Ever since moving to California, I have been dying to hike the Hollywood Sign trail via Brush Canyon Trail.
I have lived in San Diego for over 2 years, but rarely made it up to Los Angeles. I finally decided to spend a few days in beautiful Los Angeles and one of my “must do’s” was to hike the Hollywood Sign trail via Brush Canyon Trail. For those of you who want to capture a view like below, I’ll show you what to do.
How to Hike the Hollywood Sign Trail via Brush Canyon Trail
About The Hollywood Sign Trail
There are multiple hikes you can take to hike the Hollywood Sign Trail, however the Brush Canyon Trail is a very popular choice. Although lengthy, I found the moderate 6.5-mile roundtrip hike through Brush Canyon Trail to be a great route. If 6.5 miles seems long to you, don’t worry, the Hollywood Sign Trail is moderately flat so it doesn’t seem that hard at all.
NOTE: It’s not actually possible to hike to the Hollywood Sign itself due to a chain link fence. There are also surveillance cameras and a hefty fine for anyone who trespasses. Just take my word for it, you don’t wanna try it.
Brush Canyon Trail: What to Bring
Since the Brush Canyon Trail is not a super intense hike you won’t need any fancy hiking gear, however I highly encourage you bringing the below recommendations.
- Water – Seriously, bring lots! This is a must as there is little to no shading and on a hot sunny day you will be thankful you brought it
- Comfortable Shoes – Hiking boots are not necessary, just average tennis shoes or running shoes would be fine
- Hat – Again, that sun is strong
- Sunscreen – You can’t escape that sun. There is very little shade along the trail
Brush Canyon Trail Tips
I only have one word of caution when hiking Brush Canyon Trail; the gates to the trail close shortly after sunset.
I learned this the hard way.
I was trapped inside Griffith Park until a staff member was called and thankfully came to open them. Lots of other cars were stuck as well, and the wait for the staff member to arrive was at least 45 minutes.
Closing the gates at sunset honestly makes no sense to me because so many people want to capture the sunset views, but at least now you know. 🙂
Where to Park at Brush Canyon Trail – Google Maps
An added bonus to hiking the Brush Canyon Trail is that there is plenty of free parking within the gates of Griffith Park. This is a relief because you don’t have to worry about hourly limits, and can stay as long as you want.
However, if you KNOW you want to stay at the Hollywood Sign to capture photos of the sunset over the city, then I recommend parking outside the Griffith Park gates.
About the Brush Canyon Trail Hike
Thanks to the beautiful SoCal weather, the Brush Canyon Trail is open all year long! It’s a moderate 6.5 miles round trip, and I would allow at least 3 hours to complete the hike.
The hike is rarely steep, however you are steadily gaining 1050 feet in elevation. This largely unshaded route is dog-friendly and frequented by locals and tourists alike. This route leads you to the peak directly behind the Hollywood Sign for the most spectacular views over the city.
If you come at sunset the sky really puts on a show and is one of the most beautiful sunsets I have witnessed.
NOTE: It is likely you will lose or have limited cell phone service during this route.
If you want this info (plus bonus tips!) to go, just click the button below to download it for free!
Brush Canyon Trail Directions
From the parking area you’re going to head north through the gated trailhead. There is some shading during the early parts of the trail, but as you continue it is largely unshaded. From early on you will start to see spottings of the Hollywood Sign in the distance.
At around 1.5 miles you will come to a junction where you’re going to veer left on the Mulholland Trail towards the Hollywood Sign. If you turn right here, you’ll head towards the Griffith Observatory.
As you continue on the Hollywood Sign trail, the path flattens out and will wind its way around the canyon. From here you will begin to see spectacular views of the city.
Eventually you will come to another junction. Take a sharp right up Mount Lee Drive and note that this part of the hike is fairly steep.
In about a mile you will find yourself behind the Hollywood Sign where you can take in beautiful views like the ones below.
If you would like frontal views of the Hollywood Sign, instead of turning right up Mount Lee Drive, continue straight on the path. In less than a mile you will begin to see views of the sign like below.
I hope you enjoy your hike up the Hollywood Sign trial via Brush Canyon Trail! Hiking the Hollywood Sign trail was definitely one of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles, and I would absolutely do it again if I go back.
If you want this info in a printable checklist, just click here or the image below to download it and print it out! This way you don’t forget anything. Enjoy! ?
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Have you hiked the Hollywood Sign Trail via Brush Canyon Trail? Love to know in the comments below!