Mt Hollywood: Hiking Above Griffith Observatory and Downtown LA

While there is no shortage of great hikes in Griffith Park, it is hard to beat the 2.5-mile round trip hike to summit of Mt Hollywood. The trail is gradual, but will still get your blood pumping. Along the way, you will see some of the best views the city has to offer of the Hollywood Sign, Downtown LA, and Griffith Observatory. Be sure to add this hike to you list, here is all the information.



  • 2.5 miles round trip from Griffith Observatory
  • 500 feet of elevation
  • Parking can be hard to come by and can add to the distance

Getting There

The most popular way to hike this mountain is from the parking lot for Griffith Observatory. Parking here is difficult on the weekends though and I would recommend coming early or coming on a weekday for the best chance of getting parking. If you plan to arrive around 2 PM on a weekday and stay at the observatory till later it is usually not too hard to find a good spot.

The Hike


The hike to Mt Hollywood leaves from the back of the observatory parking lot, right near the tree dedicated to George Harrison of the Beatles. There is a sign with a map that shows you points of interest, and I would recommend taking a cell phone picture of it even though the trail is easy to follow.


Heading out you will be walking through a shaded patch of trees for about 250 feet until you make it the first point of interest, the Berlin Forest.


This forest was planted to commemorate Los Angeles and Berlin being sister cities. It is a nice small area, but there isn’t much to actually see. There is a bench here with impressive views of the city and the Hollywood Sign though.


Continuing on you will start down the hill to a small bridge which takes you to the main trail.


The trail from here continues its gradual incline as you wind around the hills with better and better views of the Hollywood Sign.


As you round the last hill there is a bench area set up by Tiffany Co that provides rest and great Hollywood Sign view.


The next section is where most of the uphill is as you will climb the dirt road for about a quarter of a mile. This elevation gives you great views back at the observatory behind you.


When you get to the split you can go left which is a more direct route to the summit or right to see Dante’s View before heading to the summit.


I prefer heading to the right personally. This trail is more of the same with a large dirt road that leads you on.


Dantes View is a small shaded area with lots of benches you can sit on and a nice overlook of LA, Griffith Observatory, and the Greek Theater.


After taking it in, you will round the bend and make the last push to the summit.


Don’t forget to look down from here though as you can see Bee Rock (above) and the parking lot for the old LA Zoo.


As you approach the summit you will see the flag flying in the wind, picnic benches to relax at and fantastic views all around.


I came up here for sunset and was shocked by how amazing it was as a viewing location. You could see all the way to the ocean from up here.


There were dozens of people enjoying the sunset with me so it felt like a very safe place.


After taking lots of pictures and watching the sun go past the horizon, I pulled out my flashlight and headed back down.


Be sure to go to the Griffith Observatory if you come on a weekday for sunset. You can look through the telescope there at night and it is a lot of fun.


Here is a short video that shows you the hike.

Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments if you go.

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