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5 Easy Steps to Hike to the Hollywood Sign Without Paying for Parking

In honor of the end of a wonderful five months living in L.A., we'd like to give you all the quickest and easiest way to see one of the most iconic sights in California—The Hollywood Sign.

In recent years there has been a lot of confusion over the best way to hike the Hollywood Sign trails. First, a lot of tourists were driving through residential areas causing complaints (Avoid Beechwood Drive and Sunset Ranch). Second, there were a few places cashing in on some expensive parking. And third, there are a lot of trails to the Hollywood Sign starting in a ton of locations—so it's easy to get lost.

For this blog, we are going to tell you the shortest hike we've found to get the perfect scenic shot in front of the sign, above the sign, and also—where to find free parking.

1 - Set your GPS for 3160 N. Canyon Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90068, USA

If you type Hollywood Sign in Google Maps or other navigation systems you'll most likely end up at the entrance to Griffith Park...another gorgeous place full of sights, but not close at all to where you want to go. The address above will lead you through L.A. to a free public parking location with two lots.

2 - Find parking off the road in Lot 1 or Lot 2

These small lots are part of Lake Hollywood Park and are open from sunrise to sunset (varies based on time of year). And although small, there's usually plenty of parking, it's completely legal, and most importantly—it's free. Keep in mind, Lot 2 is closer to the trail and on the left side. Try for it first and if it's full, backtrack to Lot 1 on the right.

3 - At the end of the road, start the hike up Mt. Lee

To start the hike, move through the parking lot and along the paved road until it turns to a wide dirt path on your right side. On your way, you'll find a park map/sign laying out the different routes (there are a few) Take the trail marked Hollyridge Trail to the Hollywood Sign.

And just like that, you're on the trail! There and back is around 4 miles and takes somewhere between 2-3 hours—depending on breaks or stopping for a nice picnic! Keep heading upward as it curves to the left. There's beautiful scenes of L.A. throughout to snap some shots.

4 - The first (and our favorite) scenic shot

As you come to a junction where the trails split, you should find another sign like the first. Take the trail to the left (and slightly downhill) and you should curve up near Beechwood Drive. Although there is no parking there without fine, there is still a beautiful public place on a dirt hill that is perfect to take an up-close picture.

5 - Getting behind the Sign and back again

After your nice scenic shot in front of the sign (we stopped there for a snack), backtrack to the junction we mentioned and instead take the opposite path. This path should lead to a paved road and following it to the top (it's the steepest part of the hike) will lead you to the much sought after and very rewarding Hollywood Sign. A little path to the left before a closed gate will give you a perfect view of L.A. through and above the letters of the Hollywood Sign.

Backtrack your way along the trail to the lot where you parked and you're home free! We hope you enjoyed this post and that you have a wonderful time on your adventures through L.A.!

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