If you opt for the hike then be sure to take water and a hat, and wear some appropriate footwear
Ask a non-American to name two cities in the USA and they will almost certainly say New York and Los Angeles. Ask them to name a landmark in each, and you’ll hear two things: the Statue of Liberty, and the Hollywood Sign.
LA’s iconic sign first appeared up in the hills in 1923 as an advertisement for a real-estate project called “Hollywoodland.” It was intended to last no longer than 18 months, but it coincided with the rise of American cinema during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Nearly a century later, the sign has been far more successful than anyone could have imagined. In the 40s, it shortened to become simply “Hollywood”.
The sign has not always been as valued as it is today. Each of the letters is made of sheet metal, stands 50 feet tall and was once illuminated by hundreds of lightbulbs — it was all quite high maintenance. In the 40s the sign began falling into disrepair, and it was only saved in the 70s when none other than Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner spearheaded a project to preserve it. Hefner came to the rescue again in 2010 when he helped buy up the land behind the sign to prevent it being built on.
If you’re not content with the view from afar, there are several trails that can be hiked up to the sign itself. The Brush Canyon Trail, the Hollyridge Trail and the Wonder View Trail all offer satisfying hikes through Griffith Park. The former is the easiest, and the latter the hardest. You’ll get some great views of the sign on the way up, and a stunning panorama of Los Angeles from the top.
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