Main Content

Local Experts with International Connections

Finding Palos Verdes’ finest hikes and trails

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is a hiker’s playground. The entire area is laced with miles and miles of trails waiting to be explored. On foot is the best way to go to explore the local trail system, but if you want a different experience, you can also go on a bike or even on horseback.

To be honest, it’s hard to rank the hikes and trails in Palos Verdes. There are so many of them, each beautiful and worth your time. So, consider this blog post a short introduction to Palos Verdes’ trail system, the finest in Southern California. Don a pair of sturdy hiking shoes and don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle.


If you want to spend your entire day outside, pick one to three hiking trails considerably close to each other. Most of the trails in the peninsula are beginner-friendly, so you can hit more than one trail if you wish. You can start out further inland, then end the hiking trip by taking a trail that leads to the coast.

  1. Malaga Cove Trail

    Malaga Cove is best known for its sandy beach, which is quite popular among the locals and tourists, not to mention surfers because the waves are nice here as well.

    Here, you’ll find the Malaga Cove Trail. Walks here are breezy and scenic. You can make several stops to take pictures, particularly in Roessler Point. You’ll know you’re there when you find a gazebo. From here, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the Santa Monica Bay.

    How to get here: Head to Palos Verdes Drive W. From there, turn right on Via Almar, then make another right to Via Arroyo. You can park your car at the lot near the Paseo del Mar and Via Arroyo intersection.

  2. Portuguese Bend Reserve

    You’ll find a network of trails at the Portuguese Bend Reserve, a 339-acre protected area in Rancho Palos Verdes. It’s just east of Del Cerro Park. Here, the trails can lead you to some of the most surreal views of the peninsula, almost lunar in some parts. There are also rock outcrops you can try to scale.

    Another interesting point about the Portuguese Bend Reserve is that it is home to a collection of curious geological features. If this is your slice of cake, you’ll find much to enjoy here. Click this to check out the trail map.

    How to get here: Once in Rancho Palos Verdes, take Crenshaw Boulevard all the way up to the end of the street. There’s no public parking, but you can leave your car parked on the street near Del Cerro Park.

  3. Lunada Bay

    Lunada Bay is best known in the peninsula as the spot for advanced surfing, located in Palos Verdes Estates. If you’re looking to ride the waves after your wave, find a local to take you as localism is quite strong in the area.

    But if hiking is all you’re after in Lunada Bay, you don’t need to make friends with a resident. The access trails here can be rocky and exposed to the sun, so bring adequate sun protection or hike in the early morning. The views, however, are worth it. You’ll get splendid vistas of the cove, the cliffs, and the waterfront residences not far from Lunada Bay.

    How to get here: Make your way to Palos Verdes Drive West. From there, turn right to Avenida Mirola or Yarmouth Road until you come across Paseo del Mar. You won’t be able to see the cove from the street, but you’ll know you’re in the right spot with all the cars parked in the area.

  4. Ocean Trails Reserve

    If breathtaking coastal views are what you’re after, no other trail can trump the Ocean Trails Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes. The trail runs along the whole length of the Trump National Golf Course, offering approximately four miles of dramatic scenery.

    Ocean Trails Reserve is also quite the spot for romance. With the sweeping views and the ocean breeze brushing against hikers, it makes for a popular date destination in the peninsula. You might also find birders here, eager to catch glimpses of California gnatcatchers and seagulls, which have since returned to the area after it was restored. Check out the trail map here.

    How to get here: When you find yourself along Palos Verdes Drive, head south to Trump National Drive and follow the ocean. You can park at La Rotonda Drive or the public area of the Trump National parking lot.

These are just some of the best hikes in Palos Verdes. Come and live in the peninsula to experience more of what Palos Verdes has to offer. Contact Stephen now!