My roommate has been out of town for work– in London to be exact– so I have had to come up with ways to entertain myself while she’s been gone. On Tuesday, I decided to check something off my LA bucket list– the Hollywood sign hike.
The trail for the hike is in Griffith Park which it turns out is HUGE. It’s home to over fifty different hiking trails and the famous Griffith Observatory which houses a planetarium and stunning LA views.
Armed with a bottle of water and a fully charged phone for snapping photos and playing music, I began the climb. When I got to the top of the first hill, I could see the Hollywood sign, and I marveled at it with excitement thinking I’d soon be up there. And though it seemed far away, it somehow didn’t occur to me that my journey to it would be difficult.
Spoiler Alert: It was.
What made the hike so hard was that for most of it I was climbing at a steep incline, and for someone as out of shape as I am, the journey was trying.
I was also unprepared for how long it would take so I came with just a regular plastic bottle of water when what I should have had was a big bottle of Gatorade and a granola bar. I began the hike at around 11:45 and I reached the top about an hour and twenty minutes later. At that point I was starving. When I reached the summit there was a girl chilling on the ground eating an apple and all I wanted to do was be her.
When I felt like I was getting close to the end, there was a sign that said it was .8 more miles to the summit. I thought okay, I’ve come this far I can do this– the .8 miles consisted of really big curves and even steeper paths than I had been walking on before… But when I finally got to the top, I couldn’t catch my breath– and that was not just because I was actually out of breath– The view was actually incredible.
I probably sat up there for a good fifteen or twenty minutes just taking it all in and appreciating the intensely cool breeze that made my skin reminisce about its many swims in refreshing pools. The air at the top was also rewarding in that it felt so fresh and clean in my lungs, with the faintest salt smell of the ocean floating off of it.
It seemed so strange that a mountain like this could exist with such a big city below. The view of it all from that height was awing in a way that will send me hiking back up to it, albeit much better prepared.
All this being said, I did have to fight the urge to sit up there forever and let the cougars and coyotes eat me so I wouldn’t have to climb back down… because once you realize there is only one way back, it strikes a bit of panic into your muscles.
Luckily, there are a few sitting areas– flat rocks, benches– where you can take a moment to regain your faculties.
Moral of the story: The hike is 100% worth the view, and I will 10/10 be returning, but I will be much better prepared in the way of hydration and sustenance. On my way home, I was lucky enough to pass a sweetgreen where I could get a big salad and a CVS where I could finally get my gatorade and replenish my depleted electrolytes.
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P.S. There is also a horse trail on the mountain. The horse trail and the hiking trail intersect and for a bit of the stretch there is horse poop everywhere. Look alive.
P.P.S. You WILL be sore the next day… particularly in your glutes. Take a slow walk and stretch those poor muscles out. Or, take a steaming hot bath like I wish I could have.