If you are looking for the Best Hiking Trails Near Rancho Palos Verdes in California, we’ve got you covered with the top trails to hit.
Rancho Palos Verdes is located at the southern end of Los Angeles County. The area is recognized as a unique and natural landscape near an urban area. Palos Verdes offers many trails and easy access from nearby cities.
Rancho Palos Verdes has been recognized as one of the best hiking locations in Southern California .
Hikes near Rancho Palos Verdes are scenic and memorable because this area has some of California’s most iconic coastal views with the San Pedro Mountain Range in the background.
With so many places to hike nearby it can become difficult choosing which trail you want to take. There are trails for every level of experience, most offering spectacular ocean views.
Here are some of the Best Hikes Near Palos Verdes:
Ocean Trails Reserve
These trails begin below the Trump national golf course in the bluffs of Rancho Palos Verdes.
The reserve has more than 4 miles of trails including the Coastal Access Trail which will take you down to the beach.
This is a very popular spot as it offers great views of Catalina Island and the Santa Monica Mountains. Expect to take about 3-4 hours to walk the trails on the reserve.
Terranea Discovery Trail
Terranea Discovery Trail is a 2 mile out-and-back hike that starts just outside the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. This top trail takes you down to the beach and great views of the ocean.
This hike is perfect if you just want a quick outdoor adventure. It takes about 1-2 hours depending on how much time you spend by the ocean.
Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve
The Portuguese Bend Reserve has an extensive system of trails and over 4 miles of trails that will take you through the reserve’s coastal sage scrubland, riparian woodland, ocean bluffs and canyons.
You will get to enjoy particularly spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island.
The trails on the reserve range from moderate to difficult and can be accessed from a few locations, but the most popular is the Burma Road Trail.
Malaga Cove trails are easy to access and perfect if you want to enjoy a hike without having to deal with strenuous climbs.
The trails will take you through some of the richest marine terrace and coastal sage scrub communities in all of Palos Verdes.
Forrestal Ecological Reserve
There are 6 miles of trails at Forrestal Reserve that will take you through native grasslands and scrubland.
You can access the trails from a variety of locations, but the most popular is the C-9 trailhead. This hike is a great option if you want a leisurely stroll through trails that are well maintained and easy to follow.
Shipwreck Hiking Trail
Shipwreck Hiking Trail is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail. It is one of the most strenuous trails in Rancho Palos Verdes. However, it also provides some of the best views of Catalina Island so it is worth it. Be sure to wear good hiking boots as the trail is very rocky and uneven.
At the end of the trail you will find the scattered and rusted remains of a shipwreck.
Seascape Trail (Point Vicente Park)
The Seascape Trail is one of the more popular hiking trails near Rancho Palos Verdes because of its great views of Catalina Island and Golden Cove.
This Point Vicente trail is a little under 2 miles, and feature good views of the Point Vicente lighthouse from the bluffs. You may also want to stop at the Point Vicente interpretive center while you are there.
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
The Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is a 1.1 mile out-and-back trail. This trail takes you down to a rocky beach speckled with abalone shells. If you are looking for a quick hike that is close to the water then this is a great option.
If you visit at low tide you will also see many tide pools filled with marine life like sea anemones. You may also be able to see wildlife like sea lions and dolphins.
Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve
The Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve is home to the Blufftop trail which is a 1.6 mile trail. The bluffs gives great views of where Santa Monica Bay, the Beach Cities, and even Downtown Los Angeles.
This trail is one of the best hiking trails near Rancho Palos Verdes because it allows you to get up close and personal with the beautiful bluffs without having to hike too far into difficult terrain.
The trail is a little under 2 miles and if you want to enjoy views of the ocean without putting in too much effort then this is the perfect hike for you.
Del Cerro Park
Del Cerro Park is a great option if you want a quick hike that is close to Rancho Palos Verdes.
The trail at Del Cerro Park is about 2 miles and it takes hikers down the ridge of the park to a beautiful overlook with amazing views of Santa Catalina Island, the coastline, and Downtown Los Angeles.
Del Cerro Park is most popular with hikers who are looking for a scenic hike with easy access.
Lunada Canyon Trail
The Lunada Canyon Trail is only 1.9 miles round-trip, but it is very strenuous as you will be climbing and descending some steep and challenging terrain.
When you reach the top, you will see this steep trail overlooks Agua Amarga Canyon and offers a fantastic ocean view looking out the gully of the canyon toward Lunada Bay.
Best Time of Year to Visit Rancho Palos Verdes
Most of the trails are open all year round and a fantastic way to spend a sunny day.
For those looking for something more challenging it is best to visit from late fall through early spring as the trails will be less crowded and offer better weather conditions for longer hikes.
If you are visiting during the summer months, make sure to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the worst of the heat.
What to Bring on a Hike Near Rancho Palos Verdes
Most of these trails are well maintained but it is always best to bring a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers. We also recommend bringing plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks to keep you fueled throughout the hike.
If you are planning on visiting any beaches along the hike make sure to take along some beach gear.
Why You Should Visit the Area Near Rancho Palos Verdes
There are many reasons to visit the trails near Rancho Palos Verdes. You will get to explore some of the most beautiful natural areas in California, enjoy amazing views of Catalina Island and learn more about one of California’s hidden cultural gems.
Rancho Palos Verdes is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers to spend the day. The hiking trails near Rancho Palos Verdes are some of the best in Southern California.
If you are looking for something new or haven’t visited this area before, then it is well worth the trip to explore these hidden gems!
You can visit one hike or all of them to see the many different features that make this area so unique. Bring your sunblock and hiking shoes and enjoy!
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls who lives in the Niagara region of Ontario. She loves photography, camping, hiking, and travel.