Hollywood Sign

Can You Drive to the Hollywood Sign?

The Hollywood Sign is one of California’s most elusive landmarks. Originally a real estate billboard, there are many vantage points to view it from afar but visiting it up close is seemingly impossible. There are several hiking trails you can take to the top of the Hollywood Sign, but finding them is hard and parking at the trailheads is near impossible. So how close can you actually get by car?

Easy Views from Lake Hollywood Park

The official viewing point is at Lake Hollywood Park near the Hollywood Reservoir. Parking is extremely limited and parking violations are enforced strictly. Don’t even think about parking illegally, because during our quick stay, police and parking enforcement were continuously patrolling the area and handing out tickets left and right. Nevertheless, this is probably the most scenic and safe viewing point for taking pictures and it is as close as you can get to the sign without much effort, save for finding parking.

Getting Closer

Intrepid travelers might not be satisfied with this more distant view and desire to get as close as possible. You can actually drive to just below the Hollywood Sign, although the locals would rather you don’t. They might have a point because the area is tight and there is no place to park or even turn around. It is easy to see how the neighborhood could get congested with cars. Although the roads are public and open to anyone, locals put up fake road closed signs and even erect barricades to discourage visitors. If you are OK with receiving some unpleasant looks, you can safely ignore these fake signs and navigate around barricades, even push them out of the way. What you should not ignore are the countless no parking signs. Those are real and enforced swiftly.

Obstacles Ahead

To get just below the Hollywood Sign, follow Canyon Lake Dr. which turns into Mulholland Hwy. Don’t be fooled by the term highway, it is a very narrow residential road. You will find plenty of signs stating “no vehicle access to Hollywood sign” and some parking signs that don’t actually lead to parking but try to lure you away. Stay on Mulholland Hwy until it makes a left turn. At this point you will see “dead end” and “road closed 700ft ahead” signs. The road itself might be blocked with cones or construction barricades. Squeeze through or move the cones aside. After you pass through, once you reach the last house on the left you might encounter yet another barricade. Its residents really don’t want you to continue to the viewing point just ahead. During our visit, they had strung caution tape across the road that you could drive under. The residents might yell at you for doing so.

The End of the Road

Once you get past this latest obstacle, you are at the end of the road just below the Hollywood Sign – the closest point you can get by car. The trail ahead is off limits to vehicles, so you must turn around on the narrow road. Ironically, there are also “no stopping” signs posted – good luck making a multi-point turn without stopping. Don’t attempt this with any oversized vehicles as you might have to back out. The residents you just angered are probably already on the phone calling parking enforcement, so don’t park here and don’t stay long. We were here only long enough to turn around and met parking enforcement on the way out.

So, can you drive to the Hollywood Sign? Sort of. Is it worth it? Probably not. The view is not the best, the area is littered with no stopping and no trespassing signs. But it is as close as you can get by car and can be quite an adventure.

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