How Close Can You Get to the Hollywood Sign?

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The Hollywood sign is one of the most iconic landmarks in America, and possibly the world.

But how close can you get to this piece of Hollywood history?

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Let’s take a look at some of the top spots to view the Hollywood sign.

Accessing the Hollywood Sign

Located in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign is notoriously difficult to gain access to.

The area immediately surrounding the sign is restricted and many security measures are in place to prevent tourists from getting too close to the sign. This is mainly to protect the sign from vandalism.

It’s important to note that approaching the Hollywood sign directly on foot is not permitted and can result in heavy fines or legal consequences.

To play it safe, admiring the sign from a distance is a good bet, or stick to authorized trails.

History of the Hollywood Sign

Constructed in 1923 by Harry Chandler, the Los Angeles Times publisher, the sign was originally an advert for the nearby upscale housing estate “Hollywoodland”.

It consisted of 13 letters, each 30 feet wide and 50 feet tall. The letters were constructed from wooden frames, wire mesh, and sheet metal.

 

In 1949, a decision was made to repair the dilapidated sign, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to remove the last four letters “land” and restore the remaining “Hollywood” sign.

It quickly became an iconic landmark, appearing in many TV shows, films, and photographs.

Here are some facts about the Hollywood sign that may surprise you:

  • Originally an advert: The Hollywood sign was only supposed to be an advert and was due to stand for just a few months.
  • The subject of pranks: In 1978, a man named Daniel Finegood changed the sign to read “Hollyweed” as a prank to celebrate the decriminalization of marijuana in California.
  • Visitor Center: In 2017 the sign got its own visitors center, called the Hollywood Sign Welcome Center. From here, tourists can find out about nearby hiking trails, learn how to get a good view of the sign, and find out information about its history.
  • In 2010, the sign underwent further restoration, and the deteriorating panels were replaced with steel panels. The project cost $3.5 million and was entirely funded by individual donations, celebrities, and organizations.

If you have the time and are interested in learning more about visiting the Hollywood Sign, there are several fascinating details you should know.

Hiking Trails with views of the sign

Many hiking trails in the area offer views of the Hollywood sign from a distance.

One of the most popular trails is Mt. Hollywood Trail in Griffith Park. This leads you to a vantage point near the sign.

If you are wanting a bit more of an adventure, it is possible to see the Hollywood sign from the Cross Bridge at the Hollywood and Highlands Center, and with a good camera, you can get an excellent photo.

For a close-up, try heading to 3360 Deronda Drive, this takes you through Beverly Hills, up through some narrow streets to a dead-end road where it’s possible to get through and get close-up photos.

A short walk through the arched gateway and up onto a large flat area brings you close to the sign.

The best viewing locations

If you want to get a good view of the Hollywood sign, here are some of the best viewing locations spots:

  • Griffith Observatory: Located in Griffith Park, this area offers panoramic views of Hollywood and the Hollywood Sign. It even has its own telescopes, that provide great vantage points for getting good photos of the sign.
  • Hollywood and Highland Center: This is a shopping and entertainment complex in Hollywood that has a rooftop level where a clear view of the Hollywood sign can be enjoyed.
  • Lake Hollywood Park: Located near Hollywood Reservoir. A visit here will reward you with a closer view of the sign. You will be able to hike up to a certain point and grab some photos with the Hollywood sign in the background.
  • Beachwood Canyon: This is a residential area near the A short drive up to Beachwood Drive will take you to various spots where the sign can be viewed from a lower angle. You will be passing by some residential areas, so it’s important to be respectful of the residents and abide by any parking regulations in place.

Final Thoughts

It may be a slight disappointment to learn that it is not possible to get within touching distance of the Hollywood Sign.

Security around the sign is tight, and it’s not worth risking a heavy fine for a selfie by trying to get around this.

Luckily, there are still some great opportunities to view the sign and get that once-in-a-lifetime photo.

Just make sure to stick to designated trails! Oh, and here is the shortest hike you can take to the Hollywood Sign if you want to read before you go.

Hello, I’m Emma! I’ve been exploring the world since 2015. People always ask me lots of questions when I travel and come back. So, I started a blog to answer them all and share with the world. If you are curious about something, use the search bar on my site or send me an email emma@timetositback.com