The Sign is not lit up and you cannot take photos of it at night. During the day, the best place to see it is Griffith Park Observatory or Beachwood Drive. AVOID Barham Blvd/Lake Hollywood Dr. as it routes you around the back of a reservoir with a rusted ugly barbed wire fence the whole way--that sucked because we could not see the sign at all for most of the drive. Sadly, many tourists just follow their GPS and get routed around by this ugly fence, totally missing out (drive down the 101 to highland, take Franklin to Beachwood Canyon and you will see the sign the whole way up).
Wanna take a pic like the one I did here?
Here's how! Get a GPS or use Google Maps to find Canyon Drive. What you do is go to the end of Canyon Drive in Hollywood (off of fountain). Follow Canyon drive all the way to where it ends. There will be a few parking lots there. Once parked, just follow the main wide trail. It rises from canyon floor hugging the canyon walls. It twists and turns for a long time. There's a point where the trail ends after an hour or so onto a paved road. Make a left on that paved road. Walk all the way up that road which is also very twisty. Eventually you'll get to the sign. It's a somewhat long hike but if you see a lot of horse dung, you're on the right path. There's a fence around the sign as you can see from my pic. There are cameras and sensors everywhere. You can hear them beep and whiz. There are plenty of instructions on the internet about how to jump the sign or how you can try to slide under it in certain sections. I don't know why they even say that because 200 feet to the west of the sign, the fence just ends and you can just simply walk around it! Right before we got there, someone got arrested for going too close to the sign. We saw a helicopter come and there was a cop at the bottom of the hill waiting for them! They seem to take trespassing too close to the sign very seriously. We were going to do it but once we saw that, we decided not to.
Ok, in reallity the sign is just nine white letters spelling out the name of a town but this town is Hollowood and the sign is an international symbol that can be recognised all over the world because of the movie industry. This industry was huge since the beginning of 20th century and the sign originally was Hollywoodland. It was erected in 1923 just as an advertsment of the new house develpment of the hill around Hollywood area. It almost collapsed the next years until 1949 when the four last letters removed and the others got repaired. The letters are 15 meters tall and 140 long first to last one.
You cant really get close to it, I think it’s forbiden anyway to go hiking there and there 24 hour security camera. But you dont have to touch the sign, you can just take nice photos from many different spots. At Hollywood & Highland Center you can find a good one (we were there after sunset though) but also from the street level or up from Griffith Park (pics 1-2, the colors aint good due to bad light conditions).
The Hollywood Sign you can see on the southern side of Mount Lee. It was originally an advertisement and read "Hollywoodland," but later the "land" has been removed. It measures about 140 metres long and 14 metres tall. A direct access is not allowed some years ago, warning signs are at every streets leading to it. However, you can see it from all over the town. I think it is not a real sight-seeing, only a photo evidence (if you need!?) about your trip and nothing else, but most of the people love it.
The Hollywood Sign: It’s more than just nine white letters spelling out a city’s name; it’s one of the world’s most evocative symbols – a universal metaphor for ambition, success, glamour …for this dazzling place, industry and dream we call H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D.
Just one of those things you have to do when your in Hollywood, get your picture with THE sign. This photo was taken when we were on a Star's Homes bus tour. It was the closest we got but I'm sure there are much better spots to take the photo from.
Ok so someone posted maybe already ... but I found a great place to view the sign.
It's Griffiths PArk up near the observatory.
We drove up and it was a hazy day but a little play in Photoshop and it came out ok.
The famous Hollywood Sign originally read "Hollywoodland". It was erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development in the hills above Hollywood. For several years, the sign was left to deteriorate. In 1949, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and offered to remove the last four letters and repair the rest.
It's located near the top of Mount Lee. From the narrow and curvy streets in the hills you can get a glimpse at it, though we had a hard time to fin the best location to cath a shot of it I managed to get it!
One of the things on my "must do" list when visiting LA was to see the Hollywood sign. I had visions of standing in direct view of it and having my pic taken, but it wasn't like that at all. It seems that the Hollywood sign is not easy to take close up pics of - in other words, it's hard enough to get close to it.
We climbed up several flights of stairs of a shopping centre near the Kodak building on the Walk of Fame and took our pics from there. The sign was so far away that it didn't come out in some of the pics.
Still, I saw it!
next time I visit LA I'm going to get a taxi driver to drive me as close as he can to the sign - hopefully it will be closer than I was this time.
Yes, when we drove around Los Angeles, we spent some time riding around Beverly Hills, including a trip up Rodeo Drive where we DIDN'T shop for luxury goods. Most of the time, we were just looking for La Brea Tarpits, which was mismarked on our map. But we did see the Hollywood Sign, so we took the obligatory picture.
Take the US-101 N ramp to Los Angeles/Civic Center - go 9.2 mi
Take the Gower St exit - go 0.1 mi
Bear right at N Beachwood Dr - go 1.3 mi
Turn left at Ledgewood Dr - go 0.2 mi
Turn right at Deronda Dr - go 0.6 mi
Bear right at Mulholland Hwy - go 0.5 mi
Bear left at Mt Lee Dr - go 0.8 mi
To get a good unobstructed photo of the Hollywood sign, go to the Hollywood & Highland Center and take your pic from the higher levels of the center.
Whilst you're there, you could also indulge in a bit of shopping and eating.
Also, the Kodak Theater (where the Oscars are held) is just next door.
The infamous Hollywood sign, nestled up in the hills, is visible from spots all over Hollywood. If you're just driving through, and look to the north, you're bound to see it. But if you want a really good look at the Sign, here are two of the best vantage points:
1) The Lake Hollywood Reservoir: Park your car on Lake Hollywood Drive and put on you running sneakers. The path around the man-made lake is 3.2 miles, and it's a favorite running path for Hollywood locals. And located directly below the Hollywood Sign, the lake offers some of the closest views you can find of the Sign.
2) Mulholland Drive Hollywood Bowl Overlook: On Mulhulland Drive (about a mile from the 101's Barham Blvd. exit) sits the Mulholland Drive Hollywood Bowl Overlook. On a clear day, you can see the ocean from here. But almost everyday, you can at least see the Sign. This spot is ideal if you want to photo of the Sign with yourself in the foreground.
You can see the sign from nearly everywhere but at Hollywood Boulevarde you can see the sign through telescopes. These telescopes are just to the right of the Kodac Theatre. if you are facing the direction of the sign. There are 3 levels that you can stand on to get a great view. This is probably the easiest way to have a look at the sign as no doubt you will be on Hollywood Boulevarde at some point. We did this when we were shopping and seeing the sights around this area.
We also decided to do 1 of the tours that include some famous places and houses. On these tours you get taken up the mountain a little to a different, more remote lookout. It gets you a lot closer to the sign but still a long way away. We were told its the best place to see the sign from. Its the stop that all the tours buses do so make sure you do 1.
We drove up to the Griffith Park Observatory to view the Hollywood sign from the clifftop. We got great views and photos, and even trekked the cliff a bit until coming upon a sign warning of rattlesnakes.