Cycling to the Hollywood Sign

by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant 


Los Angeles is one of my favorite cities, and the best way I discovered to really explore a place is by riding a bike. I have taken many bicycle trails, some of them went along the beach, others followed the LA river, but my favorite ones were going through the hills overlooking the city. 

I wanted to take the most scenic route with the best views, and the application I used suggested a road that went from downtown Hollywood up the hills to the Griffith Observatory and then to the Hollywood sign, so I plugged in my headphones and started peddling. 

‘As I peddled through the trails, I got to enjoy some of the best LA views there are… It was peaceful and the buzzing and congestion of the city could not be felt. I had never seen this side of Los Angeles, and it was beautiful.’ 


Since I lived in another part of town, I took the Metro until I arrived in downtown Hollywood. It was very busy with tourists, cars, pedestrians, and other bikes. As I started to go through the windy roads up the hills, the traffic decreased, and so did my speed. The roads and trails kept getting steeper, but every now and then I could catch a glimpse of the view between the houses and trees and it only got better, so I pushed on. 

I eventually ended up on some busier roads, but this was a good sign. This meant that I was finally arriving at the Griffith Observatory. I couldn’t wait to get there, but not because I hadn’t been, or I needed to stop but because I made a grave mistake. I took two water bottles with me, and since it got so hot in southern California during the summer, I decided to take my two best water bottles that kept cool in. I filled them with ice and then water and went on with my day. 

When I was halfway up to the Observatory, I took a water break, and this is where I realized I barely had any liquid water. The best water bottles I had could keep temperatures better than I had estimated, so the ice never melted, and I was left very thirsty with large blocks of ice with me. I tried riding with the caps on, but it was dusty, and muddy/murky water did not seem appealing. Therefore, my best choice was finding a water fountain. 

Griffith Observatory
The Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory

Luckily enough, the Griffith Observatory had water fountains, so I filled up my water bottles and enjoyed the view while I refreshed myself. I also saw my next destination, across a ridge, over some hills, I could see the Hollywood sign. It was getting closer to my destination and although I had lived here for some time now, and seen the sign many times, I had never tried to get as close as I could. With my next goal visualized and plenty of liquid freshwater, I started peddling towards my next stop. 

As I peddled through the trails, I got to enjoy some of the best LA views there are. At times I could see the skyline of the downtown area, while other times I could see to the other side of the mountains towards Studio City/Burbank. It was peaceful and the buzzing and congestion of the city could not be felt. I had never seen this side of Los Angeles, and it was beautiful. 

Before I knew it, I was already at the Hollywood sign and this instantly became one of my favorite experiences. The sign is gated off to the public, however, there is a road right above the sign that allows visitors to see the famous letters spell out Hollywood with a beautiful view of the Valley. 

After years of living here and coming back every chance I got, this is still one of my favorite memories. I even biked up a few more times and every time my breath is taken away from the astounding views. If you are ever in Los Angeles and have time, I recommend giving this adventure a chance and I hope that if you do, you learn from my mistakes and take plenty of liquid water.


Alejo is a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato, born and raised mainly in Venezuela. Having had many opportunities to travel, explore, and go on a variety of adventures. Alejo’s Mischievous Adventures captures some of those exploits.

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