The Hollywood Sign Is My Spirit Animal, Here's How To Hike To It!

Friday, April 20, 2018

I will never forget the first time I hiked to the Hollywood Sign, it was a hike dreams were made of; I was unbelievably excited to see such a legendary icon up close + personal! I felt like I was going celeb-spotting at Mastro's Beverly Hills on a Friday nightI was guaranteed to see a famous figure.
While there are plenty of spots around LA to catch a glimpse of the famous 9 letters, there's only one way to get a view from behind it, and if you want a selfie with the LA skyline + the Hollywood Sign together, you'll need to get to this spotI will tell you how!
I hiked to the sign pushing my 4-year-old in the jogging stroller and totally not sure of what to expect, and what the hike ended up being was so much more than what I planned...
Mom and Daughter Hollywood Sign Hike Los Angeles California great view la CA west coast the hills

 To reach the trail head, the easiest way to find parking is to open Google Maps and plug in:
3400 N. Beachwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Once you park, walk up the hill and you'll arrive infront of a huge brown electric gate; zoom through the pedestrian walkway and walk up the driveway, once you reach the top you'll see a sign for Sunset Ranch... and you've made it to the hike! The entrance has a giant electricity pole and lots of signs veering right, go that way.
After hiking up hills for about 30-45 minutes, you'll come to a fork in the road, and if you go right, you'll head to the top of the sign! Another half mile or so, and you will reach the top!
View from LA Hollywood Sign Hike Los Angeles California
The view at the top of the Hollywood Sign is one of the best views you'll ever find in Los Angeles, you can see everything from the skyline to the freeways to the mountains; it shows you just how incredibly vast the city truly is.
As I mentioned earlier, this was a very life-changing and unforgettable hike for me, and if you want, I can share why...
 The first time I hiked to the Hollywood Sign, my husband & I had just learned we were moving to Seattle, and so I wanted to mark items off my Los Angeles Bucket List; hiking to the Hollywood Sign being one of those items. 
It was just me, my husband, and our daughter, Delilah, living in LA at the time; my husband was traveling often and happened to be overseas that weekso off Delilah & I went to hike the Hollywood Sign! I packed a thermos of water, crackers, and hid a pack of Gushers in the stroller and told Delilah "we're going on a secret adventure, and when we reach it, you get a surprise!", the Gushers being the surprise. 
I was a little unclear about the directions to the sign and ended up very, very off course. I was going up steep hills, through dirt trails, I even ended up on a paved road at some point... my water was getting low and I was starting a panic a bit and question my judgement. Eventually I ended up on the correct trail again, but had been pushing a hefty jogging stroller and 40 pound child the whole time, and was growing tired. My legs were weak, I was thirsty, winded, and didn't have much strength to get myself & my 4-year-old up this mountain. By the time we were within reasonable distance from the top, we were looping around a steep mountain, in which one side was freezing and the other side hot (oh California weather!). Was this even worth it?
I remember looking up and thinking, "we're only about 20 minutes away now!", and then the climb grew steeper, and Delilah wanted out of the stroller, and I just remember thinkingI am so done. I did a great job, I tried, I am going to turn around and say we made it half way. 
But I thought about how bad I wanted this, and how far I'd come, and how much harder I worked to reach this far, and that there was no sense in quitting... so I kept striding up that hill!
 I was the slowest hiker on that mountain, I was totally depleted of energy yet determined to make it, and that's when we came around the corner and I caught a huge white "H" in my line of vision. WE MADE IT. 
I parked my stroller, whisked Delilah out, and went to the peak to admire the view. We sat together on a giant boulder atop the Hollywood Hills and looked out to LA through the Hollywood Sign; I asked Delilah, "are you ready for your surprise?", and she exclaimed "yes!" 
As I pulled out the Gushers, her face lit up; isn't it funny how small things can mean everything to children? And isn't is funny how moments like that can mean everything to us? As my daughter sat beside me, eating her Gushers, I thought about how easy this was supposed to be and how unplanned I was for all the hoops I ended up jumping through just to get here, and how much determination I had to muster just to keep going. And isn't that how life can be? You make these big great plans, and sometimes you realize, well, you're going to have to work a little harder than you thought! But with a little resistance, determination, and a goal in mindanything is possible.
Mom and Daughter Hollywood Sign Hike Los Angeles California fit mom momswhohike fitfam hiking

I originally wanted to hike to the Hollywood Sign just so I could proudly say I've been there, and as it turned out, when I think about that hike, I'm proud of the woman and Mom that I am. I tried my abslute best and it was totally worth it. As we made our way down the hill, Delilah finished her last Gusher and handed me the wrapper to throw away; I put it in the pocket of my black jacket and zipped the pocket shut. I climbed down that mountain with a new outlook in life, a higher plateau of dedication attained, and new metaphorical mountain of determination I'd conquered. The Hollywood Sign changed me, it emboldened me, it made me a better woman, it heard me roar. And that is why I call it my spirit animal. I believed in myself, and didn't stop until I reached the top!
I learned a lot about myself, my limits, and my patience that day and still think about it from time to time. To this day, I keep a Gusher's wrapper in my black zip-up jacket pocket to remind me to always "keep moving forward", and that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.
Have you ever veered off track? Did you still reach your goal?

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