At the top of Mount Hollywood, 360-degree views of everything from the Verdugo Mountains to the Pacific Ocean (on a rare, smog-free day) offer a bird’s-eye crash course on L.A. geography.
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 close-up of the Hollywood sign at eye level.
5am–10:30pm. Hiking trails close at sunset.