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The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike offers views and quick hiking fix in the middle of LA. On a clear day you can see from the Pacific Ocean to the San Gabriel Mountains.
2.3 miles (3.7 km)
Unmarked Park Trails
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Trail Maps
Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
6019 Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90016, USA
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook hike is located about 30 minutes from Santa Monica and downtown LA. It's about 20 minutes from LAX airport.
The hike winds it's way back and forth on switchbacks to the overlook area.
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.
Interactive Map Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Map Downloads Gear for the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike The best hydration daypack out there. The CamelBak Fourteener has been perfect on hikes of all distances (including Mt Whitney and Cactus to Clouds). It's light, has plenty of room for super-food snacks, extra layers, hiking gear, and comes with a 3 liter water bladder. I also like the raised sweat pads on the back that keep your back dry. It's the perfect blend of high-tech, durability, and simplicity. I've got hundreds of hours on it and still love it. CamelBak Fourteener Reviews My favorite hiking boot of all time. The La Sportiva Synthesis (for men and women) are waterproof, super-light, have incredible grip, and won a Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award ( my review here). I've gone through a lot of boots and these are my favorite. They feel like comfortable sneakers with the protection of hiking boots. La Sportiva Hiking Boot Reviews Don't hike without this in your backpack. It's a GPS emergency beacon and can save your life ( more on that here). On the trail, you're often out of cell phone range, and even something as simple as a twisted ankle could become a life and death situation. This beacon works where cell phones don't and is the size of a fist. Just press a button and help is on the way. Your life is worth every penny. ACR GPS Beacon Reviews For my complete gear list and survival kit contents, please check out my post on the modern hiking essentials here. I'd also recommend taking a quick look at the Every day they mark down great quality hiking gear, fitness gear, and clothing. Pick up an inexpensive lifetime REI Outlet site. REI Membership for an extra 10% off. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Hike Directions What to Expect Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a popular workout spot. The Culver City Stairs are the main attraction, with 282 stairs going straight up for half a mile. 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. I recommend parking for free on the streets outside of the park entrance. 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. Turn by Turn Directions Park on Jefferson for free. It’s a short walk to the trailhead. The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trailhead is clearly marked. Head in and hike up to the left. 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. The trail will continue to criss-cross the stairs as your hike climbs. Always hike straight through. Around 0.6 miles, there’s a trail junction. Heading right brings you to the road. Hike left instead. As you near the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook access road, the trail breaks apart. Hike right toward the road. The trail will follow the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook access road. At about 0.75 miles, hike the hard left to break off from the road and continue to hike on the switchbacks. At about 0.9 miles, hike straight and pass the steps up to the right. Shortly after that, hike along to the right and wind up the trail to the back of the hill. At the intersection, hike right to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. You made it! Soak in the views. Head back on the trail but stay right at the T (instead of hiking back down the hill). 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. Hike back down the way you came. If you’re short on time, bail by taking the famous Culver City stairs down. An easy way to give back is to simply pick up any trash you see on the trail. A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.
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I’m Hiking Guy, aka Cris Hazzard. I like to get outdoors, walk, and then write about it. It wasn’t always like that though.
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