Is this a tourist thing? Locals that I talked to on this trip haven't done this hike and quite frankly don't care to. What hiking trails do locals like to do?
We read a couple of articles for different routes to get to the back of the sign before deciding on this one. It was the shortest one we found but people say it is one of the more strenuous ones. I will take the shortness. And an added bonus of checking out the Wisdom Tree.
Wear proper footwear! I wouldn't say hiking boots are required since we did it in sneakers but something sturdy with good grip is highly recommended
Start early to avoid the midday sun or start later in the afternoon to catch the sunset
Bring a flashlight in the case of an evening hike. You don't want to rely on your phone battery after taking pictures during the hike
Bring at least 32oz of water per person. The morning we hiked was about 75°F and a bit cloudy. That's good for California weather but we still got really thirsty
There were many signs about caring for your pets during this hike. It must happen pretty often that dogs will pass out or burn their paws. Take care of them!
Where to Park
There are lots of signs driving to the hike saying "no entrance to Hollywood sign". Ignore those.
To get to the start of the hike, you can enter "3501 Wonder View Dr." into Google Maps for reference.
When you get to the intersection of Wonder View Drive & Lake Hollywood Drive, don't bother continuing driving up Wonder View Drive. It is all residential. Instead, park downhill on Lake Hollywood Drive.
Walk back up the hill and turn right onto Wonder View Drive. Just keep following this paved road until you get to a yellow gate. Be careful of cars.
Starting the Hike
On the left sidewalk, right before the gate, is a little table with a book where people write down if there were snake sightings: date, time and estimated location 🐍 Really great idea! There were also some dog bowls with water underneath the table.
On the right is a sign directing you to Lake Hollywood Park. From the park, you can get a good view of the front of the sign. Do this later. Get the tough part out of the way first.
Go pass the yellow gate until you get to a big open space. Stay to the right for the Burbank Peak Trail to begin your hike. The beginning of the hike is the most strenuous part. Once you get to the Wisdom Tree, the rest of the hike isn't too bad.
During the hike, stop to enjoy the views, talk about how you should really use your gym membership and why you should move to Cali. You know you're getting close to the Wisdom Tree when you see the American flag 🇺🇸
The Wisdom Tree is in a big open space with an all around nice view. The open area is a nice space change. 🌳
There are treasure boxes, books, index cards, pens and other material where people have shared their wisdom under the tree. You can contribute yours too! The first piece of wisdom I read was, "in the end, everything will be okay. Smile, be happy." it was written by another Joanna! - from Carson, CA who hiked the same morning we did! If you are reading this, let me know who you are! I believe in this saying and was going to write something similar. So instead, I added "I second that" to your card 😁
After gaining some knowledge, continue with the rest of the hike.
When you finally see the sign, keep going! You're so close! When you get to the paved road, go right and you're there.
There is a bin that may look like a trash can but it's actually to measure how strong an earthquake is. Someone has to clean it out every day. We learned this from a tour guide that was up there with his group. We had no idea and threw our water bottles in there before hearing him. It looked like a trash can! And there was so much trash in there. Woops 🙈 They should put a sign on it or redesign it 😅
Getting to the Front of the Sign: Photo Spot
You can enter "Lake Hollywood Park" in Google Maps to get here. If not, the directions from the hike are pretty simple.
After finishing the hike, turn left onto Lake Hollywood Drive and keep following the road. I would not recommend walking. It's a pretty far walk with curvy roads fun for driving but not for walking.
When you get to the bottom, turn left on Tahoe Drive.
When you get to the next division, turn right on Canyon Lake Drive.
When you start to see a bunch of cars parked alone both sides of the road and many people walking up the hill to the sign, you're in the right place.
We'd also recommend coming to this spot early because of parking.