Time Out says
How to get as close as possible to the iconic Hollywood Sign is a constantly changing L.A. mystery of sorts thanks to the area’s iron-willed property owners. Originally created in 1923, the then “Hollywoodland” sign was supposed to be up for only a year and a half, yet here it is over 90 years later.
If you just want to see it, pull over anywhere on Beachwood Drive, where the parking is ample (but mostly restricted to permit-holders on weekends). If you want a good view, drive or bike to Lake Hollywood Park, a secluded green space just under the sign. If you want a close encounter, ride on horseback to get as near to the front of those famed nine letters as you legally can, thanks to tours from Sunset Ranch. Or simply hike through Beachwood’s residential hills. We recommend the Beachwood–Ledgewood–Mulholland route. But beware of the lack of sidewalks, and, pretty please, be respectful of the locals.
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Just so people know, there is no trail that leads to the sign. When u see people do that in movies it's all set up. And also cuz it's too much work to bring all the camera stuff up there.
The Hollywood Sign is to LA what The Statue of Liberty is to New York. An invitation to people around the world to come here and give it a go at making their dreams a reality. This American icon stands tall above the city, but has a habit of peaking at you between buildings or surprising you by peering over your shoulder at unexpected times. I do wish that they would light the sign up at night so it can shine over the city that it created in all its glory!
You've seen it in movies and dream of living in the land it represents but really it's just a sign. The one cool thing about the Hollywood Sign is that you can hike up to it or go on horseback, which makes for a fun afternoon!