With COVID-19 shutting down indoor gyms indefinitely, people are forced to find alternative options to workout. My favorite way to exercise is hiking Los Angeles’ many trails and the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is one of my favorite spots to burn calories. If you’re looking for the same challenge of StairMaster, but with breathtaking views of LA, this will definitely do the job.
Home to the Culver City Stairs, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a 58-acre park. The trail up isn’t as extensive as others, but you’ll definitely get a sweat in. At the bottom of the trail, you have two options to get to the top 715 feet up: the windy road or the concrete Culver City Stairs. There are 282 steps that lead up the hill to the Overlook. The stairs are uneven and some are quite steep (supposedly the average height of a step is 10.5 inches) which will really test your physical endurance. You’re basically doing lunges all the way up to the top. There are three “rest stops” along the climb if you need to catch your breath or take a break.
Once you reach the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, you will be rewarded with an incredible panoramic view of the city. On a clear day you can see the Downtown LA skyline, the iconic Hollywood sign, the Santa Monica Bay, and the Griffith Observatory to name a few. I always feel a sense of accomplishment every time I reach the top. If I want to get the most out of my workout, I go back down the stairs and up again for another round. It’s 2/3 of a mile going up and down the steps.
If you want a more easier option to get down after you’ve reached the top, head towards the Nature Center and there is a winding road leading downhill to the entrance of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. I usually like to go down this path after I finish my rounds on the stairs.
If the stairs seem daunting and you’re not looking for that intense of a workout, there are 1.25 miles of switchback trails that loop around on a dirt path to the overlook. The trail is pretty straightforward with plenty of signs around so it’s not easy to get lost. There is also another trail worth checking out located behind the parking lot at the top called the “Park to Playa Trail”. This trail connects you to Kenneth Hahn State Park through a 440-foot bridge.
Overall, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook provides great options for a workout. If you want a sweat dripping challenge, take on the Culver City Stairs! If you want a more casual climb, there are enough trails to satisfy your needs.
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BALDWIN HILLS SCENIC OVERLOOK
Address: 6300 Hetzler Rd, Culver City, CA 90232
Hours of Operation: 8 am to sunset daily
Parking: Street parking along Hetzler. If you want to start at the top, there’s a parking lot at the top over the Overlook.
- Bring plenty of water! There’s a water fountain at the top, but nothing in between.
- If you forget to bring water or are hungry after your workout, there are usually two trucks parked in front of the entrance that sell juice, smoothies, beverages, and snacks.
- Best time to go is during golden hour for amazing views. You can catch the sunset by the ocean.
- There is plenty of free street parking around.
- There are clean restrooms located near the nature center.