Feb 27, 2015

Hiking to the Hollywood Sign: Part 1

Heavy rain had been hitting Los Angeles for several days straight before a clear day allowed me to do my hike to the Hollywood Sign. Although the sun was finally shining, a bunch of the trails had been closed due to mudslide warnings and I was continually directed to the Griffith Observatory to get up into the hills. 

I had planned on visiting Griffith Park anyway, but the hike from the Griffith Observatory was considerably longer than the one I had planned from North Beachwood Drive. There are really no signs or maps that direct people how to get close to the Hollywood Sign once you're there, and that's obviously because they don't want a lot of people making the trip. The Sign itself is fenced off, and if you want to view it up close, you can only really do so from behind. 

I arrived early in the morning and gave myself lots of time in anticipation that things wouldn't go to plan. The first part of the hike was straightforward. The trail leaving the observatory leads to an outlook on Mount Hollywood and there were a steady stream of people heading that way. As soon as I passed that, however, I found myself completely alone in the Hollywood Hills.

As I mentioned there really isn't a clear path to the Hollywood Sign. The trails are really fire roads that weave and meander, and you constantly find yourself heading away from the Sign to find the next road that leads towards it. About 2 hours into the hike I realized that following the fire roads was pretty slow going and so I started to hill hop - meaning I literally just started walking in the ruts up and down the hills to get myself closer to the Hollywood Sign. 

My guide during all of this? The antenna above the Sign was my only visual cue that I was headed in the right direction. I knew that there was a road that lead up to the antenna and that it curved up the back of the hill and ended behind the Hollywood Sign. Slowly but surely I got closer, and with each step I found myself rewarded with even more impressive views.

It isn't a hike without my signature jump shot.

"Follow Your Bliss" A bit of motivation I found after leaving the trail.

The road leading up to the antenna behind the Hollywood Sign.

The closest view I got of the front. See Part 2 for the final reveal.

Feb 26, 2015

Griffith Observatory Interior

The interior of the famed Griffith Observatory features more of the beautiful art deco details that make the building such a landmark. The painted ceiling mural by Hugo Ballin in the rotunda is certainly worth noting, although all of the subtle architectural details that surround it make the building pretty impressive. These are a few more of the images I captured while exploring this location in Los Angeles, California.