The hike to the peak of Mount Lee, which overlooks the iconic Hollywood Sign, begins from the Brush Canyon Trailhead at the end of Canyon Drive and has become the main access point to the sign after the Hollyridge Trail was closed in April, 2017.
Accessing the hike from the trailhead at the end of Canyon Drive, the path follows a dirt fire road up the canyon, first under the shade of large oaks and then onto a shadeless stretch that gradually climbs to extensive views stretching across the Los Angeles skyline. Following a rainy season, wildflowers will add some color to your hike, and an occasional bench makes for a good place to stop, catch your breath, and look out over views panning from the towers of downtown Los Angeles to Catalina Island. If the day is clear, you'll also get your first glimpses of the Hollywood Sign.
After just over a mile of uphill climbing the trail meets up with the Mulholland Trail, which runs lengthwise across much of Griffith Park. As such, it tends to be popular with hikers, horseback riders and trail runners. The trail levels out and traces the canyon slopes before meeting the paved Mount Lee Drive for the final climb to the peak.
At about 1,685 feet, Mount Lee offers views over the entire Los Angeles area, with the Lake Hollywood Reservoir, the Griffith Observatory and the buildings of both downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood appearing most clearly. Other iconic locales such as the Hollywood Bowl Amphitheatre, the buildings of Century City and Santa Monica, and Dodger Stadium can all be seen.
The top tends to be a popular place, especially at sunset; however, those crowds leave not long after, and it can be a great place to see the nighttime lights across Los Angeles come on.
All in all, the hike is about 6 miles round trip. Griffith Park rules apply, including a park curfew between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Parking gates at the Brush Canyon Trailhead close at sunset, so those wanting to catch the nighttime views from atop the Hollywood Sign will need to park outside the gate. This will add just under half a mile to the hike.
No water is available along the hike, so be prepared for the heat and sun if doing this hike mid-day.