If you’re anything like me, and let’s face it, if you’re reading this trash I call a blog you probably are, you’ll see those beautiful photos of those skinny celebrities in their tiny shorts hiking around Los Angeles and think “Why, when I take photos on a walk with my friends does it never look like this?” The short answer is because LA is a land of beautiful people, and beautiful sunshine and us lot on a trek to the pub when it’s raining and 9 degrees just isn’t going to look quite as glamorous on camera. However, it may well be just as glam in person, I’ve had quite the delicious looking fish and chips in a variety of establishments on drizzly days that have frankly perked up a whole weekend.
Anyway, back to my original point. Despite knowing I am not Taylor Swift, or Chris Pratt, that didn’t stop me wanting to pretend for a few hours, so 12-hours after I landed at LAX, jet lagged, tired and running on adrenaline, Harriet and I headed for the Griffith Observatory in our best ‘it’s 85 degrees out’ hiking gear with as many water bottles as we could fit in our bags in order to hike to the Hollywood Sign. Plus, dear reader, SUN CREAM. I cannot emphasise enough how much sun cream we got through on this walk. I’m pretty sure we reapplied every 30-minutes because it felt like we were constantly sweating off our last application. Yes, as you can see already, this isn’t going to be T-Swift levels of glamorous.
We parked the car on a meter just outside the main Observatory parking lot and headed for the trail. Maybe overshoot how much time you put on the car, just for peace of mind and so you don’t need to have one eye on your watch the entire time. If you speak nicely to the Observatory visitor information team they can direct you to the start of the trail and provide you with a helpful map. The route itself isn’t too taxing, only light inclines but the lack of shade and the brutal LA sunshine might defeat you if you’re not careful. There’s a spot probably a mile from The Observatory into the hike that has a couple of picnic benches and a water fountain so make the most of this on your way there and back, particularly if it’s a sunny day!
It’s around 4-miles to the sign, with an optional extra mile if you want to head up behind it. The round trip, with about fifteen minutes spent relaxing at the sign, looking out over Los Angeles, snapping ourselves in a variety of poses in front of the sign, took us just over two and a half hours at a fairly leisurely pace. If you wanted to really get a work out in then you could power walk it in probably half that time!
The views over LA from the walk are incredible, the mixture of downtown high rise buildings and glimpses of glittering swimming pools in the backyard of the Hollywood elite. You can quite literally see for miles, and on a clear day straight out to the Pacific Ocean. The hills that you walk through are littered with cacti and the occasional lizard skittering through the hot rocks, and we even spotted a large bird of prey, circling menacingly overhead.
We took to the hills around 10.00am on a Saturday morning, and noticed that even then a fair few hikers were on their way back just as we were heading off. Early morning is probably better as the sun is no joke in California. I’ve been lucky enough to visit California a lot throughout my life, but hiking to the Hollywood sign is definitely one of my favourite things we’ve ever done and if you’re ever in Los Angeles I would absolutely recommend it.
Essentials For Your Hollywood Sign Hike:
- Sun Cream
- More Water
- Comfy walking shoes/trainers