Walk Distance: 5.3km / 3.3 miles
Walk Duration: 2 hours at preschool pace, allowing for plenty of time for taking photos of the iconic Hollywood Sign!
Suitable for: Babies in carriers, strollers, little walkers, scooters / balance bikes and all the family.
Walk Features: Beautiful views of the Hollywood Sign, lakeside walking, paved, level terrain paths, wildlife (deer, wildfowl amongst others).
“The Hollywood Lake & Sign Circular Hike is one of the most picturesque way to view the iconic Hollywood sign, with beautiful views across the lake waters, well away from the usual crowds.
It’s a great spot to bring a scooter or teach your kids to bicycle. The paths are paved and, especially during the week, fairly empty. Wildlife abounds with deer, tadpoles in puddles alongside the paths in spring and plenty of wildfowl to be found along the way.
The first section of the hike can be frustrating, with obscured views of the sign through mesh fencing. Don’t despair – unobstructed views are ahead & well worth it. If you want to skip that bit then either start the route in reverse, turning back after the bridge, or pick up the trail at the Weidlake Drive entrance and walk for the short stroll across the bridge and back for maximum impact on minimal time.’
The Hollywood Lake & Sign Circular Hike starts at the Lake Hollywood North Gate entrance off Lake Hollywood Drive and Montlake Drive. (N.b. alternative but less accessible starting point is at Weidlake Gate entrance by the small car park at the top of Weidlake Drive).
Head through the metal gate and onto the paved track ahead.
From here, the trail follows on the shady, paved track above the side of Lake Hollywood. This first section of the hike is a little frustrating and not the most exciting. High metal fencing to your left obscures both lake and Hollywood sign views but there is still the chance to spot wildlife if you look carefully and the hiking is quiet and shady.
As you reach the south end of Lake Hollywood, you begin to get your first glimpses of the Hollywood sign back across the lake. Don’t worry – the views only get better from here on in.
At the far south end of the lake the hiking trail follows the paved track across a large dam bridge to your left. From here there are excellent, unobstructed views of the Hollywood sign across the lake. It is a wonderful spot to spend some time soaking in the views and watching for wildfowl down in the lake below. Don’t forget to take in the city views to the south also and to check for the bear figures on the southern exterior side of the bridge.
Continue across the bridge. At the far side you will find portable toilets and the Weidlake Gate entrance ( an alternative starting point for those too short on time to complete the full loop). Turn left, following the lake perimeter and leaving the Weidlake Gate to your back.
The Hollywood sign looms towards you on this next stretch. It’s also a good place to check for deer up on the hillside or in the vegetation near the lake and for tadpoles on the side of the path in wet springs.
The path is deceptive – bending back to trace the contours of the lake. Don’t panic if it suddenly feels like you’re losing the Hollywood Sign!
Eventually the paved track comes to the East Gate entrance. You leave the lakeside path here, crossing the road and turning left onto the dirt sidewalk on the other side.
Follow the sidewalk along Montlake Drive for the final section around Lake Hollywood, returning to the North Gate at the intersection of Lake Hollywood Drive and Montlake Drive where the hike began.
Map of Route:
Street parking is available along Lake Hollywood Drive, towards its intersection with Montlake Drive. Alternatively there is a very small and rough surfaced parking lot by the Weidlake Gate entrance at the top of Weidlake Drive. Please note though that access to this parking lot is via winding, narrow road through residential areas and is not suitable for very large vehicles, heavy traffic or drivers uncomfortable with manoeuvring for oncoming traffic. Please respect local residents and park only in the allotted reservoir parking.
Rate this walk: