Blufftop Trail: Palos Verdes Drive West to Paseo del Mar

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Looking north on the Blufftop Trail
Ocean view from the Blufftop Trail

Blufftop Trail: Palos Verdes Drive West to Paseo del Mar 

  • Location:  Palos Verdes Estates, on the corner of Paseo del Mar and Palos Verdes Drive West. From I-110, take the Pacific Coast Highway exit and head north/west for 5.6 miles. Turn left onto Calle Mayor, go 1.3 miles and turn left on Palos Verdes Blvd.  Go 0.5 miles and turn right on Palos Verdes Drive West and go 1.8 miles to the intersection with Paseo del Mar. Park either on Paseo del Mar or in the small lot on the corner.  From the LAX area, follow Pacific Coast Highway/Sepulveda Blvd. south from I-105 for 8 miles, and turn right on Palos Verdes Blvd.  G0 1.4 miles and turn right on Palos Verdes Drive West and go 1.8 miles to the intersection with Paseo del Mar.
  • Agency: City of Palos Verdes Estates
  • Distance: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 150 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: G
  • Suggested time: 45 minutes
  • Best season: Year-round
  • USGS topo map:  Redondo Beach
  • More information: video of the trail here; Everytrail report here
  • Rating: 4

The Blufftop Trail is a non-contiguous path that circles the western and southern edges of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, providing great coastal views. The short section described here is similar to the trails at nearby Point Vicente, although it’s dirt, not paved. On clear days, you can see the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance. This part of the trail makes for a nice little excursion, and you can easily extend your trip on the nearby streets or other segments of the trail. The luxury homes that overlook the trail make it hard to forget about all the nearby development, but it’s far enough off the main road so that peace and quiet can be expected.

From the corner of Palos Verdes Drive West and Paseo del Mar, look for a trail heading toward the ocean, dipping down below the road. It follows Paseo Del Mar, briefly rejoining it, and then splitting off again. You walk along the top of the cliffs (there’s no railing, so be careful), taking in some nice views of Bluff Cove and the western peninsula coastline.

At 0.7 miles, shortly before the trail once again joins Paseo del Mar, you come to a small clearing where a tree–its roots exposed by soil erosion–provides some shade while enjoying the panoramic perspective in both directions. This makes a good turnaround point, although you can continue farther south on Paseo del Mar and visit the southern segments of the trail.

Text and photography copyright 2012 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.


  1. Dear David, I really wish you would email me a snailmail address so that I can send you the brochure about the Palos Verdes Loop Trail Project, Peninsula Wheel Trails Network and the California Coastal Trail. You keep sharing bits and pieces of the dream. It is time you started getting people involved in both the physical and political sweat equity required to preserve, improve and maintain public access to off-road corridors. U.N. Agenda 21 demands that they be abolished. …S

  2. Yes, wonderful views from this hike. I just wanted to point out an error in the directions. If coming from the 110 freeway, PCH, Calle Mayor, you would then turn LEFT, not right, on Palos Verdes Boulevard, before you get to the ‘triangle’ to go right on Palos Verdes Drive West.

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