Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Hike 14- Baldwin Hills/Hahn SRA
The beginning of the hike is not promising as you are walking up a wide gravel path with a concrete wall to your right
The trail is a little schizophrenic in that there are two options. 1) Go up a series of switchbacks that while maddening in their lack of direction, extend the hike and let you experience the wildflowers or 2) go up the stairs.
The stairs are a big thing about Baldwin Hills. Lots of people were using them, getting in shape by them, etc. I much preferred the canoe switchback trails because it got you amongst the grasslands and still gave the calves a little work out on the uphill sections.
Perhaps the best thing about BH is the springtime and wildflower season. While the road noise is kept to a minimum, the flowers were Sasha Fierce today and made the hike really worth it.
As you get closer to the top, the trail asks you a question...
and while I don't know the answer, I do know that when you get to the top, you have great views of both downtown...
and the ocean and Griffith Park
The views were great. There was also a visitor/ranger center which sadly, due to state budget cuts, was only open very select hours during the week so I missed talking to a ranger. I was going to try and convince the ranger to give me a free patch (I am a sucker for free patches) so I will have to come back another day.
Looking out from the top of Baldwin, I spotted a great other hillside to explore on the other side of La Cienega which I found out was Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Just to enter the area was $6 so I drove and drove and found an alternate way to park close but not pay the money.
Let me go on a slight tangent here. I am a fan of the state parks. I would gladly be willing to pay $18 a year to keep all of them open. If there is a state use pass, I would use it. I am a member of CSPF. Still, $6 to park at a rinky dink park? And the parking is in a weird place? Perhaps there needs be a rethinking about fees and access points.
So, I went to Kenneth Hahn SRA but on the backside of the park. There isn't much to say. All the things I saw from the distance were gated off, no access.
Here is some info in case you are going.
Baldwin Hills Map: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/612/files/bhso%20simple%20map.pdf
Kenneth Hahn SRA: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=612