As you near the Hollywood sign, you will see signs that it is not accessible to public, which is not entirely true! Although you may go way up to a point where you can take pictures with the sign very close in the backdrop, but authorities have closed reaching behind the sign with vehicles. We have seen a lot of pictures taken by people when they hike all the up to the sign.
Hours: It’s a monument so it’s always there, but you won’t be able to see at night
Location: Mount Lee, Griffith Park
Best Time to See It: The Hollywood Sign faces south and is visible all day long
WARNING: Before reaching all the way up, you may be stopped by traffic police as some residents have complained of too many tourists crowding the streets. Just take the road back or turn to the nearest lane and park anywhere. Also, there have been reports of traffic police not allowing tourist cars even on Beachwood drive, in which case you’re out of luck!
To be able to access with the directions below, you will have to drive to the most visited intersection in Los Angeles – Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – called the Times Square of Los Angeles. From there, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the Hollywood sign (ok, maybe 30 during weekend peak hours).
Here’s how you reach there:
Total driving distance: 3.3 miles
From Hollywood Blvd, head North on Highland Ave (also called as CA-170/N) – if you are driving from, say, LAX airport, you will be driving on Highland Ave; so continue driving North. You will pass the Lowes Hotel (on your left), and make a slight right turn, where you arrive at Franklin Ave. Turn right on Franklin Ave.
Distance: 0.3 miles
Recommendation: Whether you are driving on Highland Ave or coming from Hollywood Blvd driving West, always keep on the right side. There’s a whole lot of traffic there, it being a tourist destination.
Keep driving on Franklin Ave for 0.9 miles and keep driving on the left-most lane. In case you if are looking for US-101 Hollywood Freeway, this is the road you may wanna take. After the US-101 “bridge”, the road narrows and after 2 lights (signals) you will see Beachwood Drive on your left.
Turn left at (North) Beachwood Dr.
Distance: 0.9 miles
Recommendation: There’s a gas station at the intersection of Beachwood and Franklin. Avoid filling gas (Petrol) there – it’s generally expensive!
Driving on Beachwood Dr is a pleasant experience. Palm trees line up on both sides of the road and within seconds of turning on the road, you can see the Hollywood sign up ahead. This is the Beachwood Canyon community. Horseback riding is a popular activity in the Beachwood Canyon community. The Sunset Ranch is available for horse boarding purposes. On Friday nights they offer a four hour tour through Griffith Park to the Viva Fresh Mexican Restaurant for margaritas and an inexpensive meal and then back to the stables. The Sunset Ranch calls this a sunset dinner ride. The way back to the stables is well lit by the moon and stars.
Keep driving for about 1.3 miles and you will make a left turn at Ledgewood Dr. This is a always-miss! The street sign is small, so make sure you keep an eye for the drive.
Distance: 1.3 miles
Recommendation: You will see many spots from where you can take amazing shots of the Hollywood sign as a backdrop. Pull over anytime and get some quick pictures.
Turning left on Ledgewood Dr starts a twist-and-winding road up the hills. Within a few yards/meters you will arrive at a junction where there are 3 ways to go – 1. left (continue on Ledgewood), 2. right (on to Deronda Dr) and 3. extreme right (to Rodgerton dr.) Take #2 – Deronda Dr.
Distance: 0.2 miles
Recommendation: Watch out for oncoming traffic. This is a two-lane road and very narrow. Look out for some amazing houses on both sides of the road.
The road keeps winding up to the Hollywood sign. Keep driving on Deronda Dr for about 0.5 miles and you should be able to see the Hollywood Sign straight up. If you keep going on Deronda Dr, you will reach a gate on your right where there’s no going further – with signs put up saying no access to public. This is all you can go up to.
Distance: 0.8 miles
Recommendation: After about 0.3 miles from the moment you start on Deronda Dr, you may wanna slow down for a spectacular view of Los Angeles Downtown on your right, on a clear, sunny day. Note that you are not allowed to stop here, but a quick stopover for pictures is no harm. Make sure you are not blocking the traffic! You can take a U-turn from the gate, park on the cliff-side curb and take pictures of the sign, up close behind you.
Drive down the same route back.
Send your comments / pictures!