Stair Master!

Sunset from Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Set at 511 feet, the balcony viewing point at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook offers a glowing perspective of Los Angeles—especially at sunset. You can drive right up to the overlook, but for a more interesting approach, and free parking, start from city-level and take the heel-toe express to the overlook. In other words, hoof it up the famous 282 Culver City Steps. (There’s also a 1.25-mile dirt hiking trail that winds around the steps in a series of switchbacks.) Either way, your travels take you above the buildings to a striking view west along the Pacific up to Malibu, east toward downtown LA, and on clear days, across to Mount Baldy. If the general sense of accomplishment once you’re at the top isn’t enough, there’s a stone embedded in the ground letting you know you’ve come a whole 375 feet above sea level. So soak in the scenery. At sunset the distant skyscrapers glint and glisten, and the horizon melts into layers of lavender and mango. hiking-trails-at-the-scenic-overlook-image-jpeg TIP: An easy loop trail is the crowning glory of Baldwin’s 58-acre park and makes for a nice stroll among seasonal wildflowers and purple needlegrass (aka California’s State Grass, a drought-resistant staple and food source for animals).

In Culver City, take Jefferson Blvd. to Hetzler Rd. Park along Jefferson Blvd. before or after Hetzler Rd., and find the dirt trail heading east from the bottom of Hetzler. Hike a short distance to reach the bottom of the stairs. If you plan to hike the trail instead of the taking the stairs, take the first short flight of steps and then bear right to continue up the dirt trail, crossing the stairs three more times on the way up the hill. At the top, make two right turns to reach the overlook. You can also get to the top by driving up Hetzler Rd. to a paid ($6) parking area near the visitor center and the overlook. No dogs. 

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