The Hollywood sign is one of the most iconic signs of all time. It has been in many movies and TV shows. People from all over the world come to see the Hollywood sign in person. If you are going to be in Hollywood, then this is one stop you need to put on your “must see” list. Not only is the sign incredible to see, but the view from the mountaintop is amazing to witness.
The sign was originally built as an advertisement for upscale real estate development in 1923. This was not meant to be your average size sign. The letters were 50 feet high and they were secured to frames that had been constructed of pipes and wires and telephone poles. They were spaced an even 8 inches apart. Originally, the developers of the sign expected it to last around a year.
In 1978, an infestation of termites in the area caused the “O” from the sign to separate and tumble down the mountain. Then, some people set fire to the bottom of an “L.” The cost to rebuild the sign was going to be about quarter of a million dollors. Hugh Hefner, the playboy millionaire, held a huge fundraiser at his Playboy mansion to raise funds to rebuild the Hollywood sign. The fundraiser worked as both community leaders and celebrities contributed to the cause. In August, the old sign was taken down, and since its initial erection in 1928, the area was left without a sign for three months.
The sign was reconstructed using 194 tons of concrete to anchor it and steel frames to hold it in place. Now, the sign is 408,000 pounds in total and 450 feet long. This makes it hard to get the whole sign into one picture when you are up close, so ensure that you snap a few pictures from below the sign as well.
The sign is monitored 24 hours a day to ensure its safety. Considering it is over 90 years old, the sign holds a special place in the world. The chances are very high that it will stay there for the next 90 years.
How To See The Hollywood Sign
Even though it is visible from below, there is nothing like getting up to the top and see the amazing view of LA as well as the sign. Going on the Hollyridge trail will get you up close to the sign. There is parking, but parking spaces are scarce so it is best to get there as early as you can in the morning.
The park opens up at 5 AM. If you are an early riser this is one of those opportunities that you can experience amazing scenery all by yourself, since not many people are willing to get up at 5 AM to explore. Because the trail can become quite hot, due to its lack of shade, hiking it in the morning is recommended for people who do not do well in high temperatures.
The walk from the parking lot is about 45 minutes. However, if you plan to stop and take rests then you should add on an extra half an hour. The trail will split eventually and you will want to stay to the left. The beginning of the trail is used as a horse trail, but horses do not go on the trail leading up to the sign.
Warnings While Visiting the Sign
It is essential to bring water and wear sunscreen to prevent dehydration or overheating. Hats are also recommended. Keep your eyes on the trail, as you do not want to ruin your hike by stepping in horse manure.
As tempting as it may be to try to hop the fence and touch the sign, this is illegal. There are many cameras that are pointed towards the Hollywood sign. An alarm can go off and you will spend a good portion of your trip explaining your actions.