The Hollywood sign: The best place to see it without hiking

The Hollywood sign is a must-see if you’re planning a trip to LA. Seriously, going to LA without seeing the Hollywood sign is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower- not OK. There’s a big difference between the two, though- while you could pretty much rock up to the Eiffel Tower in any part of the area and have a full blown photoshoot with alllllll the angles (obvs getting the shot is what we’re all after here, right?), getting a photo with/of the Hollywood sign hasn’t always been so easy. But what you’re about to read should change all that…

Where to see the Hollywood sign: Lake Hollywood Park

the hollywood sign

Before my trip in November, I did my research and (at first), it looked like the only option was to hike the Runyon Canyon for a few hours in order to get close enough to the Hollywood sign. (I had my heart set on the Hollyridge trail which is a lot shorter and less steep, but soon realised this had closed early 2017). Anywho, my friend Sarah and I were only in LA for 6 days, so the idea of losing almost an entire day just to see the Hollywood sign seemed a little ridic. That’s when I came across Lake Hollywood Park.

the hollywood sign

If you’ve seen my LA itinerary (click here, if not), you’ll see we visited the Hollywood sign at Lake Hollywood Park after visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and before the Griffith Observatory. Set within the Hollywood hills, it’s approx. a 15 minute drive from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the same from the Griffith Observatory. Now if you’re a speedy walker, that’s around 1/5 of the 3-4 hours it’ll take to hike up Runyon Canyon, and cars can go right up the dirt track around the side of the park meaning visitors can get alllll the shots with nobody in the background. Bonus: it’s totally free.

Read my top things to do in Los Angeles here

Tips to see the Hollywood sign at Lake Hollywood Park

  • Be aware of traffic. Traffic in LA is HORRIFIC at the best of times, so what you might expect to take 15 mins could actually end up taking an hour. Yeah. WTF.
  • Drive up as high as you can. We asked our Uber driver to take us as close as possible and jumped out for a quick photoshoot- you might get stopped by park rangers as you go up, but there’s no harm in trying, and cars can pull over wherever they like.
  • Go on a clear day. That one sounds obvious, but as you get higher, clouds will become more prominent, so leave your visit for what the weather forecast says will be the brightest day during your trip.
  • If you haven’t got a car, you can still see the Hollywood sign from the main park area. It’s not a busy park either, so you won’t need to worry about anyone ruining your snap. Because seriously, how dare people visit a park to do things other than take photos?! *insert sarcastic face*


Basically, Lake Hollywood Park is the best place to see the Hollywood sign if you’re as lazy stretched for time as I was during my trip. Let me know if you have any more questions!

BW x


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