RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Culver City Ballona Creek view on a spectacular day



The last few days have been incredibly clear around the Los Angeles area. It rained one day last week—maybe Thursday?—and since then all that uggy haze we have been dealing with has not re-appeared. When you can see all the mountain ranges surrounding the city you can understand why it is known as the Los Angeles Basin, as we are surrounded on all sides except, of course, for the ocean.

I took this photo on Saturday as I was on my way to walk up to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Ballona Creek is just a block or so from my house. Ballona Creek used to be a pretty, meandering stream until the 1930s when the U.S. Corps of Engineers saw fit to tame it inside concrete walls. Like the Los Angeles River, the creek had a habit of changing course in the rainy season and wreaking havoc on the adjacent neighborhoods, so at the time, this seemed to be the only solution.

In our more “enlightened” times there are many movements afoot to bring some green back to the creek. Maybe by planting the sides or the center (as we have seen in many parts of the Los Angeles River). But it is a slow process and takes money.

This view is at Duquesne Avenue looking pretty much northeast. The bike path you can see on the left runs all the way down to the Pacific Ocean at Playa del Rey. If you look up and a little to the left above the bicyclist in the red jacket, you can see the Hollywood Sign peeking through the trees on the side of Mt. Hollywood.

The highest point above that is Mount Lukens. If you look VERY closely you can see a whole lot of television, radio and cellular transmission towers on top. Mount Lukens is within the City of Los Angeles and caps out at 5,066 ft (1,544 m), making it the highest point within the city limits. According to Wikipedia, this gives LA the distinction of being the city that has the highest and lowest elevation (sea level) difference in the country.

As the crow flies, Mount Lukens is about 25 miles from where I was standing or about 30 miles and 90 minutes by car, depending on traffic. Yes, I have hiked up there on several occasions—in my (younger) hiking days I bagged quite a few peaks. Now I am content to do the half hour walk from my front door up to the top of Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. I will be writing about that in another post very soon. For an older post, click here.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

4 thoughts on “Culver City Ballona Creek view on a spectacular day

  1. Very lively and interesting piece about this well known LA landmark.


  2. I know that stretch of the bicycle path very well. It’s a great resource. I always wondered why the City removes the vegetation that takes root in the concrete walls. If they just left it alone the channel would get greener and probably more resistant to flooding. Wherever they let it go green, the creek starts to look like a creek. The vegetation in the creek grows, the fish and birds move in quickly.


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