- Location: 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 2.2 miles on 25th, which will become Palos Verdes Drive South, and take a right onto Forrestal. Follow Forrestal past the gate into the reserve and park on the corner of Main Sail Drive by the trail heads. (If the gate is closed, you will have to park outside, adding an extra 0.8 mile round trip).
- Agency: Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
- Distance: 2.7 miles
- Elevation gain: 650 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: Year round
- Dogs: Allowed on leash
- Cell phone reception: Good for most of the route; weak to fair in some spots
- Water: None
- Restrooms: Chemical toilet near the trail head
- Camping/backpacking: None
- Recommended gear: hiking poles
- More information: Map My Hike report here; Forrestal reserve map here; Portuguese Bend reserve map here
- Rating: 5
Originally posted May 2011; updated February 2018
Though the Palos Verdes Peninsula isn’t known for its agricultural history, the area was actively farmed until 2012, when the Ishibashi family sold their ranch. The land was absorbed into the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. This hike explores the Ishibashi Farms Trail in the southern end of the Portuguese Bend Reserve, accessible from the neighboring Forrestal Reserve. The presence of four adjacent reserves (Three Sisters, Filiorum, Portuguese Bend and Forrestal) makes for countless possible hiking trips. The route described here, looping around the former Ishibashi property, is a good workout with some scenic variety that can easily be done in an afternoon.
From the parking area you have several choices. The Fossil Trail heads west toward the southbound Canyon View Trail while the Exultant Trail climbs above the parking area, taking in views of Catalina Island and the Palos Verdes bluffs. Both routes meet at the Dauntless Trail which makes a few sharp switchbacks down to the Conqueror Trail, which in turn drops into Klondike Canyon.
After climbing out of Klondike Canyon, the trail passes a view point and drops farther into a meadow, meeting the Peppertree Trail, a fire road. Turn right and head uphill, passing a four-way junction (the unsigned trail on the left is your return route) before reaching the start of the Ishibashi Farms Trail. The Ishibashi Farms Trail heads west before bending to the northwest and making a short but steep and loose climb to rejoin the Peppertree Trail. Your route, however, is a hard left on the next leg of the Ishibashi Farms Trail, which heads south through a grove of scrub oaks, willows and black walnut trees before dropping back into the meadow. An unsigned but easy to follow trail cuts northeast across the meadow back to the Peppertree Trail. From here, retrace your steps to the starting point.
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.