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Saturday, October 7th, 2023 | 3:00pm - 9:00pm

Where We Will Meet

Gate Entrance at the Mount Lee Trailhead

Where The Walk Will End

Gate Entrance at the Mount Lee Trailhead

About This Walk

The Hollywood Sign holds a significant place in American culture as an iconic landmark overlooking Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Its construction in 1923 was originally intended as a temporary advertising display for the Hollywoodland housing development. Located on Mount Lee in the Beachwood Canyon area of the Santa Monica Mountains, this renowned symbol is widely recognized throughout California and the United States. The sign frequently appears in popular culture, often as an establishing shot in films and TV shows set in or around Hollywood. It has come to embody the American desire for individuality and fame.

Capturing the perfect photograph of the Hollywood sign is both thrilling and challenging. Due to its location within a residential area, access to the sign and parking is restricted. However, our Photo Walk will allow us to explore various vantage points and angles from below during the afternoon daylight hours. Toward evening, we will embark on a short 1.5-mile hike up to the viewing area behind the sign. There, we will witness breathtaking sunset views of Hollywood and the LA basin, with the Hollywood sign gracefully displayed in the foreground.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or passionate about photography, attending this photo walk to capture shots of this famous landmark is an essential activity that genuinely encapsulates the essence of the world’s entertainment capital.

Unexpected Change of PlansOctober 6th, 2023

Hi Everyone:

I am writing to inform you that I will not be attending the Photowalk tomorrow. I was notified yesterday that someone I was working with earlier this week had tested positive for COVID. Even though I don’t have any symptoms myself, I got tested this morning, and the result was positive. So, even though the Photowalk is outdoors, being around people is not a risk I’m willing to take.

Having said all that, if you’ve been planning to do the Photowalk, please continue with your plans. The information in the previous update provides a strong guide as to what and where the shooting spots are located and the time frame you need to start hiking to the summit.

Again, sorry I won’t be able to make it this time but don’t let my absence stop you from doing it.


Final Logistics and Considerations for our Hollywood Sign Photowalk on Saturday!October 4th, 2023

Hello Everyone:

I just logged into the website to check how many people are registered for our walk this weekend – the system doesn’t send me any notifications, so I had no idea that anyone had been leaving comments. We have nine walkers in our group, so this will be an excellent opportunity for all of us.

Here goes with a bunch of things.

First, we will plan to meet at the “Gate Entrance” to the Mount Lee Trailhead at 3 PM. The GPS coordinates for the entrance are 34.130142, -118.319231, and you can also use the following house address to get you to the gate entrance: 3399 Deronda Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

Second, parking is challenging in this area – especially on weekends. Residents have been overrun with tourists throughout the years, and they have instilled some stiff parking limitations to keep the traffic in their neighborhood manageable. Here are some guidelines for finding a place to park. On weekends, you are only allowed to park on streets after 6 PM, so don’t even think of parking in one of these areas before 6 PM because the meter maids are ferocious! The following YouTube video demonstrates several strategies for getting to the Gate Entrance with directions, maps, and parking information. I would allow up to an hour from where you park to get to the Gate Entrance.

Third, we will be shooting in three different locations on our walk.
• The first location will be along Deronda Drive, roughly a block before the Gate Entrance. The photo of the Hollywood Sign that I attached to the description for this walk was taken from this location, and it is a great location to capture both wide-angle and close-up views of the sign.
• Our second location will be just past the Gate Entrance in an area that used to be a parking lot, so there will be lots of room to move around and compose different shots.
• The third location will be the summit of Mt. Lee behind the Hollywood Sign. There are actually two spots here that you can shoot from – over the fence along the path with a great view of the backside of the Sign and from the peak of Mt. Lee just above it – we’ll discuss this more on Saturday.

Fourth, the amount of walking and the difficulty of the walking. As I said earlier, allow yourself up to an hour to get from your parking spot to the Gate Entrance. You can also park further down and take an Uber/Lyft to the Gate Entrance. The distance between the first two shooting locations is less than two blocks with smooth paths/roads.

The hike to the peak of Mount Lee via Mount Lee Drive follows an asphalt road from the Gate Entrance up around the back side of the mountain. The hike/walk will take about an hour in both directions, and the total elevation gain of the hike/walk is 500 feet. The trail is a steady climb but nothing too steep. Remember that our Photowalk is all about enjoying the experience, and if we need to hike at different speeds or take breaks along the way so be it.

Fifth, a few logistics:
• Afternoon temperatures will be in the mid-80s, dropping into the 70s throughout the early evening. Bring a light jacket or sweater because cool breezes are common on the summit.
• Sunset is at 6:29 on Saturday evening, so plan to start hiking to the summit shortly after 5 PM. We’ll spend roughly an hour on the summit before hiking back down to the Gate Entrance.
• Bring several bottles of water and some snacks to eat during the Photowalk.
• Bring a headlamp or a flashlight to use on our hike back down to the Gate Entrance.

Sixth, some camera gear considerations:
• Some photographers will use point-and-shoot cameras, while others will use DSLR/Mirrorless cameras. Some of you will use tripods, while others will do everything hand-held. Both strategies are acceptable.
• Regarding lens choices, a wide-angle lens in the range of 24mm-105mm should work just fine. If you want to take a photo of the backside of the Sign over the top of the fence, you will need a 14/16mm lens to get the entire width of the Sign into your photo.

Finally, contact information. Apart from a name on a list, this is the only information I have about any of you, and I apparently have no way to communicate with you except through this discussion board. My mobile number is 206-227-4798, and my email address is

Looking forward – John

6 Responses

  1. I’m googling, and can’t see the location for the Gate Entrance at the Mount Lee Trailhead. What are the cross streets / GPS?

  2. I do this hike every year. Parking on weekdays is no problem. Due to popularity, weekends are crazy. You are only allowed to park after 6pm. My parking spot is around this location; 6203 Rockcliff Dr. If the walk starts at 3pm, I would suggest Uber,Lyft. All those streets with parking after 6pm filled up very quick. I usually get there 5.30pm and wait. They do give tickets for parking before time,

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