Lonely Planet Writer

The easiest trail to the famous Hollywood sign is now permanently closed

A trip to Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without a selfie with the iconic Hollywood sign, but if you’re planning on getting up close to the 1937 landmark, it has just been made a little harder.

The iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. Image: Juan Camilo Bernal
The iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, California. Image: Juan Camilo Bernal

The shortest, easiest trail route was permanently shut off this week, following a court order that required the closure of a portion of Griffith Park at the Beachwood Drive gate. The legal wrangle began following a complaint by Sunset Ranch Hollywood Stables, which provides horseback rides in Griffith Park. Attorneys argued that with the high volume of pedestrians passing by, estimated at about 15,000 people per month, its customers regularly needed to weave around them.

It also argued that the city had advertised that pedestrians could access the area using a new gate. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge agreed that the city had blocked access to the stables and had interfered with its operation by directing pedestrians toward the property. Thankfully it’s not all bad news for hikers though as the judge also found that they could not be barred from using the Sunset Ranch easement altogether. She directed that they would be allowed to access Hollyridge Trail at the beginning of the easement or another previously used access point that is currently blocked. 

These new routes and the other existing trails will make the trip to the sign a bit longer. Those anxious to get up close and personal with the Hollywood sign and enjoy the spectacular views it provides over La La Land will undoubtedly feel it’s worth the extra walk.

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