At the top of Mount Hollywood (the hill behind the Griffith Observatory, not to be confused with the Hollywood Sign-adorned Mount Lee), you’ll get a bird’s-eye crash course on L.A. geography. Its 360-degree views offer a glimpse of everything from the Verdugo Mountains to the Pacific Ocean (on a rare, smog-free day, at least).
To get to the Mount Hollywood summit, Griffith’s highest peak, pick up the trail at the north side of the Observatory parking lot. Starting off amid scrubby evergreens, the path quickly emerges into the hills, winding higher and deeper, with the Hollywood Sign appearing to the left about 15 minutes in. After about a solid 40 minutes of walking, you’ll reach the top: a big, dusty clearing with picnic tables. It’s an ideal vantage point for checking out sweeping views of the Los Angeles basin, the edge of the San Fernando Valley, the hazy hills to the west, the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles with the Observatory in the foreground, and the money shot: a view of the Hollywood Sign at eye level across the canyon.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Ave
Hours: Parking lot 5am–10pm. Hiking trails close at sunset.
Parking: Snag a spot in the lot next to the Griffith Observatory. If that lot is too hectic, look for street parking along Observatory Avenue. Both cost $8–$10 per hour. Alternatively, a DASH bus runs up Vermont Avenue daily from 10am–10pm for only 50 cents (35 cents with a TAP card).
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes.
Length: ~3 miles
Time: 90 mins
Los Angeles is blessed with sunny weather nearly year-round and a geographical location that allows you to hit some of the best beaches and mountains in the state in the same day. So yes, there are plenty of things to do outside here, but there’s one thing that tops many Angelenos’ lists: hiking. So next time you’re looking for a beautiful view of the city, don’t head to a rooftop bar; instead, lace up your hiking boots and head out onto the trail for these things to do. Whether you’re more of a cityscape gawker or an ocean gazer, we’ve got the trek for you in this list of the best hikes in L.A.—with picture-perfect views at each.