I’ve Got A Date with the Hollywood Sign

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I don’t think there’s anything more classically cliché or more Los Angeles than the Hollywood Sign. As overexposed and merchandised as it has now become – there’s still something so captivating about it. Whenever I see it while running about town, it makes me smile and secretly proud to be in one of the greatest cities in the world. I don’t know how you can write a blog about life in LA without mentioning it or seeing it as up close and personal as you can. I have failed you for the last 11 months, this post should’ve come much sooner.

After assessing my spring goals where I realized that, yet again, I neglected to make time to hike the famous Hollyridge Trail, I decided it was time once and for all. What normally would’ve been something that had to be coordinated and planned with another person’s schedule in advance, became something that I told myself was going to happen that upcoming weekend and nothing was going to stop me. I would just go solo.

I was going to make a date with the Hollywood Sign…

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{insert dramatic-on-a-mission photo here.}

…and for a first date it was SPECTACULAR! It felt so good to get up early with a clear purpose, no traffic, and knowing that I was going to treat myself to a Starbucks stop for a job well done afterward. It was also really empowering to go alone (though I made sure my phone was fully charged, someone knew where I was, and I essentially followed the general direction of people so I wouldn’t get lost this first time around). I could go at a pace that was comfortable for me and stop to snap pictures without being “that” annoying blogger friend who is always stopping the action to take photos.

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What you should know:

1. Arrive early. Not only does this guarantee better parking odds, but there is virtually no shading along the trails. You don’t want to be out there at high noon. You’ll die of heat stroke.

2. Parking sucks. While free, parking can be a hassle. They do have a small lot for parking and people start parking along the driveway that heads up to the main lot as well. To make it easier to get in and out as quickly as possible, I parked at the bottom of the trail on Beachwood Drive and essentially took a “mini” hike up the hill to get to the start of the hike. Needless to say, I was already out of breath before I even hit the actual trail.

3. This is a real hike. I was surprised by the amount of people dressed like they were going for a stroll in the park. Ladies in sandals and maxi dresses were the true culprits. Clearly, these are tourists in the mindset of “oh, lets take a walk to see the Hollywood Sign.” I could feel the blisters that must be forming on these well-dressed women by just looking at them. Even worse, I saw several families pushing strollers up steady inclines looking totally miserable. This is a real hiking trail at a moderate hiking level. Dress appropriately, bring water, and leave your kids at home if they can’t walk.

4. Beware: horse poop ahead. Hollyridge shares areas of the trail with the Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables where guests can rent and ride horses. There are parts of the trail where droppings are visible and permeate the air. This doesn’t last long and I noticed it at the beginning of the hike only. The tails are really wide so it’s easy to keep an eye out and by-pass any horse poop.

5. Two views. What I learned in researching the trails was that there are ways to get both front and rear views of the sign depending on which route you take once you’re up there. For my first time up, I decided to head toward the front of the sign to make sure I got the money shot for my blog. It has been awhile since I’ve hiked and while I wanted a good work-out, I didn’t want to push it. Taking the path to see the front of the sign was perfect for me. If you make your way to the tip-top of the mountain, you can see the back of the sign and even greater panorama views of LA.  Just a note that this requires an even higher incline than I went.

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{Entrance off Beachwood Drive.}

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{Trails.}

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{Stables.}

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{Horse Riding/Poop siting.}

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{Hike art?}

LA View_Hollywood Sign Hike

{Hello smog-filled, LA!}

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{Parking drama I noticed on the way back to my car – get there early.}

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{My reward for a job well done!}

What a great start to summer. I’m looking forward to my second date!!

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10 thoughts on “I’ve Got A Date with the Hollywood Sign

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