Portuguese Bend Reserve is a maze of trails across a 399-acre park, and almost all the options allow for a beautiful, sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean with Catalina Island in the distance. The best part? Since it’s all the way out on the edge of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, these trails tend to be less crowded than their L.A. counterparts (though parking is limited), and they are part of a Nature Preserve with plenty of wildflowers and wildlife to see. So if you’re over the scene at Runyon Canyon, you may want to head south.
To start, from the street head into the park down Burma Road, where you will follow it past Dr. Ibrahim El-Hefni Vista Point. Turn left on Eagle’s Nest Trail, which you will follow for about nearly two miles until you meet back up with Burma Road. You can either head back up here or continue onto the lower loop by taking a right down Toyon Trail. Keep left until you reach the end of Toyon Trail, when you will take a right on Peppertree Trail. Continue on this trail until you quite literally hit a fence, and then head left up Klondike Canyon Trail. You’ll hit a fork in the trail and can take either trail but keep left for the easiest one. Head left up Barn Owl Trail until you hit Burma Road, where you will turn left. This will lead you to the closing of the lower loop. Once you meet back up with Toyon Trail, rather than going back where you came from, head right on Ishibashi Trail which will once again lead you to Burma Road, where you’ll turn right and follow it back up to the trail head. Phew. Got lost? No worries, any of these trails will lead you back to where you started.
Address: Crenshaw Blvd and Burrell Ln, Rancho Palos Verdes
Hours: Dawn to dusk.
Parking: Look for free street parking by the entrance (however, given the rise in popularity of the preserve, expect to see a reserved parking system implemented soon). Shuttle service also available.
Pets? Dogs and horses allowed.
Length: 5.15 miles (a shorter, 3-mile hike is possibile by ommitting lower loop).
Time: 2.5–3.5 hrs