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Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)

Snow capped mountains rise above the Hollywood sign in the foreground
The Hollywood sign this week has an Oscar-worthy backdrop of snow.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Thanks to the recent snowfall, the mountains around Los Angeles are stunning. It's awe-inspiring to catch a glimpse of them in your car or on a stroll, but what if I told you that — wait for it — you could intentionally seek out a good view?

Well folks, you can. We did the (literal) leg work, and found some spots throughout the city that provide particularly splendid vistas from which to take in the mountains' glory and snap a pic or video. TikTok awaits your brilliance.

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 farthest 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 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.

Rain slicked sidewalks have one pedestrian carrying an orange unbrella
A person walks in the rain at Griffith Observatory on Feb. 24. Now that the skies have cleared the site is prime viewing for both mountain and downtown L.A. skyline views.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)

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 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.

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

With that said, pretty much any flat street in Pasadena will afford you a decent-to-stunning view, like this one from North Raymond Street earlier this month — it's even snowier now.

A view of snow-capped mountains on a clear day with blue sky. Green trees and a suburban street are in the foreground.
The San Gabriels, seen from Mar Vista.
(Suzanne Levy

And finally, you might not have to go that far at all to capture the view. My colleague Suzanne Levy snapped this from her street in Mar Vista. Happy photographing! And if you post to Instagram, tag us @laistpics.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

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