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The ultimate guide to Abalone Cove

Abalone Cove

Once you get the chance to enjoy fresh air and spend more time outdoors, one of the best places to explore is the picturesque Abalone Cove. The scenic slice of paradise features a number of recreational venues including two beaches (Abalone Cove Beach and Sacred Cove), gorgeous bluff-top viewing areas, tide pools, and a well-maintained network of hiking trails.

Nestled on 64 acres in California’s South Coast region, the area is home to a State Ecological Preserve containing important natural marine resources located at the bottom of the Portuguese Bend landslide area. It features two promontories which frame Sacred Cove with its glittering black sand, rare plant species, and enchanting sea caves.

If you’re tired of spending time cooped up in your own home and just want to soak in the best views in Palos Verdes, Abalone Cove is the perfect spot for you. In this page, we’ll take a closer look at some of the many fun outdoor activities and destinations in Abalone Cove.

Getting to different areas of Abalone Cove

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is the main access point and parking lot for visitors to Abalone Cove Beach, Sacred Beach, and the Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve. The entrance to the trail leading towards Abalone Cove Beach is located at the parking lot. For those heading to Sacred Beach, a short ¾-mile walk along Palos Verdes Drive South will take you to the trailheads located above the cove.

Abalone Cove Reserve is also along Palos Verdes Drive. Look for a turnout on your left side after you pass by Wayfarers Chapel. The trail is around two miles long, but you don’t have to hike the entire length. You can enjoy a leisurely 10-minute walk to the beach if you just want to get to the water.

If you want a longer hike, you can explore the main trails which will take you through the entire reserve. Once you reach Abalone Cove Beach, head towards the end of the beach and look for a dirt road climbing towards the hillside. This will take you towards Portuguese Viewpoint, which boasts spectacular views of the coast. From here, you can continue your journey towards Sacred Cove.

After exploring Sacred Cove, head back the single track on the hillside, which will lead you to Inspiration Point, which features picturesque views of the Portuguese Bend and Sacred Cove.

Abalone Cove Beach

One of the highlights of Abalone Cove is Abalone Cove Beach, which attracts countless visitors each year due to its spectacular tide pools.

Be ready for a short 15-minute hike on a trail leading to the beach. Water resistant footwear durable enough for sandy and rocky terrain is recommended.

Here are some activities to enjoy at Abalone Cove Beach:

  • See the tide pools – Abalone Cove Beach is known as one of the top tide pool spots in the Los Angeles area. To get the most out of your trip, try to time your visit during the low tide. Keep your eyes open for a shallow sea cave, which is populated by all sorts of aquatic species including octopi, starfish, sea slugs, sea anemones, and more.
  • Diving – Abalone Cove is an easy entry point into the water during calm currents. Divers will be able to reach depths ranging from 12 to 50 feet. There’s an incredible array of sea life thriving underneath the waters including sheephead fish, giant crabs, horn shark, electric torpedo rays, and many more. You can also spot a large kelp bed and a submerged reef on the west side of the cove.
  • Surfing – While Abalone Cove Beach isn’t really considered a top-rated surfing spot, it still attracts numerous surfers whenever good waves arrive. There are three surfing spots, which are known as “The Point,” “The Toilet Bowls,” and another popular spot west of the cove.

Sacred Beach

Another spot you can visit in Abalone Cove is Sacred Beach, which also features tide pools, a sea cave, and breathtaking views of Catalina Island and Abalone Cove’s two points.

Sacred Beach is a great place to check out if you’re looking forward to a more laidback experience, as there are typically fewer people here compared to Abalone Cove Beach. Keep in mind however that there are no facilities at Sacred Beach, and the trail down to the cove can be slippery, steep, and challenging, so be extra careful, especially if you plan to visit with kids.

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