The popular Mt. Hollywood Trail is a nearly five-mile loop trail near the Griffith Park Observatory parking lot that offers great views of the Hollywood sign on the top of nearby Mount Lee. Expect to see many iconic Los Angeles sights on this hike, including tall palm trees, brown hills peppered with green groves and chaparral, and distant skyscrapers. On clear days, you can see the San Gabriel Mountains, the Griffith
Observatory, the Los Angeles skyline, and the Pacific Ocean from the summit. Along the way, enjoy the surprisingly rich native flora, which include wildflowers, cacti, and many species of trees. Local fauna includes bobcats, coyotes, lizards, and songbirds like chickadees, doves, and tanagers.
You'll start at the Charlie Turner Trailhead and follow the Charlie Turner Trail until you turn left onto the Mount Hollywood loop. Follow the signs posted around the park to stay on the trail. It's a good idea to get a map, as several trails intersect here and many people report getting lost and following a different trail or route than they planned. About a half-mile from the trailhead, you'll pass through the Berlin Forest, a pine forest planted by Berliners in honor of Berlin being the sister city to Los Angeles. There are benches here and one of the first views you'll get of the Hollywood sign. Next, enjoy the gardens at Dante's View, where you'll also find a water fountain. Go just a little further to arrive at the summit and its famous 360-degree views.
While some parts of the trail are shaded, much of your hike will be under full sun exposure. Plan accordingly. When it's hot outside during the day, hiking here at night can be a great option. While it's less crowded in the evening, there's still enough people coming and going around you for it to be a relatively safe night hike, and the views of the city lights are unbeatable. Another option for a less crowded hike is to come on a Monday when the Observatory is closed. The trail is most crowded on weekends. If you don't mind a crowd, you might have the most fun on this trail people-and-pup-watching. You're sure to see lots of wagging tails and lolling tongues on this dog-friendly hike. Don't forget to bring your camera to preserve memories of the great time you'll have here with your favorite hiking buddy.