Here Are All of the Best Places to View the Hollywood Sign in LA
You can see LA’s most iconic sign from almost anywhere in the city, but there are a couple of viewing points where you can take it in at its most attractive angles… after all, what’s more Hollywood than that?
Hike Behind the Sign
There are three hikes of varying difficulties that will lead you to the top of Mount Lee where the aluminum letters are mounted. This is as up close and personal as it possibly gets with the sign, so it's the favorite among many travelers who are fit enough to make the hike. The Mount Hollywood Trail (three miles, mild, starts at Griffith Observatory), the Canyon Drive Trail (6.5 miles, moderate, starts at Griffith Park’s southern entrance and includes a side trip to the Bronson Caves, also known as the Bat Caves), and the Cahuenga Peak Traill (3 miles, difficult, starts at Aileen Getty Ridge Trail, includes Wisdom Tree). No matter how you get there, your breath will be taken away (maybe it already has been, depending on which hike you chose) once you finally get to see the DOOWYLLOH sign.
Hollywood Bowl Overlook
If time is of the essence, this is the place to go to view the sign. Busloads of tourists get dumped here at sunset, which does take away from the magic a bit, but there’s no denying that this view of not only the sign, but LA in general, is pretty incredible. If you have limited time in LA or aren’t keen on hiking, this is the way to go. Plus, the drive along Mulholland is quite scenic on its own.
Lake Hollywood Park
You’ll be staring up slack-jawed at the sign from this park, which is situated literally right below the sign. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors for a little afternoon picnic with an iconic view.
Griffith Park Observatory Trailhead
Not the observatory! The trailhead! Unless you want to be elbow to elbow with thousands of tourists, avoid the observatory to view the sign - there are plenty other excellent viewing options that are much more serene and different. At the back corner of the parking lot at Griffith Observatory is the trailhead for several Griffith Park hiking trails on Mt. Hollywood. If you walk up the trail just a bit, past the Berlin sister cities sign, there’s a shady little viewpoint with a bench that offers a serene way to view the sign. Much better than the chaos at the observatory!
Mount Lee Drive Water Tanks
A little-known spot, since it’s off a residential street, this random area off Mount Lee Drive (pedestrians and work vehicles only, no cars) offers one of the best views of the sign. Only caveat? No parking, so it’s best to uber to this spot. You’ll want to go to enter 6010 Mulholland Hwy (the address for Lost Angels Studio). You won’t be able to get there, since there’s a gate, but pedestrians will be able to go through the gate on the right. Go up the asphalt road (Mount Lee Drive) for a minute or so, and then you’ll see a worn pathway in the rock, which will lead you to the water tanks, which, strangely, offer an incredible view.
RIGHT Under the Sign
This is as close as you can get to the sign from the front, and I haven’t seen it listed anywhere online… probably because of all the “This is illegal, you’re trespassing and breaking the law etc” signs you’ll see leading up to this viewing spot. Pshh whatever. The walk starts in the same place as above, just off Deronda drive, but instead of going to the right when you walk out of the gate, walk left, along the street, with the houses on your left. Keep walking, and you’ll get to an opening (the palms frame the sign quite beautifully here!). Keep walking, and you’ll see that a little “trail” has been worn into the grass from people climbing. The hill is a bit steep, but nothing too crazy. After about a ten minute climb, you’ll be rewarded with a pretty stellar view. If you get in trouble, you didn't hear this from me! Not guilty! Oh, and go at sunset to watch the sun sink behind Mount Lee. (FYI, The picture at the top of this article was taken there).