||Across from the Greek Theater · 2700 N. Vermont Ave. · Los Angeles, CA
The great thing about trees, other than the fact that you can make wooden Indians out of them, is that they don't change all that much in 15 years. Oh sure, they grow a bit, but the basic shape stays pretty much the same for quite some time. So, they make surprisingly helpful markers for pinpointing difficult locations.
For this particular location, a tree was pretty much the only thing I had to help me discover the exact spot where Doc painted a starting line for the climax of Back to the Future. This tree, and the lamppost which stands beside it, reside on N. Vermont Avenue in Griffith Park. You can find it right across the street from the parking lot that lies on the north side of the Greek Theater. Naturally, the Bluebird Motel sign isn't there and neither is the park bench, so you just have to look for that tree.
I always have to laugh when I get to this point in the film because it's quintessential Doc Brown to do such a thorough job in creating a starting line for Marty. A flag would have been adequate, or maybe even a banner stretched above the road. But no, Doc actually took white house paint and laid down a permanent, foot-wide line more than enough in itself with the message "START HERE" spelled out in giant block letters.
I suppose for someone who would actually build a detailed model of the town square to demonstrate his plan with a wind-up toy car, such an obtrusive starting line is perfectly consistent with his character, but I guess that's part of the reason it gives me a chuckle. You can't accuse Doc of having ever done anything half-assed.
Next: The Hill Valley Courthouse