The more and more that I travel I find myself wanting to travel more like a local than a tourist. Mind you, some tourist activities are totally up my alley, but now I want to really explore a city. When we were visiting California, my friend and I knew that hiking to the Hollywood sign was on the top of our list of things to do. With kids in tow, we also knew that it would have to be an easier hike so the kids wouldn’t get too worn out. So we took to the internet to see what the easiest hike was. Looking at the various trail lengths, we thought the shortest (3 miles RT) would be the easiest, so we headed for the Wonder View Trail. Spoiler alert! We never actually made it to the sign! We did get the Wisdom Tree though, but I will tell you more as you read on. So that you’ll be prepared when you go, here are 5 tips to hike the Hollywood Hills.
#1 Bring Water
probably your most essential item to bring. It gets hot hiking, and the trail isn’t the easiest. We seen true hikers (water backpacks and all) and they were breathing heavy. We also saw a dog who couldn’t make it up to the top and had to come back down. Staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do while hiking the Hollywood Hills. Since hiking with kids, we had then bring their small backpacks so that they could carry their own bottle on their back, thus freeing up their hands, which was perfect as some parts the had to hold on to something.
#2 Wear Proper Shoes
You would think this goes without saying, but we saw some hikers with shoes not fit for the trail. Flip flops and sandals are NOT going to cut it! Even with my gym shoes I hurt my ankle. It’s a very rocky trail with variations of heights, stepping up and down. Keep that in mind, if you have proper hiking shoes, wear them.
#3 Wear Sunscreen/Hat
Taking proper precaution from the sun is the second most important tip. Wearing sunscreen and a hat would be a great way to save your skin. Especially if you’re fair-skinned like me you’ll need to lather up! Don’t be like me who listens to her friend about not wearing a hat to Universal and then gets burnt. 😉
#4 Take a Break
When a distance of a hike looks shorter, that doesn’t mean that it is easier. This wasn’t for the faint of hearts, literally. And I am totally calling my friend Sherese out on this one. We were about a 1/4 way up the hill when she said she had to stop. So me being the cheerleader, I told her she could do it!
She said she’ll see us when we came back down.
This was probably better. Getting her back down the mountain if she was passed out wouldn’t have been an easy task. LOL
Everyone was telling the kids how well they were doing and they soaked it all in! They were doing great but we definitely stopped when needed; took a water break or just stopped under some shade. Although this puts a damper on time if you’re trying to get up there as quick as possible. However, taking small breaks can make a more enjoyable hike, especially with little ones in tow.
#5 Take a Camera
Hiking the Hollywood Hills gives you some of the best view of LA, Universal Studios and surrounding area. Literally just stop in your tracks and take that gorgeous view in. Bringing your camera can capture these great views so you can reminisce. It was a great hike for us, I really enjoyed it and the kids said they had fun. Luckily for is we have photos to show them or the great view that I hope they really appreciate later in life.
Our hike was a tad more strenuous than expected. Once we got the the Wisdom Tree some fellow hikers said it was another mile across the hills to get to it. My son was totally game! With 3 little kids I wasn’t! There are some areas that you can slide down, especially with little ones who may not be able to grasp something quick enough. So we headed back down after enjoying the view from atop of the hills. When we finally got back down (which actually was a little harder than going up), we were so dirty!
Like ridiculously dirty. We had already checked out of our hotel since we were headed to San Diego that night. But we could not go anywhere as filthy as we were. But where we would go? We checked around and couldn’t find anywhere with a family restroom where we could wash up and change our clothes.
As we made our way down into the city we saw a Walgreens. We gathered all our stuff and headed inside.
Then we saw it.
A Jack in the Box.
We grabbed our stuff and headed in.
Dirty bathroom. Yes!
Not a proud moment, washing up in a Jack in the Box, but definitely one for the books. And we didn’t look like we rolled around in dirt anymore.