eascape Trails

by Quinn roberTs With summer officially in full swing, what better way to get outside and enjoy the weather then a hike in the Palos Verdes Peninsula area. Here are 15 great hikes throughout the area, full of wild flowers, crashing waves and chirping birds.
06.24.2011 | SouthBayDigS.com 43

PeoPle Are AcuTelY AwAre of whAT we hAve. WHEREVER YOU Are, You hAve A WOnDERfUl ViEW. IT Is AmAzINg,” sAId ANke rAue, wAlk coordINATor ANd coNservANcY BoArd memBer. “Just to be with nature is so important and that is what these walks do. It is important for people to be able to reflect and take a breather from every day stress. You’ll feel a lot better after.

loops around, you’ll see the active portuguese Bend landslide, the largest in the country. Walking up a AltA ViCente eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVeliGHtHOuSe View tRAilS from the point of the trails, you have an impressive view over the oceanfront estates project in palos Verdes estates and can see lower point Vicente park to the west. Walking to the other side of the point, you’ll see a spectacular view of point Vicente lighthouse and long point. With coastal sage brush along the trail, you may also see endangered birds, including the gray california gnatcatcher. FORReStAl eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVeFOSSil Hill tRAilS cutting between cliffs and hills, you can see where lava forced its way between sedimentary layers, causing it to fold and fracture. in such cliffs, you can spot marine fossils. in many spots under almost every rock, small BluFF COVe always a popular spot for surfers, the cove at low tide has some of the best tide pools on the peninsula. in the cove, you can also find metamorphic rock similar to that of catalina schist. other rocks have interesting intrusions, full of barite and quartz crystals. brown fossil scales can be seen. you may also find shark teeth, bones and leaves. While the trail also has beautiful ocean views, the hills have some of the best and most brilliantly colored wildflowers throughout the peninsula, specifically bright orange indian paintbrush or cup-shaped mariposa lilies. “this was not done yesterday, it was done millions and millions of years ago,” raue said. “Some places even CAnYOnS eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVeAilOR CliFF tRAil you’ll first begin to smell licorice as you walk through a large field of fennel. crossing the canyon, you’ll also find fragrant varieties of native vegetation, similar to coastal sage scrub. into the second canyon, you’ll see and smell lemonadeberry bushes. at the bottom of another cliff, you can even see pillow lava, formed by the eruption of lava into ocean water. FORReStAl eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVeFlYinG MAne tRAil entering the site of the former livingstone Quarry, which exported rock for road building, the cliff walls are layers of altamira shale and intruded basalt. later on in the trail, you’ll reach a point with a panoramic view of ladera linda park and portuguese Bend fields. purple sage, a fragrant flower reaching three to CAnYOnS eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVePeACOCk FlAt tRAil Walking down from Del cerro park and following the road as it five feet, surrounds the area. “We try to convey anything on these hikes that may be interesting,” raue said. “from spiders to geology to plants, we talk about anything to possibly make it interesting.” have pillow lava and then you see it on a wall in portuguese Bend.” OCeAn tRAilS eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVeeASt PORtAl And GnAtCAtCHeR tRAilS on the trail, you’ll see the first fire control Base end Station, built in the 1940’s to provide firing data for guns at White point and fort mcarthur. it is still the only one of its kind remaining. further on down the trail, you’ll walk through the east Bluff preserve, home to several pairs of endangered gnatcatchers. it is also one of the few locations you’ll find south coast saltscale. MAlAGA dune tRAil you start out on the trail passing mallow, myoporum and eucalyptus plants. home to many unusual plants and wildflowers, yellow and orange deerweed is scattered throughout the dune, along with edible miner’s lettuce and wild pink and white roses. you many even see an occasional blue butterfly, endangered in the palos Verdes area. you’ll also pass a grove of locust trees. dirt path to an overlook, you’ll have panoramic views of catalina and the pacific and be surrounded by tall pine trees. if your lucky enough, you may even spot a peacock or hear its call. lOnG POint/ teRRAneA wAlk formally the site of marineland of the pacific, movies such as charlie’s angels and pirates of the caribbean have been filmed at the location. at the bottom of the trail, you’ll see a good sized cave. it served as the Bat cave in the Batman television series.

ABAlOne COVe eRSACRed COVe if the tide is low enough, you’ll be able to cross past a cave entrance to a flat rock shelf. Before the cave, you’ll notice brilliantly colored rocks. With tide pools scattered through out the walk as well, sea stars, anemones and hermit crabs fill them. the beach also has black sand, full of iron minerals. “you can either go to the beach or climb up on portuguese point and have a nice view of the sunset,” said raue.

44 SouthBayDigS.com | 06.24.2011

portuguese Bend nature preserve. you’ll also see the Vanderlip estate. on the west end along the crooked PViC tO OCeAnFROnt eStAteS BluFF tRAil With a distance of 2.2 miles roundtrip, there is no better way to begin a visit to the peninsula. from paved pathways you have views of the lighthouse, catalina and even the Santa monica Bay and the malibu hills. you’ll also see coastal sage brush, which is home to endangered gnatcatchers and other birds. “it is a great walk, easy climbing and probably one of my favorites,” raue said. “you can see the ocean and hear the birds.” To get specific directions to each trail and upcoming hikes led by the Palos Verdes Peninsula land Conservancy, go to PVPlC.org. tHRee SiSteRS eCOlOGiCAl ReSeRVe MCBRide & CROOked PAtCH tRAilS providing gorgeous views with very little incline, the mcBride trail allows you to have panoramic views of RAttleSnAke tRAil While the entire area burned during late summer 2005, the area has been revitalized, with bush sunflowers, wild hyacinth and wishbone plants scattered throughout the trail. wHite POint nAtuRe PReSeRVeGRASSlAndS lOOP Just 1.1 miles, the trail is handicappedaccessible throughout the grassland. the newly restored preserve, which has native grasslands that were once common across the country, are home to many native species, including meadowlarks. you’ll also see many different types of butterflies and dragonflies. “We have the california coastal sage scrub, which has been the main goal of the conservancy to replace and restore it,” raue said. “We are trying to restore things by the way the land was years ago.” you’ll even pass rock walls installed by convicts when the county was constructing the landslide. the extension of crenshaw Boulevard that reactivated patch, you’ll walk along a natural wetland that still has some tule reeds used by native americans. preserve, wHite POint nAtuRe PReSeRVeViStA tRAilS Walking to the upper part of the you’ll pass through wildflower grasslands. the slopes of the preserve have also been restored with coastal sage scrub habitat. you’ll also see the california gnatcatcher, which lives in the coastal sage scrub habitat.

06.24.2011 | SouthBayDigS.com 45

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful