Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike

In This Guide
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail Maps
  • How to Get to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Distance2.3 miles (3.7 km)
Hike Time1 Hour (Total)
DifficultyModerate
Total Ascent (?)330 feet (101m)
Highest Elevation412 feet (126m)
Fees & PermitsFree Street Parking
Dog FriendlyNo
Park ContactBaldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Park Phone323-441-9183

The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike offers views and quick hiking fix in the middle of LA. The trail to the summit goes up switchbacks that climb a tough 300 feet in about a mile, making it also a popular workout spot. If you want to skip the switchbacks and just punish yourself, you can hike up all 282 steps of the Culver City Stairs. Or you can just take the stairs on the descent. This hike takes the more scenic switchback route to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, where you’ll get sweeping views of LA, the Hollywood Hills, the Pacific Ocean, and the San Gabriel Mountains. It’s a fun hike to hit right in the middle of LA, and great training for the tougher peaks that you tackle on the weekend.

Where is Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook?

Use this trailhead address: 6019 Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90016, USA.

I recommend parking for free on the streets outside of the park entrance (which this address has). Street parking is popular so you may have to park farther away and walk to the entrance. You can also drive into the official lots. There’s a fee to park at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook State Park. If you have a California State Parks Pass, entry is free.

You can also get to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook with public transportation, especially if you’re staying in downtown LA. Take the Metro Expo Line toward Culver City, get off at the La Cienega / Jefferson Station, and walk 5 minutes to the trailhead.

The park is open from 8am to sunset. I’ve seen people working out here earlier though.

Gear for the Hike

You don’t need any special hiking gear for this hike, you can do it in workout clothes.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Don’t waster your money on hiking gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you already! Full HikingGuy Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

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Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail Maps

There are a lot of cut-offs and side trails. You won’t get lost at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, but stick to the main trail directions to protect this fragile habitat.

Click To View Map

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike 3d map
The hike winds it’s way back and forth on switchbacks to the overlook area.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike elevation
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a big bump in the middle of Culver City, and you climb it. This hike takes the switchbacks, so it’s not as brutal as the Culver City stairs.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike official map
Here is the official map for Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, which shows you were the pay lot and visitor’s center is.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Directions

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike parking
Park on Jefferson for free. It’s a short walk to the trailhead.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trailhead
The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trailhead is clearly marked. Head in and hike up to the left.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike switchbacks
After about 0.15 miles, the trail comes to a big junction. From here people start the step climb. Instead, make a hard left and start hiking the switchbacks.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trail
The trail will continue to criss-cross the stairs as your hike climbs. Always hike straight through.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trail
Around 0.6 miles, there’s a trail junction. Heading right brings you to the road. Hike left instead.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook access road
As you near the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook access road, the trail breaks apart. Hike right toward the road.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trail
The trail will follow the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook access road.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike
At about 0.75 miles, hike the hard left to break off from the road and continue to hike on the switchbacks.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike
At about 0.9 miles, hike straight and pass the steps up to the right.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike
Shortly after that, hike along to the right and wind up the trail to the back of the hill.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike
At the intersection, hike right to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike views
You made it! Soak in the views.
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trail
Head back on the trail but stay right at the T (instead of hiking back down the hill).
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook visitors center
You’ll arrive at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook visitors center. If it’s open, check it out. There are also interpretive displays offering insight into the local fauna, wildlife, and history.
Culver City stairs
Hike back down the way you came. If you’re short on time, bail by taking the famous Culver City stairs down.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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