I am not originally a Los Angeles native and because of this, when I think of the city, the image of the Hollywood sign often crops up in my head. I remember the first time I flew from my hometown to Los Angeles and my plane was descending from the atmosphere into the LA smog, I was almost eye-level with the Hollywood sign. I had seen it a hundred times prior to that moment and had possibly seen multiple renditions and interpretations of it everywhere and I definitely knew what it looked like, but despite all these things, the sign still held a majestic and unassuming hold on me.
Before classes at UCLA resume for me, I have made it my goal for the school year to explore as much of LA as I possibly can and there was no better place to start than the Hollywood sign itself. The first sign that greeted me into this crazy and beautiful city was going to be the first landmark that I was going to conquer.
In my quest to conquer the monument, these are the tips that I want to share…
1. It is an incredibly long Hike
The first time we parked our car and looked up the trail of the hike, it was a devastating realization that I wouldn't do so much conquering as get conquered by the sheer rigor of the trail. The particular route that we had resorted was a 3-mile round trip and was comparatively the "easier" one. I mean if that was easy, I don't even want to know what is hard. Whilst on the hike, it does one well to know it's no walk in the park, but fittingly a hike up a mountain.
2. Stay hydrated
Its is important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the entire journey. Especially if you are hiking on a sunny day. Juices and power drinks are fine but nothing replaces the power of the H20.
3. Pack light
You might be inclined to take a bunch of snacks, heavy camera, or other equipment up with you, but it would be an absolute waste of your time and energy. Pack light to keep yourself from being crushed under the weight of your ridiculousness.
4. Go with a group of friends
A good group of friends can really make or break a hiking experience. The route to the top is a long and winding one and if you have good company along for the journey then that hike goes by rapidly; the pain and exhaustion won't weigh you down. It is probably erring on the side of caution to be in a group than making the hike alone.
5. Take your time to get to the top
While reaching the top of the sing is the ultimate goal because it has the best 360-degree view, the journey itself has many gems along the way where you can take a breather and appreciate the views as well.
6. Once at the top stay for a while
Once you reach the top, take the time to just soak in the silence and the beauty. It is an odd view because you see the majesty of the city of Los Angeles and along with it the blanket of smog, the buildings, hear the helicopters above you, but you also see the beautiful mountains that envelope the city and other natural features that juxtapose the metropolitan city-scape but also together make the great LA skyline.
7. Be careful on the way back
Finally when you have had your fill of feeling on top of the world, be careful as you come back down. There are parts where the trail becomes steep and can result in slipping or losing of your balance.
LA is a great city and often can be very overwhelming to explore, but like myself, give yourself the chance to step out and take the city in, one great site at a time!