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)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)330 feet (101m)
Highest Elevation412 feet (126m)
Fees & PermitsFree Street Parking
Dog FriendlyNo
Park WebsiteBaldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Park Phone323-441-9183
Stay In Touch - - -

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.

You can park 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.

There have been break-ins in cars parked on Jefferson. If you park there, please hide any valuables.

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.

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La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Opsrey Stratos 24

I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) 

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.

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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 a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

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

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.

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

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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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