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Cahuenga Peak

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.0 ( 16 ) Favorite

Trail

3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer out and back
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 924' 282 m
Descent: -925' -282 m
High: 1,775' 541 m
Low: 959' 292 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 34% (19°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

A terrific, short-and-steep option to get to the Wisdom Tree and then Hollywood Sign from the west.

Zander Göpfert

Features Views

Overview

This out-and-back hike is a bit of a two-faced beast. Hundreds of thousands of visitors can attest to the popular route up to the Wisdom Tree and the iconic view out over the city. However, the second half of this route past Cahuenga Peak is tough. The singletrack has sections of scrambling and can be loose. That said, for those who are willing to make the climb and take their time with the more difficult sections, this can be a great two-for-one option, adding on the Hollywood Sign at the end.

Need to Know

Parking is strictly enforced on Wonder View Drive. There is no potable water on this route. Trespassing at the Hollywood Sign is also strictly enforced with guards and cameras, though it's possible to find a way around the fences, it is illegal.

Description

To access this route, head to Wonder View Drive via Barham Boulevard to Lake Hollywood Drive. There isn't any public parking on this street, but Lake Hollywood Drive should have ample areas to park for free. Head east up Wonder View Drive past the gate to the trailhead.

Continue up the dirt road, looking toward a powerline tower. Around this time, look for the singletrack Tree of Life Trail to branch off to the right side of the road. Though this trail is rated as extremely difficult, the section up to the Wisdom Tree is very manageable, just a short, uphill grind.

Head up this singletrack into the hills. This stretch of trail is hot and dry, like much of the hiking in this area, but it's worth preparing with sufficient water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. From the turn onto the singletrack, this climb is ~0.5 miles to the Wisdom Tree, which marks the end of the steepest climb and provides a great spot to take a break, eat a snack, and snap some shots of the gorgeous view.

From the Wisdom Tree, continue northeast/east along the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail toward Cahuenga Peak and the Hollywood Sign. This is a beautiful, remote-seeming stretch of trail that feels out of place so close to downtown. After a few hundred yards, you'll come to the high point of this hike at Cahuenga Peak. Other than the USGS marker that denotes the top, there isn't anything special about this summit.

After the summit, the trail begins to dive down toward Mt. Lee. Some sections can be loose, so take your time and be sure of your footing. Along this final stretch, there is a clearing with a couple plaques commemorating the private donors who helped conserve this land as part of Griffith Park.

Push on for the last couple hundred yards connecting to Mt. Lee Drive and the view from behind the Hollywood Sign to take in the well-earned views. From here, return the way you came knowing everything you climbed up to get here is all downhill heading back.

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Check-Ins

Sep 8, 2019
Rick Procopio
Aug 27, 2019
André Leite
3mi — 12h 37m
Jul 22, 2019
L Schmoobz
Continuation from Tree of a Life — views behind Hollywood sign
Jun 26, 2019
Chris Maguire
3mi
Jun 15, 2019
Omar Torres
Apr 14, 2019
Luke Laws
Nice trail up steep hillside but not very well maintained with frequent overgrowth. Hollywood sign not worth pay-off, otherwise views are spectacular. 3.1mi — 1h 51m
Mar 7, 2019
Toby H
Feb 24, 2019
Cq Hiker

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 16 votes

#1

in Los Feliz

#1961

Overall
  4.0 from 16 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Los Feliz

#280

in California

#1,961

Overall
93 Views Last Month
2,103 Since Oct 11, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
17%
33%
33%
17%
0%

Photos

View from behind the sign overlooking Hollywood Reservoir.
Jul 25, 2019 near Hollywo…, CA
Top of Mount Lee and the iconic landmark of the Hollywood Sign.
Sep 29, 2016 near Univers…, CA
View from behind the Hollywood Sign.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Standing above the Hollywood Sign with the city in the background.
Sep 29, 2016 near Univers…, CA
Cahuenga Peak view.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA
The Wisdom Tree.
Oct 11, 2016 near Univers…, CA

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