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Hike the Hollywood Sign | Iconic Landmark Near Chamberlain Hotel

June 28, 2016

The Hollywood sign sits atop Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, and millions of locals and tourists hike these hills every year, but did you know that this iconic landmark was once considered an eyesore? In the 1970s, the O in "Holly" looked like a U and there was also an O missing from "Wood." In 1978, Hugh Hefner, the found of Playboy, lead a public campaign to restore the landmark.

To get to the sign, drive to Griffith Park from the Chamberlain by heading west on Santa Monica Boulevard. The park is about a thirty minute drive from the Chamberlain, tucked away in a neighborhood. Don't be deterred by signs such as "Warning — Tourist-Free Zone — All Tourists Leave the Area" and "Tourists Go Away." -- those signs have no legal authority and are put up by crotchety residents who consider hikers a nuisance.

As you discover amazingly close views of the sign and perfect your selfie, don't forget to turn around and look the other way. At 1700 feet, Mt. Lee provides iconic and stunning panoramic views of Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the Pacific Ocean. There are three trails used to get to the sign. The Mt. Hollywood trail is considered the easiest, at 3.5 miles. The most popular route is the Charlie Turner trail due its short, easy ascent. The Canyon Blvd. Trail is the most difficult at 6.5 miles. The Canyon Blvd trail, however, may be of particular interest to fan's of the old Batman television show starring Adam West -- there's a fun side trip to the Bat Cave, or the entrance used for the Batmobile.

Hikers should bring plenty of water. There are few places to fill up along the way. Also, the park recommends wearing tennis shoes rather than flip-flops. Even if you're not interested in the sign itself, Griffith Park is a great getaway for morning constitutionals and sunset walks.

Address: Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027