The Baldwin Hills Overlook affords some of the most unusual views in Los Angeles. From 511 feet high, not only can you see the entire L.A. basin with the downtown skyline, Hollywood sign, Santa Monica Mountains, and Pacific Ocean, but you get the southern perspective of Long Beach, San Pedro, and Palos Verdes. If you’re lucky and catch a clear day, you may even spot Catalina and the Channel Islands.
This urban hike is a quick escape into nature but not without modern amenities including a bathroom, water fountain, picnic area and an entire learning center at the top. Take the time to educate yourself about the history, ecology and restoration of the land in order to truly appreciate the preciousness of park space and the fragileness of this natural urban island in the middle of the city sprawl below. Although the stairs to the top take only 10-20 minutes to ascend, they are taller and spread further apart than most stairs so be extra cautious with your footing. The stairs are a favorite amongst locals for exercise but for those looking for a less strenuous path, there is also the meandering switchback route. Even with the stairs, this is a shorter and less rigorous hike than others in urban L.A., so it's a great outing for all ages and fitness levels.