RMW: the blog

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

A walk to the top


culver city baldwin overlookI’ve said it before, I’m sure I’ll say it again: I feel very fortunate to live where I do, just a couple of blocks to the south is Culver City Park that connects with Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and miles of hiking trails. Part of the California State Parks system, the Overlook opened in April 2009. For months I sat out on my deck with a glass of wine (not the same glass of wine) watching the multitudes of people climbing up to the top and thinking it would take a lot of time and effort to reach the summit.

culver city baldwin overlook

As it happens it is a half hour walk, more or less, depending on my energy level, from my front door to the very tippy top!

culver city baldwin overlook

There are three routes to the top. A hiking trail which is difficult for me as I no longer do well on uneven ground. A billion stairs which are also difficult because some of them are too steep for my old knees (however, I have done the stairs several times with the help of a hiking pole). And the route I prefer now, the paved road which is shared with cars.

culver city baldwin overlook

My pet peeve of the day: Despite this sign, which evidently no-one other than me has bothered to read, gives vehicles the right of way… this is a road! And the advice to walk on the left facing traffic is totally ignored. People either hug the right curb with their backs to the cars, or walk all over the road causing vehicles to either stop or drive at one mile an hour. I don’t get it. Am I the only one who feels it is safer to see the cars coming towards me. Yes, it’s tough being perfect in an imperfect world!

culver city baldwin overlook

These photos were taken in December, 2014 after one of the first rains. It’s fabulous to see the hills change from brown to green overnight!

culver city baldwin overlookSince then we’ve had a couple more storms and the hillsides are even greener… I just didn’t want to take these photos all over again.

culver city baldwin overlookWhen the park was created it was landscaped with native drought-resistant plants. So this is how it would possibly have looked hundreds of years ago when the Tongva Indians inhabited the area.

culver city baldwin overlookThis view shows the Sony Pictures “ziggurat” building just left of center. In the center is an approximately 160-unit (don’t quote me on that) apartment building being constructed at the end of my street over on the Los Angeles side. The red-roofed building at center right is Culver City City Hall. You can see my roof deck from up here but I’m not going to point it out!

culver city baldwin overlook Aaaahhh… the Pacific Ocean on the horizon. Looking out towards Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey. In the center is the tower of the Culver City Veteran’s Building and in the foreground the baseball field at Botts Field in Culver Park.

culver city baldwin overlookUpper center is the Blue Whale, the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

culver city baldwin overlookThis park is well used. On the one hand it is not the place to come to get away from people. But on the other hand I always feel safe with other people jogging and walking around me.

This park is well used. On the one hand it is not the place to come to get away from people. But on the other hand I always feel safe with other people jogging and walking around me. If you look very closely and squint you can see the Hollywood Sign in the distance at upper right at the top of Mount Hollywood. Behind Mount Hollywood are the Verdugo Mountains. And the highest mountains in the background are the San Gabriels.

culver city baldwin overlook

Walking back down with a feeling of accomplishment. Just above the girls’ heads you can see the Rainbow Sculpture at Sony Pictures (Sony is on the old MGM lot… need I say more?).

culver city baldwin overlook

Looking towards Marina del Rey. Culver City is five miles from the ocean.

culver city baldwin overlookWe are looking at the high rises in Century City which was built in the 60s on land that was previously the 20th Century Fox Lot. Fox Studios is still located there today.

culver city baldwin overlookThe interpretive center. I love browsing in here when it is open (I think mostly at the weekends) as there is a lot of information about the flora and fauna of the area and about the development of Southern California in general. They did a very nice job with the architecture. I see these buildings from my deck. They are lighted at night.

culver city baldwin overlookJust a view through the bushes to Century City.

culver city baldwin overlookLooking back to the interpretive center. The LAX control tower is in the distance.

culver city baldwin overlookThe long and winding road!

culver city baldwin overlookOn a clear day you can see forever (sing along now…). Downtown Los Angeles at right with a little snow cap on Mount Baldy.

culver city baldwin overlookI can never get enough of these views…. the Hollywood Sign splat in the middle at the top, above the SBE building in the center.

culver city baldwin overlook

Red berries make a nice contrast with the green. Very holiday-ish just a few days before New Year.

culver city baldwin overlook

Some kids and parents enjoying a soccer practice down below in Culver Park. I walk through there on my route back down the hill.

culver city baldwin overlook

I just walked up here yesterday and it was so much greener than this so you will just have to imagine how green it is. But in the summer it is 50 shades of brown!

culver city baldwin overlookI just happen to like this fence. Certainly not keeping anyone or anything in or out… maybe just designating private from public land…. I really have no idea.

culver city baldwin overlookI’ll be posting some more photos of another walk up here soon I am sure. Hope you enjoyed coming along on this outing!

You might enjoy an earlier post I wrote: Stepping up to Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

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. .

17 thoughts on “A walk to the top

  1. I’m with you, Roslyn. I prefer to see the cars coming toward me. Thanks for a great walk and for sharing your beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh, it looks so nice and warm! Beautiful shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoyed the pictures and your commentary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are beautiful pictures. You are fortunate to live where you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great views from the top! Beautiful captures, Roslyn!


  6. I am very envious of your spot in our world, Ros. Culver City is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your perspective of its relationship to the hills of the walking park and the city and ocean that lies below in one direction and the Hollywood Hills and mountains in another. Wow. Your guided tour has made my day back here in snowy and freezing Syracuse, my friend. Thank you again. I can hear birds outside my window playing in the fresh snow as we all await spring.


  7. Looks like it was a perfect day – clear and dry – and certainly warmer than New England! Loved the scenic tour and great pics.


  8. Found your blog via snakesinthegrass, and really enjoyed your photography. Wonderful photos that really capture the experience, especially since you took the time to point out some of the landmarks to give it context. Truly fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m such a ninny … I already forgot that I meant to mention that I just wanted to offer a word of encouragement as you continue in the process of caring for your mom through hospice. I took care of my mom during the last six years of her life, and hospice was truly a service that helped me to navigate a difficult time. I eventually went on to do some volunteer work with them, as I was looking for some way to help repay their many kind gestures towards my mom and our family during a time that was difficult. My experience was that it can sometimes feel very closed and dark when moving through the process, so I find it especially uplifting that your have your photography to offer you an alternative perspective. Really beautiful work. Stunning, and evocative of the beauty and diversity surrounding the area in which you live. What a great eye. 🙂


      • Thank you N for the compliments… yes, hospice has provided me with a great social worker who listens to all my ramblings!


  9. Very very nice overlooking views. My kind of thing. I need to make a note of this when I go back to Cali. People get easily sidetracked with just walking and walking without paying attention when they are trying to reach the top. I don’t get it either. When I walk on the road, I’d rather go against the traffic. I need to be able to see whether the driver spot me or not. Eh?


    • thanks, Rommel. One of the things I enjoy about photography is that it forces me to look at things instead of being completely mindless when I am walking.


  10. Pingback: Deck time on a Saturday afternoon | One Good Life in Los Angeles

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