Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike

In This Guide
  • How to Get to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail Maps
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions
  • What You Need To Do the Hike
Distance2.3 miles (3.7 km)
Time1 Hour (Total Time)
DifficultyModerate
Total Climbing350 feet (107m)
Dog FriendlyNo
Park NameBaldwin 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 what I recommend:

My Top Gear Picks

Garmin inreach review

Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:

  1. Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
  2. Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
  3. Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.

I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.

See My Full Gear List

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.

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

I highly recommend bringing a good paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.

Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

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.

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