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Here's Where To Snap A Pic Of The Snowy San Gabriels Without Having To Hike Mt. Baldy

Snow capped mountains rise above the Rose Bowl stadium with palm trees in the foreground
A view from the Rose Bowl
(Courtesy Jacqueline Buchanan)
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Thanks to the recent wet weather, the San Gabriel Mountains are bringing their A-game, view-wise. Snow-capped, almost purple at dusk, the very picture of what we live in Southern California.

So the obvious question is, where do you go to get the best photos of these picture-perfect vistas? The 'gram awaits your genius. You’re not going to scale Mt. Baldy, of course — none of us are. (Okay, maybe a few of us are. Godspeed. But maybe hold off a little while unless you're an expert — and even then, please be careful.)

Here’s how you can snap a great pic without sacrificing life and limb.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Also known as the Culver City Stairs, this spot will give you a stunning view of just about any place in Los Angeles. It’s the furthest from the San Gabriels of any place on this list, but no less majestic. You just have to get up the 282 steps first (you can do it!).

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The Baldwin Hills Overlook Hike, or the Culver City Stairs as some call the hike, rewards your efforts with a stunning 360 degree view of Los Angeles.
The Baldwin Hills Overlook Hike, or the Culver City Stairs as some call the hike, rewards your efforts with a stunning 360 degree view of Los Angeles.
(Chava Sanchez

The Observation Deck at L.A. City Hall

Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the observation deck provides a 365-degree view of the city, including the mountains. It’s free for visitors and accessible by elevator, with one flight of stairs leading from the 26th to 27th floors. The deck is on the 27th floor.

Griffith Park Observatory

Accessible by trail, you can grab some great pics even before you get to the observatory, located at the top of a hill in Griffith Park. Check here for hiking trails that lead to the grounds. While the observatory itself is open limited hours, the grounds from which you can see the San Gabriels are usually open all hours.

Santa Anita Park

The mountains are always visible behind the track at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.

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Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

If you're the type of photographer who likes a beautiful piece of foliage in your foreground, this is your spot. Stroll around the grounds and grab pictures with architectural wonders/flowers/trees, with the stunning mountain range in the back.

The view down a street, ending with snow-capped mountains that are higher than the buildings. The street is relatively empty except for some parked cars. It is daytime and the clouds are dark.
N. Raymond St. Pasadena
(Megan Larson

The Colorado Street Bridge

Let's be honest, the Colorado Street Bridge is just cool. But it also provides a nice vantage point (as long as you're not holding up traffic!) from which to snap a pic.

With that said, pretty much any flat street in Pasadena will afford you a decent-to-stunning view, like this one from N. Raymond Street.

A Rooftop Bar in Hollywood

What’s that? You needed an excuse to go to a rooftop bar in Hollywood anyway? Oh, you’re welcome! A couple with great views of the mountains to the east are:

Bar Lis

The Highlight Room

Happy photographing! And if you post to Instagram, tag us @laistpics.

And we'll leave you with this serene shot taken Monday in the mountains by our colleague Lance Harper.

Snow capped mountains rise above a grassy hill
A view toward snow east of Sulphur Mountain Peak Monday.
(Lance Harper
What questions do you have about Southern California?

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