Apsley Trail (Palos Verdes Peninsula)
- Location: Palos Verdes Estates at the intersection of Apsley Road 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 right on Palos Verdes Blvd. Go 0.5 miles and turn right on Palos Verdes Drive West and go 2.1 miles to Apsley Road. Make a U-turn to head northbound on Palos Verdes Drive West and park wherever available. 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 2.1 miles to the intersection with Apsley Road. Make a U-turn and park wherever available.
- Agency: City of Palos Verdes Estates
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: 450 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year-round
- Dogs: Allowed on leash
- Cell phone reception: Weak
- Water: None
- Restrooms: None
- Camping: None
- Recommended gear: hiking poles
- More information: Map My Hike report here
- Rating: 6
This little known but scenic trail is part of the longer Palos Verdes Loop, a 25-mile circuit around the entire peninsula that uses trails, bridle paths and streets. The mile-long segment from Palos Verdes Drive West to Paseo Del Sol is one of the best short hikes on the peninsula, providing hard-to-beat views of the Santa Monica Bay, the Santa Monica Mountains, the Simi Hills and on clear days, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands.
From the intersection of Apsley Road and Palos Verdes Drive West, head uphill on the unmarked but obvious trail. One third of a mile from the start, you reach a clearing with outstanding views of Bluff Cove below. The trail bends sharply to the right and takes on a surprisingly adventurous feel as it cuts tightly along the hillside. In some places, it has become eroded so exercise caution, especially after rain, which can make the dirt slippery. The trail ducks through groves of pines and eucalyptus trees before briefly entering the open. A short but steep final push brings you to the upper end of the trail at Paseo Del Sol. Have a seat on any of several large rocks and enjoy the view to the west before retracing your steps for an enjoyable 2-mile hike. If you have time and want to extend the trip, you can continue 0.4 mile down Paseo Del Sol to the Paseo Del Sol Fire Road.
Photo gallery (click thumbnails to see the full sized versions)
Text and photography copyright 2017 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.