Tier Point Run to Phoenix in Nov 2018

I headed away to Phoenix for one night via Bucharest, Helsinki, Heathrow and Philadelphia.

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Early morning in Hollywood
Early morning in Hollywood
Early morning in Hollywood
Early morning in Hollywood

Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024: Day 4 – Los Angeles – Early Morning

By Nige on Fri 17 May 2024 at 11:43
Type: Post
Story: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024
Tags: Hilton | Los Angeles | Trips | USA

I woke at around 2am, so I got a decent amount of sleep, but I knew there was no chance I was going to get back to sleep.

I had an exciting plan for this morning: to hike up to the Hollywood sign, aiming to start my hike not long after sunrise (a little before 6am).

The first star I found on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard
The first star I found on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard
The first star I found on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard
The first star I found on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard

I was going to start by walking half a mile up the road to the 24-hour Starbucks and getting breakfast. But due to it being a drive-thru only (until 6am), advice online suggested that walk-ups may not be accepted.

So instead, I decided to get an Uber at 4:15am to my next hotel in Hollywood. I dropped off my bag, then I walked half a mile to a local Starbucks to get breakfast there.

Unfortunately the Starbucks I selected only had a window service at 5am. The store didn’t open properly until 6am, and even then, it didn’t look like there was anywhere to sit down.

So I bought my breakfast, asked for some paper bags, and headed back to the hotel.

Starbucks breakfast enjoyed at the HGI in Hollywood
Starbucks breakfast enjoyed at the HGI in Hollywood
Starbucks breakfast enjoyed at the HGI in Hollywood
Starbucks breakfast enjoyed at the HGI in Hollywood

Special note to the night manager at the Hilton Garden Inn (HGI), who let me in, stored my bag, and even showed me to a table in the restaurant area where I could eat my breakfast.

It was overcast; in fact, thick black cloud according to the BBC weather forecast, so I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to see of the Hollywood sign.

It looked like it would be clear later in the afternoon, so I might end up doing it twice!

After breakfast at the HGI, I took another Uber up to the Innsdale Trailhead, where I started a 2 hr trail up to view the Hollywood sign from the front and the back.

The Innsdale Trailhead located at the end of Canyon Lake Drive
The Innsdale Trailhead located at the end of Canyon Lake Drive
The Innsdale Trailhead located at the end of Canyon Lake Drive
The Innsdale Trailhead located at the end of Canyon Lake Drive

From the Innsdale Trailhead, I got my first half-decent view of the Hollywood sign.

The initial sandy path is the Innsdale Trail and reminded me of the faux-exercising scenes in Episodes a few years ago.

Even though it was cloudy, it was still good to do a bit of walking myself.

I used a free 7-day trial of AllTrails to navigate along the Hollywood Sign via Innsdale Trail and Mt Lee Drive to make sure I stuck to the correct path.

First half-decent view of the Hollywood sign from the trail
First half-decent view of the Hollywood sign from the trail
First half-decent view of the Hollywood sign from the trail
First half-decent view of the Hollywood sign from the trail

Along the trail, there were lots of signs encouraging walkers to stick to the trail and some roads are closed off to non-local traffic.

You can only respect local homeowners who do not want lots of tourists driving along these very narrow roads, potentially blocking access.

I carried two bottles of water in a Starbucks paper bag. I had forgotten to bring a small day pack on this trip to hold things like water and the like.

To be honest, I didn’t need much water. It wasn’t that warm, and the sun was nowhere to be seen.

Approaching the junction of Mulholland Hwy, W Mulholland Hwy and Ledgewood Drive
Approaching the junction of Mulholland Hwy, W Mulholland Hwy and Ledgewood Drive
Approaching the junction of Mulholland Hwy, W Mulholland Hwy and Ledgewood Drive
Approaching the junction of Mulholland Hwy, W Mulholland Hwy and Ledgewood Drive

But always best to have plenty of water with you.

The Innsdale Trail ends at Mulholland Hwy. I turned left at this point and followed the road for a short distance until I hit an odd-looking junction where four roads all came together.

This junction became significant over the next few days for picking up Ubers!

Coming from Mulholland Hwy, the road carries on to the left (note the entrance to this road was blocked by barriers), W Mulholland Hwy arrives from a sharp right and Ledgewood Drive continues straight ahead and appears to head down a steep descent.

The last house on Mulholland
The last house on Mulholland
The last house on Mulholland
The last house on Mulholland

At this point, I turned left, walked through the barriers and carried on walking up Mulholland Hwy.

Not far along this road, I came across the Last House on Mulholland, which appears to just be a facade. I’m not entirely sure why this was here, but it’s highlighted as a photo opportunity, but it also has lots of No Trespassing signs all over it!

This signals the end of Mulholland Hwy and the start of the Last House Trail.

After a few more corners, it looked like I had come to the end of the road.

This was a confusing image! Luckily the security gate was unlocked
This was a confusing image! Luckily the security gate was unlocked
This was a confusing image! Luckily the security gate was unlocked
This was a confusing image! Luckily the security gate was unlocked

Ahead was a large gate to a private property, but I found a gap to the left of this gate in a white wall, which the public could use.

I could then see a security fence and a gate with a combination lock. The signage suggests that the park is closed between sunset and sunrise.

I found the security gate unlocked. I guessed that meant that this gate automatically locks and unlocks at the appropriate time. You need to use a combination if you want to get access outside of the opening hours.

After heading through the security gate, the trail changes from being the Last House Trail into the Mt Lee Dr and keeps this name right up to the top.

About half-way up, I needed to ignore the right turn on to Mulholland Trail
About half-way up, I needed to ignore the right turn on to Mulholland Trail
About half-way up, I needed to ignore the right turn on to Mulholland Trail
About half-way up, I needed to ignore the right turn on to Mulholland Trail

As I carried on upwards, it started to rain, but only as a fine mist. For me, that was really nice – it kept me cool.

Mt Lee Dr must have been a well-used road in the past, but hasn’t been used for a long time. Consequently, the road surface has broken up in many places.

For the next 10 mins or so, it was just a case of following this old road. Eventually, I came across my next opportunity to go the wrong way!

This next decision point is the junction with Mulholland Trail which heads off at a right angle on a sandy path. I carried straight on, up Mt Lee Dr.

On the final push to the summit
On the final push to the summit
On the final push to the summit
On the final push to the summit

The rest of the trail was straightforward. It was very windy and carried on around the mountain, climbing all of the time.

I certainly wondered whether I was ever going to reach the top, but it was case of “just keep going” and eventually, I got there.

Along the way, I saw quite a few animals: lots of bunnies hopping around and lots of birds scuttling across the trail.

The only people I came across were two individuals close to the top. It was nice to say hello to other human beings!

It was pretty misty at the top!
It was pretty misty at the top!
It was pretty misty at the top!
It was pretty misty at the top!

At the top, it was very misty, so I was lucky to be able to see the back of the Hollywood letters, let alone any part of LA in the distance!

I didn’t hang around at the top for very long.

On the way back down, I decided it was in my interest to find the closest road and order an Uber back to the HGI.

The call of nature after a strong coffee, was getting the better of me.

I saw these two on the way down - are these coyotes?
I saw these two on the way down – are these coyotes?
I saw these two on the way down - are these coyotes?
I saw these two on the way down – are these coyotes?

On the way back down, I came across some new wildlife for me. They looked suspiciously like coyotes to my untrained eye. Based on what I found on the net, coyotes are commonly associated with this area.

They were very cautious of me, and headed down the trail around a corner. That was the last I saw of them.

When I got back to that odd 4-way junction, at the end of Mulholland Hwy, I was able to order an Uber.

I had to wait about 10 mins, but I was just pleased that a cab was prepared to come up here to pick someone up!

When it arrived, two guys got out, and I got in. Timing is everything!

I headed back to the HGI. The roads were mad busy by this point, and I was relieved to get back to the hotel.

After getting back to the hotel, I decided I needed some sustenance, so I popped out to a another Starbucks that had seating and enjoyed my second breakfast. After all, i had earned it.

TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard
TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard
TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard
TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard

On the way back from Starbucks, I stopped off to take a photo of the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Dolby Theatre.

The TCL Chinese Theatre is one of the world’s most iconic cinemas. It was opened as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1927 and has hosted many movie premieres since then, including three Academy Award ceremonies.

The TCL Chinese Theatre boasts the single largest IMAX auditorium in the world, and the third largest commercial movie screen in North America.

The theatre welcomes more than four million visitors from around the world every year.

The Dolby Theatre, previously known as the Kodak Theatre, is a live-performance auditorium on Hollywood Boulevard.

Since its opening in 2001, it has been the venue of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

That was the end of my limited sightseeing tour of Hollywood. Next up was the Warner Bros. Studios Tour!


Follow the whole story here: Tier Point Run to Los Angeles in May 2024


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Author Bio: About Nige

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Nige is one of the co-founders of The Billingham Blog and works as a freelance management consultant. He loves to fly in his spare time!

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