Walks and Hikes in Palos Verdes
A guide featuring trails and directions for ideal locations to walk and hike on the Peninsula are available through the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, 310-541-7613.
Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve ~
Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve features two beaches (Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove), tidepools, bluff top viewing areas and trails crisscrossing the area. The 109-acre Preserve contains an official State Ecological Preserve with important natural marine resources, and the bottom of the Portuguese Bend landslide. Two promontories, Portuguese and Inspiration Points, frame Sacred Cove with its seacaves, black sand and rare plants.
The adjacent parking area (a fee is charged), multiple picnic tables, and restrooms are not in the Preserve, but add to the options for public enjoyment of the area.
Agua Amarga Ecological Reserve ~
This 59-acre Ecological Reserve contains two canyons - Agua Amarga and Lunada, which merge at their western ends just above the border with Palos Verdes Estates. Agua Amarga Canyon was acquired in 2005 and can be seen below Hawthorne Boulevard across from Ralph's Market. It is home to many California gnatcatchers.
Lunada Canyon was once prime land for development. A gift to the Conservancy in 1992 from the E.K. Zuckerman family created the Land Conservancy's first natural area. Habitat restoration grants have resulted in the creation of three acres of coastal sage scrub and a willow wetland.
Alta Vicente Ecological Reserve ~
This property includes 55 acres of land on the slopes below and around RPV City Hall, but not the flat areas which will serve as a community and civic center. There are areas of significant habitat that are home to many California gnatcatchers. Eventually trails will be constructed to provide public access to this area, and habitat restoration will result in installation of native plants in the areas currently being disked.
Bluff Cove ~
This trail extends down to the ocean and is used by many local surfers. Park on Paseo del Mar in Palos Verdes Estates after the intersection with Via Almar.
Canyons Ecological Reserve ~
The Canyons Ecological Reserve is the 399-acre area that was preserved in 2005. It consists of rolling hills, steep canyons and rock outcrops, with significant habitat and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island. Located below and to the east of Del Cerro Park, it includes the areas known as the lemonadeberry parcel, eagle's nest, the badlands, the active landslide and the dirt extension of Crenshaw Boulevard. This area has numerous important trails and geologic features such as Ailor cliff and the pillow lava outcrop.
Included in this Preserve at this time is also the Del Cerro Buffer, a 17-acre parcel immediately below Del Cerro Park. This area burned in 2005, and the regrowth is characterized by many native plants with deep roots that result in increased slope stability.
Chandler Preserve ~
Trails wind through this Land Conservancy Preserve. Enter the Dapplegray school property in Rolling Hills Estates and turn left immediately. Follow the road to the bottom and park in the ballfield parking lot. A trail map is displayed on the welcome sign.
Fishing Access ~
A steep trail leads down to the rocky shore, with pathways leading both directions along the coast. Tidepools and basalt with columnar jointing are features. Park in the lot between the Point Vicente Lighthouse and the site of the future Terranea Resort located on Palos Verdes Drive South in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Forrestal Preserve ~
Several miles of trails extend through this nature preserve, which is a prime location for wildflowers and native habitat. Park at the upper end of Forrestal Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, on the roadside near the gate. Marked trails can be accessed to the right of the welcoming sign, and at the end of the paved road.
George F. Canyon Nature Center ~
This 36-acre canyon cuts through the hills of Rolling Hills Estates for hikes. There are markers along the way for information about indigenous plant life. The Nature Center is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring exhibits about Peninsula plants and wildlife.
27205 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates.
McBride Trail ~
This easy trail extends along the ocean side of the homes on Ocean Terrace Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes and has magnificent views of the ocean and Catalina Island. Park on Highridge Road on the ocean side of Crest Road. Walk eastward along Crest Road to the pilaster marked "McBride Trail."
Oceanfront Estates ~
This easy walk extends along the bluff top within the Oceanfront Estates development located at Hawthorne Blvd. and Palos Verdes Drive South in Rancho Palos Verdes. The fenced pathway winds along the cliffs edge offering spectacular views of the Point Vicente Lighthouse, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. The path is wheelchair accessible. Park at the end of Pacifica del Mar and follow the trail toward the ocean.
Ocean Trails Ecological Reserve~
The Ocean Trails Preserve includes or will include habitat areas restored or preserved by Trump National Golf Course south of Palos Verdes Drive. As a condition of approval for that project, conservation easements were placed over the adjacent 54-acre Shoreline Park 65 acres were restored with habitat for the California gnatcatcher. 90 additional acres will become part of the Preserve once the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines that the golf course has done an adequate job of habitat restoration on those properties. Even then, the golf course will have the obligation to fund monitoring and maintenance activities on the projects lands within the Preserve.
Peacock Flat ~
Many trails of varied difficulty traverse the Peacock Flat area of Portuguese Bend in Rancho Palos Verdes. Park at the end of Crenshaw Boulevard and continue through the gate on the dirt extension of Crenshaw.
Peninsula Nature Walks ~
Monthly walks are led by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Walk leaders inform visitors about the history of the Peninsula, birds, wildlife, plants and the geology of this very unique community. There are children’s walks designed especially for young people. All walks are free. Reservations are not required. Call for information about the regular monthly walks or request a schedule.
310-541-7613 ext. 201.
Point Vicente Interpretive Center ~
There are several easy and paved pathways through the grounds of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Park in the Center's lot on Palos Verdes Drive West in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve ~
The amazing Palos Verdes Nature Preserve was created in 2005 when the community was able to purchase 468 critical acres to include within the Preserve. The newly-purchased land was combined with previously-preserved land and City land to create the new Preserve. Click here for a detailed brochure.
San Ramon Ecological Reserve ~
This Ecological Reserve includes all of the 100-acre parcel that surrounds the switchbacks area of Palos Verdes Drive East. At this time only the 90 acres of the Switchbacks not restored by Trump National is under management as part of the Preserve.
Three Sisters Preserve ~
This 99-acre parcel has spectacular ocean views and wonderful hiking trails. It can be accessed from the end of Ocean Terrace Drive. Several rare wildflowers are found there.
Trump National Golf Club ~
There are many trails through the Trump National property, with varied degrees of difficulty. A paved bikeway extends along the bluff edge and in a separate corridor along Palos Verdes Drive South. Dirt trails extend down to the ocean in four locations. Parking is available at the end of LaRotonda Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes and next to the Trump National Golf Club clubhouse.
Vicente Bluffs Ecological Reserve ~
This Ecological Reserve includes the bluffs of Lower Point Vicente (6 acres), the Fishing Access property (9 acres) and the habitat areas within the Oceanfront Estates project (69 acres), although the latter will not be under Preserve management until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines that the habitat restoration completed by the developer fulfills the requirement placed on that project. This Preserves contains high quality coastal bluff scrub habitat and some unique geological formations.
Vista Del Norte Ecological Reserve ~
This 14-acre Ecological Reserve is located above Indian Peak Drive, on the slopes overlooking the Peninsula's commercial areas. Small pockets of habitat may be enhanced with additional restoration in future years.
White Point Nature Preserve ~
New trails traverse this Land Conservancy Preserve. Park along Paseo del Mar in San Pedro and enter the preserve on foot. A trail map is posted on the reverse of the sign.
Information courtesy of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy