Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Interpretive and Seascape Trails, Point Vicente County Park
- Location: 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West in Rancho Palos Verdes. From From I-110 in San Pedro, take a left on to Gaffey St., and a quick right onto 1st St. Go a mile and take a left onto Western Ave. Go 1.7 miles and take a right onto 25th St. Go a total of 5.6 miles (25th St. becomes Palos Verdes Drive South) and look for a left turn into the park, right where Palos Verdes Drive South becomes Palos Verdes Drive West. If you mis this turn, go 0.4 miles more and make a U-turn at Hawthorne Blvd. You can also access the park from taking Hawthorne Blvd. 12.8 miles from the 405 freeway and taking a left on Palos Verdes Drive South.
- Agency: Point Vicente County Park
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: Level
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Difficulty rating: G
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: “Redondo Beach”
- More information: here
- Rating: 6
Some purists may not consider this a “hike”; after all, it’s in a fully developed area, and it never really gets away from the noise of Palos Verdes Drive South. However, that’s their loss. For novice hikers, this trip is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors, and it will also provide veteran hikers with coastal views that are hard to beat. The trails are also wheelchair-accessible.
From the dirt parking lot, head north along the paved Interpretive Trail. You get great views over the bluffs to the ocean, 130 feet below, and can also see the Santa Monica Mountains, Catalina Island and sometimes Santa Barbara Island. After a third of a mile, you get to the beginning of the dirt Seascape Trail, which continues along the bluffs. Two trails head back toward the street, but your route stays straight. As you near the trail’s end at Calle Entradero, look for some interesting geology on the cliffs to your left.
When you reach the street, you can extend your walk a little by heading north on Calle Entradero to a parking lot, or you can head back and visit the historic lighthouse.