Text and photography copyright 2011 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.
Paseo Del Sol Fire Road to Via Campesina
- Location: End of the Paseo Del Sol fire road in Palos Verdes Estates. From I-405, take the Hawthorne Blvd. exit and head south for 7 miles. Take a right on Palos Verdes Drive North, go 0.4 miles and turn left on Silver Spur. Go 0.7 miles and turn right on Montemalaga Drive. Go a mile (Montemalaga becomes Granvia Altimara) and turn right on Via Del Monte. Go 0.7 miles and take a hard right onto Paseo Del Sol. Park at the end of the road (left side of the street only) and pick up the trail at the dead end. From I-110, take the Pacific Coast Highway exit, go west for 3.1 miles and turn left on Crenshaw. Go 1.3 miles and turn right on Palos Verdes Drive North, and drive 0.9 miles to Silver Spur.
- Agency: City of Palos Verdes Estates
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: 400 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year-round
- USGS topo map: Redondo Beach
- More information: Outdoor Guide to the Palos Verdes Peninsula
- Rating: 5
This is an interesting hike that offers both great ocean views and a short but rugged stretch through a secluded canyon. The destination is a huge willow tree that makes a perfect spot for a picnic, although the trail does continue around the edge of the Palos Verdes Golf Course, so it’s easy to make a longer hike out of it.
From the end of Paseo Del Sol, pass the gate and follow a concrete path. The trail is similar to the Aliso Summit Trail in south Orange County in that it is not much of a wilderness route, but it offers great ocean and mountain views. On clear days, you can see both the Santa Monica and San Gabriel ranges, and everything in between from this road.
After 3/4 of a mile, the paved trail ends at Via Campenisa. Look for a single-track that branches off to the left, heading under a bridge. The trail is rough in places, but easy to follow. Some of the terrain may be a little tricky, especially following rains, so be careful. In about a quarter of a mile, you arrive at a clearing where you can sit on a the ground-level branches of an enormous willow tree.
This makes a nice turn-around spot, as you have already taken in the most interesting scenery and best views, but if you want to continue, the trail leaves the canyon, crosses two footbridges and climbs a hill. From here, you can take a left and follow the trail to the end of Via Tejon near Palos Verdes Estates, or go uphill, take a right and end up at the golf course.