The hike to the peak of Mount Lee via Mount Lee Drive is the shortest and most direct route to the perch overlooking the Hollywood Sign. The hike follows the asphalt road from a closed gate at the end of Deronda Drive and traces it up a climb that varies between uphill and steep uphill, wrapping around the north side of the mountain. It emerges just behind the top of the 45-foot letters, with views across Griffith Park and much of the Los Angeles metropolitan area stretching to the coast.
As the most direct route, the walk up Mount Lee Drive offers little in the way of frills or any feeling of nature. Instead it tends to be clogged with tourists, many of whom don't actually make it to the top.
The route is straightforward, following a road as it heads up the slope toward the radio towers atop the mountain. The parking situation is unfortunately much less straightforward. Parking on the narrow weaving residential roads leading up to the trailhead can be hard to find, especially after the April 2017 closure of the popular Hollyridge Trail access by the city. Parking is only allowed on the western side of the streets and parking near the trailhead is not allowed between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays. This forces visitors to park further from the trailhead. Local residents tend to put signs and cones up along roads making announcements along the lines of "Resident Access Only," though these signs carry no legal bearing.
The trail entrance gate, a pedestrian gate in the wall to the left of the road gate, is locked to outside entrance between sunset and sunrise daily. The trail is part of Griffith Park, which has a curfew between 10:30 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Though it is the most direct, this trail feels more like an urban slog than any type of a hike. Alternative, more diverse and natural-feeling routes can be found at: