Touch The Hollywood Sign

So, you want to touch the Hollywood sign? Ever since you were a small kid you have always wanted to go visit the world famous Hollywood sign! Sure, you've seen it from far away, you may have even got close enough to take some awesome photos with you and you friends or even seen the sign from a distance. What I am about to tell you may, or may not, change your life forever! I will tell you how to get up to the Hollywood sign and how I was able to touch the sign myself!

[Editor's Note: Before I began my mission I needed to do my own research on the Internet. There were plenty of web sites out there telling me how to do this, but some of those were a little vague and confusing. I took the information I got and went to visit the sign myself. This is my experience and I owe it all to the good folks on the web!]

OK, off we go!

Before you make this trip let me tell you some things about the hike. You will be hiking uphill for about an hour (or at least it felt that long). It's about a 1 mile hike up to the sign, maybe a little more. Kids under 12 may complain about the hike and not want to do it, leaving you frustrated when you have to return to your car. The hike really isn't that bad, it just takes a while to get there. If they REALLY want to see the sign then definitely take them. This hike is not dangerous and it is on a paved road. They have probably hiked something like this already in Cub Scouts. Bring tennis shoes, sunscreen and plenty of water.

This is how you get there. Drive north on N Beachwood Dr. for about 1.5 miles. Map
Make a left on Ledgewood Dr which will take you to a 5 way intersection. Go straight but veer left and continue to drive up Ledgewood Dr. Make a hard right onto Rockcliff Dr and continue to drive up. Map
Once the road stops, make a left onto Deronda Dr. and continue to drive until the road ends at the Gate (Key Access). Map
Congratulations.... this is where the road ends for your car. It's walking time from now on!!

After you find a place to park (you should visit early in the morning or there won't be a spot), get out and enjoy the awesome view of the city and the Hollywood sign! You will notice that there is a big green locked gate that has a Restricted Entry sign. This is where you need to ask yourself "am I going to touch the Hollywood sign or just hike up near it?" It IS illegal to hike up DIRECTLY TO the sign and touch it. According to this sign, it is illegal to go any further.

You will probably see some hikers already on the other side of the gate. How in the heck did they get over there? Well, just to the left of this big green gate there is a walkway that will take you to the other side of the locked green gate. Pass through there and "voola"...... you are in!

OK, here's where it gets fun, I hope you brought your hiking shoes, water, sunscreen and camera! You are now standing on a semi-paved road and this will lead you to the sign. Just "follow the semi-paved road." Once you get to the fork in the road after about a half mile, take the road to the left and go up the hill. This is where it gets steep. If you take the dirt road to the right, this will lead you away from the sign. Continue the hike up the steep road for another 30 mins and you will FINALLY see the BACK of the Hollywood sign. Bust out your cameras folks, it's a view that most humans will never see!

You will also notice a locked gate and to the right of this is a cut-out under the fence where people have made their way down to the sign itself. (This is what I took but we'll come back to that later) Continue to walk up the road and you'll be greeted by huge communication towers and if you make a left you can go up a little further to the top of the mountain. Hopefully it will be a clear day so you can bust out your camera and get some awesome pictures!

Now for the fun part! If you look towards the communication towers you will see a butt load of cameras, sirens, motion detectors and infrared for night vision! Look. WOW! You would think that with all of this security they would be monitoring the Pentagon! You will also notice warning signs posted around the fence. This fence is the only thing standing in your way of actually getting to the Hollywood sign!

If you choose to make it to the sign, beware of the cameras and LAPD helicopters flying over. For those of you who are skeptics, let me tell you something. I have seen these helicopters twice... once when I got out of my car and once when I made myself back up the hill from touching the sign. Believe me when I say the LAPD do fly to check things out! You will probably see them when you are there. If you decide to go down to the sign, get in and get out!

If you make it under the fence there is about a 200' hike down a trail that leads you to the H. Be careful, this trail isn't the best and you may have to scoot yourself on your butt a few times to get down there. Do not go after a rain as it may be kinda slippery. Once you make it to the sign you will be between the H and the O. You will see that these letters are massive! Here is how big a 6' man is next to the letters. Look. If you look over behind the O you will notice a siren at the far end and right above your head you'll notice that a camera and motion detector are pointing right at your face! Yikes! You might as well wave... because folks... you are on TV! At this point there's no turning back. Touch the sign, get some awesome pictures "cheese" and get out before the helicopters return! (Oh, the memories)

When I returned up the hill and got back on the legal side of the fence I was greeted by a LAPD helicopter and 3 police units from LA's finest city. I was arrested and booked in jail for 3 days! Just kidding folks! I was happy to say that even tho' I was down there for 10 minutes, I made it back up to the top with no problems at all! So like an idiot... I did it again! This time I was able to get some video. If you do make it to the sign, please respect it. Don't smoke, write, litter or damage any part of the sign or the surrounding area. If the police really wanted to get you they would. Police helicopters do not give up!

If asked if I would do it again I would definitely say "NO." "Been there done that" and I wouldn't make that long uphill hike and chance being fined or jailed. Was it worth it? Hell yes!

Even if you don't plan on touching the sign you may want to take the hike anyway. It's a nice walk and would really be something to see on a clear day. Oh, watch out for snakes! I saw one on the paved road but it was only a gardner.

Have a great time! Here I am below!

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