Monday, January 14, 2013

A Walk in the Park: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Scenic overlook, without a doubt, a walk in the park not so much… The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook trail in Culver City may reside in a park, but this trail is anything but a walk in one. This past weekend I had the grueling pleasure (thanks to a certain special someone) to experience yet another wonderful, outdoor recreation space Los Angeles has to offer. Upon our arrival there was plenty of parking along the south side of Jefferson Boulevard and at first glance I thought to myself this looks fairly simple, but don’t be deceived as what lies ahead is actually quite a challenge.
With several options as to how to tackle this trail there is no wrong way to enjoy this hike and the unique perspective of the LA basin which waits for you at the top is a reward within itself. We decided to start our work out ascending along the paved walk up to the overlook. This gradual uphill climb (which was probably just short of a mile) made for nice warm up and definitely got our blood flowing and hearts pounding. The beautifully designed visitor center which sits at the top of hill was open this past Saturday (although we didn’t peek inside) and I was also pleasantly surprised that there were functioning restrooms atop which is not a standard hiking find!
The 500ft plus summit this scenic outlook resides upon certainly offers up some of the most breathtaking views which I think LA has to offer. We were lucky enough to go on an exceptionally clear day and were able to enjoy a front-row view from Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean all the way to Downtown and beyond to the snowcapped mountains with many recognizable landmarks in between (all of this sans the typical smoggy layer hanging over the city)
{not a stich of smog in sight... such a beautiful day}
After taking a few moments to catch our breath, take in the sweeping views and rehydrate a bit we continued our sweat session heading down the stairs which sit in the middle of the park. 282 stairs to be exact, of recycled concrete each step offering up varying heights making for calf & thigh-burning challenge.
Once at the bottom of this ½ mile stone stair case we then geared up to continue our hike right back up those same stairs climbing at a pace which left me out of breath for sure once we reached the top! With a few moments of rest and bit more rehydration we finished up this great workout by making our way down the zigzagging unpaved dirt trail which stretches around the mountain side meeting the stairs again at various points. We took the dirt trail until it met up again with the stone stairs and ended our afternoon hike descending the bottom portion of the steps which put us right back at the bottom of the summit onto Jefferson Boulevard. All in all it was a perfect Saturday and I will definitely be back for more!

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! This looks like a beautiful space but challenging. Thanks for sharing.