I finally discovered an outdoor workout that both will challenge you, push your body and offers outstanding views to boot! If you think Runyon Canyon is a great place to hike move back to whatever state it is you moved to L.A. from!
Runyon is where transplants go hiking, not locals. We locals can be found at Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook where parking isn’t a pain, there’s no dog crap and the views are a thousand times better!
My first time at the Baldwin Hills Stairs, I was gazing up at the stone stairs overcome by how steep they were! When I was half way up, my heart was pounding through my chest and I was questioning whether I would be able to make it all the way up, but after slowing down a bit and dry heaving (sexy!) I made it to the top and then almost fainted for real because of the breathtaking view! You can see the coastline of the Pacific ocean from Malibu to the South Bay, you can wave hello to the Griffith Observatory & Hollywood Sign, say” what’s up” to the skyscrapers that make up the DTLA skyline, and silently acknowledge the San Gabriel Mountains (which may even be snow capped if you go at the right time of year). You get almost get a full 360 degree view from the viewing deck here that you don’t at Runyon Canyon.
The Baldwin Hills stairs offer a great cardio, full leg and butt workout that you will probably feel for a couple days and the best part is you’re outdoors and it’s free! If stairs aren’t your thing you can hike up the mountain along the dirt trails or if you’re a true lazy ass or just have a legit physical disability and you would still like to see the best view from anywhere in L.A. you can drive your car right up to the visitor’s center.
Here’s a great tip, if you find parking on Jefferson for free take it, if you park in the visitor center parking lot at the top of the hill, you will pay $6 using a self-pay envelope. Since the stairs are located in a public park your $6 gets put to good use to maintain the trail, restrooms, water fountains and visitor center.