Mount Lee (back of the Hollywood Sign) via Wonder View Drive

6 reviews #4 hike out of 35 in
1.4 mi
Distance
34 min
Time
terrain
771 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

I disagree with the previous overview, so I have overwritten it. This is a moderate hike, with no paved portions (once you get to the trailhead), no wide trails that you may find elsewhere (on the east side of Griffith Park), and often more people than a nature-lover may enjoy. Expect the first 1/2 mile to be narrow switchbacks. Once at the top, you can largely follow a ridge, but those who are not accustomed to hiking in mountains will probably feel like death is just a misstep away.

Highlights: at the beginning, you will have nice views of Lake Hollywood, which is a hidden gem with some beautiful tucked-away houses surrounding it. In the distance, you can see the highrises and city life contrasting with your slice of nature. There's a "Wisdom Tree" at the top that demands an "I was here" picture. But that's about it. Keep going along the ridge (there's only one way) to the back of the Hollywood Sign and enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys and mountains along the way.

BRING PLENTY OF WATER. There's nothing on the trail, and there is nearly no shade. You won't even find a water fountain in the neighborhood, so this is critical.

If you want to explore an easier, paved path, but don't mind a crowd, Runyon Canyon is nearby and worth your time. (There are also several options to get off the paved path.) https://www.gaiagps.com/public/rTKah0Hh5z7NAWkfZxqj50UV

For something that is less traveled and has a lot of unpaved but safe paths, my favorite trail in the area is the Greek Theater to Dante's View / Mount Hollywood (with great views of DTLA, the front of the sign, the valleys and the mountains). https://www.gaiagps.com/public/GkinHmtZn3ZPqWuKcULtdlBv

OLD OVERVIEW: This is a easy one way trail to Mount Lee in Griffith Park.

This trail goes by Wisdom Tree, Burbank Peak, Cahuenga Peak, and Hollywood Sign.

Getting Started

You will not find a place to park near the trailhead. The neighborhood is residential, and the roads are small with no curbside parking. Instead, set your GPS for Lake Hollywood Drive -- a steep road that has clear parking rules posted. Then hike back up Lake Hollywood Drive, go east on Wonder View, and you will see the trailhead at the end of the road.

Taking Children

I've done this with an eight-year-old and didn't feel terribly concerned for safety. However, I will add that this is not your typical family-friendly trail. I give it a 3/10, with 10 being the most family-friendly. The first mile is 100% narrow switchbacks, with uphill only (not much of a plateau until you get to the "Wisdom Tree" at the top), and you are often passing others or waiting on others. This also happens to be one of the more popular trails in the Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign area, so expect people. This is not the "push your kid in a stroller" kind of hike. Not a chance. He/she is either on your back, or you have a fairly sure-footed, athletic child.

For those who decide either before or after starting this path that your kiddos won't make it, take the VERY EASY trail that goes around Lake Hollywood. Paved, mostly flat, and still abounding with nature.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile stars
    7 months ago
    This trail remains one of the more populated trails at Griffith Park. And it is not the typically wide path either. You will at some points have to wait to the side while others pass. While you do catch a view of the Hollywood Sign from the back, I'd look at other options if you want views from the front and views of DTLA, Glendale, and Burbank. Other nearby options that are at least as awesome: Greek Theater to Dante's View https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/923640e4e00298762f5d5b03feaf56ea/, and Runyon Canyon https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/d9d1592cf870f0622b1601c61ea9de8d/.
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    9 months, 2 weeks ago
    Love this trail but would not call it easy.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 month, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    5 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★

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    1 year, 1 month ago
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    1 year, 6 months ago
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Public Tracks

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MaryAnne Pena 8 years, 1 month ago
Hollywood Sign Hike Via Cahuenga Peak
I wanted to hike to the Hollywood sign, and heard this was the most scenic route there. I wasn't disappointed, there were lovely views along the way, from start to finish. From the trailhead at the top of Wonder View Drive you can look down over Universal Studios, and further along the trail you have 360 degree views that include Hollywood, Burbank, Los Angeles, Griffith Park, the Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Reservoir, and more before eventually reaching the sign itself. A good short hike, worth adding to your "to do" list while visiting LA, or a nice side trip for locals.
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Stuart 6 years ago
Hollywood Sign Hike
Hollywood sign from lake Hollywood. The Wonderview trail This trip starts with a rather steep trail to the ridge line. At the top take a right and walk to the area behind the Hollywood sign. Great views of universal studios, Disney on the valley side. You can see all the way to the Palisades and the Pacific on the South side. I stopped the tracker at the sign. My stats don't include the return trip.
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Gordon Alexander 5 years ago
Hollywood sign via the a Wisdom Tree and Cahuenga Peak
Nice steep route to the Hollywood sign past Burbank and Cahuenga Peaks. Great little training hike we did during cooler weather periods as the trail is quite exposed. Dog-friendly, but rocky with some steep sections and drops to the right and left. Park on Lake Hollywood Road and walk up Wonderview Drive past the yellow steel gate to the trailhead.
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