On January 1st, 2016, while on a "New Year, New Me" kick, I ran up the Culver City Stairs in an attempt to capture the sunset. I missed it by like ten minutes and also had the pleasure of coming to terms with how grossly out of shape I am.
The Culver City Stairs is pretty much the best hike in LA if you're calculating the ratio between the amount of effort and the quality of the view, because it probably takes 10 minutes to get to the top and it's pretty much in the top 5 views in LA.
This is the first picture I took in 2016, when I made it to the top just minutes after sunset. You can see the ocean, the Palisades on the far right, and west LA in the center.
While the record for climbing the 282 steps is 2 minutes and 9 seconds (set by Leony Mendez in 2015), I've done it three times now and I'd say 10 to 15 minutes is fine.
When I went on January 1st, it was my second time. I wore jeans, a sweater, and didn't bring a water bottle. I was naïve. I came back on a cloudy January 10th in the early afternoon to get some more pictures specifically for this blog post.
Okay so I went a little overboard with the "Saturation" feature on Photoshop, but I really wanted to make these look like a warm, sunny day. The Culver City Stairs are actually a nickname for the Baldwin Hill Scenic Overlook, located on the southeast side of Culver City. The stair size and spacing are incredibly irregular, with the largest step being an aggravating 20 inches and the smallest being 3.5 inches.
Here is the view from one of the landings, which are perfect for taking breaks. Everyone parks on Jefferson Blvd when they come here, but be wary if you're trying to find a spot in the 20 minutes leading up to sunset.
The top is a large and flat lookout area, with views to the east, north, and west. This is the north view, where you can see Century City on the far left, and Hollywood on the far right.
I tried to Photoshop downtown LA back into view because it was so overcast that day, but it didn't really work.
What you really want to do is come at sunset, so you get the daytime, sunset, and nighttime views. It's really awesome watching LA light up after it gets dark.
I love this view of Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.
Here you can see me, a certifiable fool, wearing jeans and a sweater to a hike. I wasn't camera ready at all, since I had been panting like crazy five minutes earlier. But hey, someone offered to take my picture.
My one word of advice about doing the Culver City Stairs at sunset is not to wait around too long after the sun has gone down to return home, otherwise you'll need a flashlight to safely descend the steps.
But I'm very lucky to live in this neighborhood, since I can be sitting in my apartment one minute, and a 10 minute drive and a 10 minute hike later, I'm looking out over all of LA.
So, to Runyon Canyon: