|Location:||Culver City, CA|
|Elevation Gain:||315 feet|
|Difficulty:||Easy to moderate|
|Type:||Stairs, short workout|
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a perfect place to go not to far away from home, especially if you live in Culver City. The park is located in downtown Culver City; it is often referred to as Culver City Stairs even though it is part of the Baldwin Hills hence it’s name. The couple Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie are the architects behind the visitor center and trail construction including the stairs. Safdie Rabines Architects “principal goal of the Master Plan has been to preserve and enhance the unique qualities of this expansive site through the restoration of its natural ecosystems, creating a harmonious balance between community recreational activities and the natural systems within the site.” What’s interesting about their approach is that they built these stairs from concrete they found on the property. There are 282 unique steps that vary in size. The park re-opened in 2009 after being closed down after it’s purchase in 2000.
This is not a dog friendly hike, keep that in mind.
The park’s entrance is at 63000 Hetzler Rd. off of Jefferson Blvd. Parking is available at the top of the hill for $6.00 and free if you park on Jefferson (some hours are coin operated on Jefferson, be sure to check signs before leaving you car). From 10 Freeway, take the Overland Ave. exit south. Turn left on Washington Blvd. after 1.2 miles. Turn right on Duquesne Ave after 0.6 miles and in another 0.6 miles turn left on Jefferson Blvd. In about 1/2 mile you will see the trailhead on Jefferson just after Heltzer Rd.
I grew up in Culver City and for years never came to the Culver City Stairs; that’s the name I grew up knowing it. It is literally in the heart of downtown Culver City offering the stairs, winding dirt trails, visitor center, birds, flowers, many many snails in this park of 58 acres. We did the trail a few times and I found it fun to take the stairs up and run the switchbacks down the dirt trail few times. The area is perfect training for hiking, running or just a workout.
The Overlook offers a panoramic view of the entire Los Angeles Basin, the Pacific Ocean and surrounding mountains. On a clear day it’s gorgeous especially just after a huge rain where the local mountains offer snow covered peaks.