Hollywood and Visalia

It appears our urban time the past few days has gotten Z&E a bit out of hiking mode! We woke up this morning, enjoyed our coffee and granola breakfast and made our way through Hollywood to the Hollyridge Trail – the path to the famed Hollywood sign.

It appears that people who live in the area of the trailhead REALLY don’t want tourists in their neighborhood. On our way in we past several large construction sign with messages such as “No Access to Hollywood Sign Ahead”, “Parking Prohibited Ahead”, “Access Hollywood Sign Via Alternate Route”, and so on. We ignored them all, and in fact, found a great (totally legal) parking spot right next to one. The (un)locked but imposing gate, (armed?) security guard, and rattlesnake area signs didn’t deter us, or the 10s of others headed the same direction.

Once we had made it through the neighborhood we found a very well maintained city park with a system of trails throughout the hills. Our first real rival, the heat, was the only real opposition we had as we made our way to the top. It was hot, really hot. Somehow the temperature in the eighties combined with the altitude gain and lack of shade made what should have been a pretty straightforward climb pretty darn miserable. Fortunately, the trail really wasn’t too long, as least compared with some of the things we have already done.

The conclusion of the hike is actually pretty anticlimactic. We ended up 30 or so feet above the sign with a nice view of the back of the “HO”. We took a few pictures (to be posted later), drank some water, and headed back down. The reverse hike down the hill breezed by. I guess it was mostly the climb that made the first half of the hike so rough.

From there we were off to Visalia, CA, our staging area for attacking Sequoia NP tomorrow. As much as Molly has been claiming to be ready to be back to the dirtiness of the parks, she’s having a tough time with being back to the Holiday Inn. Too much time in LA seems to have made her a bit soft. (Hopefully she doesn’t read this until writing her own post, so I can avoid retribution!) The girls are happy swimming here and I’m taking care of laundry and repacking everything for tomorrow’s adventure.


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