Located on Jefferson Avenue in Culver City, the highlight of the 57 acre Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook park is the 511 ft elevation hilltop peak with a stupendous view. From this peak you can see downtown, the Pacific Ocean, and many of the various city centers along Wilshire Avenue. It really is a grand 360 degree view! Parking at the top of the hill is limited and costs $6. Most people park at the foot of the hill on Jefferson Avenue (for free) and hoof it to the top.
There are a number of ways to make the ascent. If you are full of gusto can you can head straight up the rough staircase with 281 large steps. Alternately, there is a trail that zigzags across the hillside, crossing the stairs a number of times and making the ascent a lot less steep. Finally, you can walk up the paved driveway that leads to the small parking lot and the visitor’s center at the top.
This parkland on was once home to oil pumps that tapped the Inglewood Oil Field, which lies beneath the earth here. Immediately to the south of this park, the 1,100 acre Baldwin Hills oil field (also called the Stocker oil field) remains active and produces some 3 million gallons of oil a year. You can get an OK view of these oil wells from here, especially if you walk to the far end of the parking lot. In the picture above you can see some of the storage tanks that are part of the pumping operation. More information and pictures of some of the oil extraction operations in Los Angeles can be found in my posts Urban Oil Wells Part 1 and Urban Oil Wells Part 2; Part 2 includes a couple photos from the Baldwin Hills area.
[Photos courtesy of Noah Albert]