Urban Hike: The PG Way to the Hollywood Sign
If you’ve been following along, you’ve noticed that the cooking and gardening posts of 2011 have given way to brief updates about hikes and food trucks. So here, I offer another hike. I was looking for a good hilly climb (see this earlier post about my weep-wop). In reference to the Oscars, LAist posted this list of hikes to the Hollywood sign, and rated them G, PG and PG-13. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be clever to post photos of the Hollywood sign on her big night?” I did that on my photo blog, 365 Oranges. Here I can share a few more details.
So, for you, so that you could see the posterior of the Hollywood sign, and her view of this great city, I hiked the PG route, Brush Canyon Trail, a new one for me. I have hiked these hills many times, and to the Hollywood sign a handful of times on the shorter Hollyridge Trail. We left late in the day. I didn’t think about the fact that I was setting out to climb a mountain. It was not a easy as I expected, summiting Mt. Lee, but it was worth it.
After a 600 foot gain in in the first mile, we reached Mulholland Trail and were caught up in horse traffic, dust and poop. If you like to ride horses very slowly in a straight line, check out Sunset Ranch. We hung back to let the dust settle a bit before wending this flatter path along the hillside. The Mulhulland trail ends at the paved Mt. Lee access road that leads more sharply uphill to the radio tower and Hollywood sign. This road cuts back to the Valley side of the mountain, for an entirely different view. I was surprised how well we could hear the rush of the freeway far below and miles away. The temperature dropped sharply several degrees on this shady side of the mountain, I always forget how cold I feel at the end of this hike.
But then, at the point when it starts to feel exhausting, and the hour-plus return trip looms (and when I always have to pee), the road makes a final turn for the payoff. Actually the payoff is less than one might expect. There is a chain link fence preventing hikers from getting too close to the giant letters. The scaffolding is visible behind each iconic white giant. The Hollywood Reservoir, rarely seen from any vantage in L.A. glistens in the sun. No matter how much haze loiters between Mt.Lee and the towers downtown, they cut a silhouette that looks like home to me.
When we finally reached the bottom of the trail, and still had a way to go before we found our car, we saw this coyote in a picnic area near a playground. He looked hungry.