The Hollywood Sign sits on Mount Lee, the tallest peak in Los Angeles. It measures 450 feet long and each letter is 45 feet tall.
Places to See the Hollywood Sign
Some years ago, the hardy hiker could make it to the base of the Hollywood Sign, but nowadays, it's fenced in to keep out the curious, and guarded by a high-tech alarm system. You'll have to be content to see it from around town, and these are some ideas for where to see the Hollywood Sign.
- Hollywood Reservoir: Take US 101 to the Barham Blvd exit. Follow Barham to Lake Hollywood Drive. Turn right and follow the street around the reservoir. Turn left at Tahoe, right on Canyon Lake and go up the hill past the dog park. This is the closest you can get by car.
- Hollywood at Highland: This shopping complex frames several nice views of the Hollywood Sign, including a nice "I was there" shot with the oversized casting couch in the back.
- Mulholland Drive: A short drive up Mulholland off Cahuenga Blvd. takes you to a small overlook and parking lot on the left. Walk up the steps and you can see not only the Hollywood Sign, but also the much of the Los Angeles Basin, depending on how clear it is. In general, this view will be clearer in winter.
- Beachwood Canyon Drive at Glen Holly: The view is nice from here and unobstructed if you go a block or so further up the street. If you go a little further up Beachwood Canyon, you'll find the entrance to the original "Hollywoodland" subdivision.
- Franklin Avenue at Gower: In the heyday of silent film this area, called "Gower Gulch" was a popular hangout for unemployed movie cowboys. The view is nice from here, but it's not good for a photograph because of all the utility wires running across the street.
- Hollywood Forever Cemetery: For a particularly poignant view, go just inside the gate and look behind you. The cemetery is at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., next door to Paramount Studios.
- Griffith Park Observatory: Look northwest from the parking lot.
If you go out to see the Hollywood sign from some of these locations, you'll find signs at the entrance to each street saying that there's no access to the Hollywood sign. That's strictly true, but a bit misleading. Just because you can't access the sign doesn't necessarily mean you can't see it.
Readers Speak: Where to see It
Where is the best place to see the Hollywood Sign?
☐ Hollywood Reservoir
☐ Hollywood at Highland
☐ Mulholland Drive
☐ Beachwood Canyon Drive at Glen Holly
☐ Franklin Avenue at Gower
☐ Hollywood Forever Cemetery
☐ Griffith Park Observatory
See what others think
Hollywood Sign History
Erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development in Beachwood Canyon, the sign originally read "Hollywoodland." The last four letters were removed in 1945.
Hollywood Sign Details
- Hours: It's always there but not lighted at night
- Location: Mount Lee, Griffith Park
- Best Time to See It: The Hollywood Sign faces south and is visible all day long
- See It Now: Pictures of the Hollywood Sign