Mt Hollywood Trail: 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 the summit of Mount 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 your list, and 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
- This information is from my hike in 2017 and 2021
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 spot. Also, parking was $15 an hour when I went in 2021.
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 becoming sister cities. It is a beautiful, 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 that 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 broad dirt road that leads you on.
Dantes View is a small shaded area with lots of benches you can sit on and a beautiful 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, as you can see Bee Rock (above) and the parking lot for the old LA Zoo.
If you chose to go left at the split before Dante’s View, then you can see Captain’s Roost, which is another popular photo spot along this hike. You can see it in the above photo.
This area has a line of palm trees that look out towards the ocean.
After exploring Captain’s Roost, you will just follow the dirt road up to the summit
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 viewpoint. 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.