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The main trail makes a right hand turn down into the valley.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Portuguese Bend Reserve

The entrance is at the end of Crenshaw Boulevard (near Burrell Lane)
Daylight hours are best.
310-541-7613 2 hours
August 2014 All year
$0-9 Rancho Palos Verdes California
Website Recreation Hiking
First review
Portuguese Bend Reserve is a 399 acre local park on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It is characterized by steep cliffs, multiple canyons, and coastal sage scrub habitat. This undeveloped park provides habitat for several endangered birds and is also popular for light recreation such as hiking, biking and horseback riding. Limited street parking is available at the main preserve entrance off Crenshaw Boulevard.

The park was established in 2005 and is the largest of 10 properties that constitute the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. Most of the Palos Verdes Peninsula has been developed, but the land around Portuguese Bend was geologically unsuited for the endless sprawl of subdivisions that otherwise predominate in the area. Both pedestrian only and multiuse trails crisscross the property. The hilly terrain and few trees facilitate great views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island on a clear day. In case you are wondering, the name Portuguese Bend stems from Portuguese whalers who once operated in the area.

There was a long line of cars parked along the street near the entrance, so driving up to the entrance gate seemed like an exercise in futility. Finding an empty spot without a handicap signs right outside the gate was like winning the lottery. The Burma Road Trail is the main pathway into the reserve. It was in good condition and wide enough to accommodate traffic in both directions. You can see most of the property from this road, which facilitates picking out a hiking destination. There were mostly hikers, and a few bikers, but no horses on a weekend in August. Hiking the main trails was only moderately challenging for a person in good shape, but you can target some steeper trails such as the Rim Trail if you want to increase the level of difficulty. One note of caution is to be careful if you walk or hike multiuse trails such as the Ishibashi Trail. Bikers can fly down this trail and a number of tight twists and turns don’t provide them much time to stop or room to maneuver, try and use the non-biking trails as much as possible. The park was moderately crowded, but it was much quieter and secluded once off the Burma Road. With a combination of steep coastal cliffs, quality trails and beautiful coastal views, hiking here was an enjoyable excursion. It does not merit a special trip, but if you are in the area and looking for some outdoor exercise, Portuguese Bend is a solid choice.
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