highway, but after extensive damage from natural disaters, they have closed the last portion of this road until further notice.

Some hikes off this road:

Bridge To Nowhere (10 mile hike), Crystal Lake and Mt. Islip (1 mile and 6 mile hike respectiely) Lewis Falls(2 mile hike), West Fork of the San Gabriel River (walk as long as you want), Cape Horn Falls (1 mile hike)

 

San Gabriel Canyon Road Begins at: 34.159209, -117.906024

 

1. Angeles Crest Highway (2)

Angeles Crest Highway (2)

The premier hiking and traveling road in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Angeles Crest starts from La Canada Flintridge and ends in Wrightwood. It cuts through the middle of the San Gabes and travels over 60 miles through the mountains. Commonly known as the best road in the San Gabriel Mountains for outdoor recreation. It's closed at Islip Saddle during the winter season when the first snowfall hits and ices up the road. Those traveling to Mountain High or Wrightwood will need to avoid this road from the front side of the range and instead access it from the backside of the range.

LA hikes off this road: Switzer Falls, Strawberry Peak, Mt. Islip, Red Box Picnic Area

 

Angeles Crest Highway Begins at: 34.223171, -118.190265

Hiking Strawberry Peak via Colby Canyon Trail

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Over a century ago, after exploring the San Gabriel Mountains, mountaineers looked across the way and saw a peak which resembled an upside down strawberry. They called it Strawberry Peak. Ever since then, the name stuck. Strawberry peak at 6,164 ft elevation is also the largest peak in the front range of the San Gabriel mountains. Views are outstanding as the trail ascends some classic San Gabriel brush covered slopes with a view of rolling hills and DTLA in the far distance.

Trail Condition:

The Colby Canyon trail is very good, but after splitting off from Colby Canyon Trail and following the ridge to strawberry peak is very bushy. Pants or jeans highly recommended. The last section of the hike becomes a class 3 scramble over boulders and rocks.

Map:

Hike Directions: Colby Canyon trail then after encountering a concrete saucer shaped structure, take the ridge line all the way to Strawberry Peak.

Hike Directions: Colby Canyon trail then after encountering a concrete saucer shaped structure, take the ridge line all the way to Strawberry Peak.

Hike Stats:

Distance: 6.4 miles total (Out-and-back)

Difficulty: 7.3/10

Time: 5 - 6 hours

Elevation Gain: 2,900 ft 

Shade: Little to none

Parking fees?: Adventure Pass Required for parking

Parking and Trailhead info:

Parking for this hike is right on a dirt stretch off the Angeles Crest Highway at: 701 Angeles Crest Hwy, Tujunga, CA 91042

The Trailhead is easily located and can be seen leading away from the dirt parking lot.

Trail Guide:

We had begun the ascent, a group of 15 at 7:00 AM sharp. Around the time, the sun had just barely started to come up. We would finish the hike around 1:00 PM.

Strawberry peak, way off in the distance, with light hitting the peak in the upper right of this photo.

Strawberry peak, way off in the distance, with light hitting the peak in the upper right of this photo.

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A little over 5 minutes into the hike, we crossed a running stream, still amazing to see in November after months of little to no rain.

The first light of the day, quite harsh, created shadows on the rolling hills to our left.

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1 mile in, classic brush covered slopes of the San Gabriels, twas the trail most of the way.

1 mile in, classic brush covered slopes of the San Gabriels, twas the trail most of the way.

The only turn in the hike: When you reach the end of the Colby Canyon Trail, a huge concrete saucer looking water structure will appear.

When you reach this concret structure, turn a right and follow the ridge the rest of the way to the peak.

When you reach this concret structure, turn a right and follow the ridge the rest of the way to the peak.

It may be easy to miss this trail and mistake for another one. Make sure the trail immediately ascends the hill after the concrete structure and follows a path to the peak more precisely. Following the ridge will lead all the way to the peak.

Following the ridge up to strawberry peak

Following the ridge up to strawberry peak

In the beginning of the climb after Colby Canyon Trail, the ridge is steep and a few rocky sections requiring some easy climbing to continue up. Nothing difficult. But best path finding will be necessary.

Deep in the ridge, downed trees and brush to walk over the whole way.

Deep in the ridge, downed trees and brush to walk over the whole way.

After fighting and stomping over downed bushed for about 45 minutes, the final rock scramble appeared, and just beyond it the peak.

Along the way to the peak, during the class 3 rock scramble, it may be confusing to find a proper path. But hikers have left red ribbons to guide towards the right path. If a path becomes too difficult, it's probably not the correct one. Any path can be a right path depending on one's level of confort on the mountainside.

Chad getting ready to send the final rock structure before the peak.

Chad getting ready to send the final rock structure before the peak.

Last path to the peak.

Last path to the peak.

After enjoying the successful summit, we headed back down the way we came. With a few photos of course. Because this is an out-and-back hike head back the same way to get back to the car.

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