Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a 58-acre park just south of downtown Culver City, Californa that may be best known for its stairs (aka Culver City Stairs). The view from the top provides a unique perspective of the Los Angeles that extends from Santa Monica Bay, Hollywood Hills, downtown Los Angeles and beyond to San Gabriel Mountains. Although most locals come here to get a quick work out in, I recommend hiking this at least hiking this trail once to see how vast Los Angeles is.
A short but very strenuous hike heads directly up the stairs to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. The stairs climb approximately 300 vertical feet in about .2 miles and provide a heart-pumping workout. There are a few landings along the way if you need to take a breather and everyone working out on the stairs provides plenty of motivation and encouragement to get to the top.
The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook has vast views encompassing most of the Los Angeles Basin. On a clear day, you can see far into the San Gabriel Mountains. At the top of the lookout, there is a modern visitor center that provides some great information about the native plants and animals. They also have a number of spaces that can be rented and would make for a wonderful event venue.
Unless I’m here for specific stair workout, I always give my legs a break on the way down and hike down the switchbacks that criss-cross the stairs. Heading out the back from the lookout and past the visitors center. You then flow the trail that is along the left side of the road. This path meanders along and turns in and crosses the stairs. The gradual decline of this path makes it a wonderful option for hiking the switchbacks up to the lookout as well.
If you don’t have the time or are physically unable to hike up the trail there is a parking lot at the top that for a small fee you can park and visit the overview.
- Website: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park Website
- Address: 6300 Hetzler Rd. Culver City, Ca 90232
- Parking: Free across the street and east of the trailhead. Meter park west of the trailhead. A parking lot at the bottom as well as top by the visitor center.
- Duration: 1 hr
- Length: 1.25 Up the stairs and down the switchbacks. Up and back the stairs is .4 miles.
- Elevation Gain: 300ft
- Activity Level: Strenuous for .2 miles direct sun/heat
- Terrain: Full Sun – Bring a hat and lots of water. Hiking on stairs and dirt trail.
- Other: No Dogs.
- Wear good walking shoes, bring lots of water, and wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Go early to beat the heat.