Point Vicente Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Point Vicente Park (Seascape Trail)

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  • 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 miss 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: City of Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Distance: 2 miles
  • Elevation gain: Level
  • Suggested time: 1 hour (plus time at the interpretive center)
  • Difficulty rating: G
  • Best season: Year round
  • Dogs: Allowed on leash
  • Cell phone reception: Good
  • Water: Available at restrooms or for purchase at vending machines
  • Restrooms: Full restrooms at the trail head; chemical toilets at the northern end of the trail
  • Camping/backpacking: None
  • More information: Trip descriptions here and here
  • Rating: 6

Easily one of L.A.’s most scenic short hikes, the Seascape Trail at Point Vicente Park features impressive coastal views, marine geology and a bit of local history. While the vintage 1926 lighthouse is off limits, visitors can get a good view of it from the bluffs. Other highlights at the interpretive center include a native plant garden, a replica of a small fishing boat and a viewing area that offers a chance to see migratory whales depending on the time of year.

The Seascape Trail leaves the north side of the interpretive center, entering the Vicente Bluffs Reserve. It meanders pleasantly along the bluffs, taking in views of Catalina Island to the south, Point Dume to the northwest and, on days of good visibility, distant Santa Barbara and Anacapa Islands. Interpretive plaques describe the human and natural history of the area. Several benches along the trail allow you to sit and enjoy the views.

The trail curves around Golden Cove, where you get an aerial view of the tidepools some hundred feet below. It then briefly follows Calle Entradero before reaching a second parking area. The trail continues a short distance beyond but this spot, one mile from the start, is a good turnaround point.

Point Vicente Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Interpretive plaque on the Seascape Trail
Seascape Trail, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
On the Seascape Trail
Golden Cove, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Golden Cove
Point Vicente Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Flowers at the Native Plant Garden

Text and photography copyright 2018 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. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.

One comment

  1. I was just at Point Vicente yesterday (1/14/12), this is a great one for kids and grandparents or people just getting into walking shape. We stopped by after a more strenous hike at Ocean Trails Ecological Reserve. I often combine Pointe Vicente with a hike in one of the many nearby preserves. Vicente is a good place to enjoy the scenery without having to walk far to see it. A side note, the lighthouse was open for tours yesterday (if you are looking for a stair climbing workout), usually opens one Saturday every month.

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