Lands & Trails


Conserved Lands

Protecting Natural Lands

Since it was founded in 1988, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy has preserved more than 1,600 acres of open spaces on the Peninsula. The spectacular views and precious habitat not only contribute to the quality of human life on the peninsula, but provide valuable refuges and wildlife corridors for animal and plant inhabitants.

Palos Verdes
Nature Preserve

George F Canyon
Nature Center
& Preserve

White Point
Nature Preserve

Linden H. Chandler
Preserve

Palos Verdes Nature Preserve

The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP) area spans some 1,400 acres with over 30 miles of trails through rolling hills, steep canyons and rock outcrops, with significant habitat and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Elevations range from approximately sea level along the coastal edges of Vicente Bluffs, Abalone Cove, and Ocean Trails to approximately 1,300 feet above mean sea level at the northern most parcel, Vista del Norte.

The Preserve is owned by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Conservancy holds and seeks conservation easements over the properties. We manage the Preserve according to guidelines outlined in the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) program of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The NCCP program is a cooperative effort by the State of California and numerous private and public partners that takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity. The NCCP identifies and provides for the regional protection of plants, animals, and their habitats, while allowing compatible and appropriate economic activity.

Abalone Cove
Reserve

Agua Amarga
Reserve

Alta Vicente
Reserve

Filiorum
Reserve

Forrestal Nature
Preserve

Malaga
Reserve

Ocean Trails
Reserve

Portuguese Bend
Reserve

San Ramon
Reserve

Three Sisters
Reserve

Vicente Bluffs
Reserve

Vista Del Norte
Reserve

PALOS VERDES NATURE PRESERVE

A Dream Fulfilled

“A group of families on the Peninsula had a dream to save open space for their children to enjoy,” said Conservancy founder Bill Ailor. A multi-year effort led by the Conservancy and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, along with the volunteer and financial support of thousands of volunteers and contributors, the State of California, County of Los Angeles, the City of Rolling Hills, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the Wildlife Conservation Board led to the preservation and creation of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve with 1,400 acres of natural lands protected in forever. As the Preserve’s Fulfill the Dream community campaign co-chair, Jim Scharffenberger said, “We came together to successfully resist the ever-increasing pressures to develop privately held open space in the Portuguese Bend for all to enjoy: ourselves, our children, and many generations to come.”

George F Canyon
Nature Center & Preserve
OVERVIEW

Spectacular views, wildlife, wildflowers, geology and a stream

Located on 51 acres, the Preserve features a nature trail and stream that passes through one of the most pristine and beautiful canyons on the Peninsula. The Preserve is the site of the only mainland exposure of the Peninsula’s Catalina schist bedrock.

Also of interest and delight is the intermittent stream that is a magnet for insects, birds and mammals. Interpretive signage and plenty of benches to rest on create a delightful way to experience both willow-riparian and coastal sage scrub habitats. A spectacular view of the Los Angeles basin awards those who make it to the top either by foot or horseback.

The Preserve has a nature center that looks out over a restored native demonstration garden with a rainbow of wildflowers in the springtime. The center is owned by the City of Rolling Hills Estates and operated by the Conservancy.

Location/Parking
White Point Nature
Preserve
OVERVIEW

Accessible trails, coastal sage scrub, and ocean views

The White Point Nature Preserve features 102 acres of restored coastal sage scrub habitat, hiking and handicap accessible trails overlooking the ocean and Catalina Island. The Preserve is now home to the Nature Education Center, which opened in May 2010 and serves as a resource for students, families, and community groups from all over Los Angeles.

The Preserve, located in San Pedro, is owned by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. After the property surrounded by chain link fence sat empty for nearly 20 years, a community effort convinced the City to preserve the land. A 25-year management agreement was granted to the Conservancy in 2001, launching the dramatic restoration of the land by planting native shrubs and grasses, and installing public trails with the help of thousands of volunteers. The Conservancy also helped obtain a grant for the installation of eco-friendly permeable parking and interpretive signage.

The Nature Education Center is housed in a repurposed historic Cold War assembly building. The Center was made possible with the support of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, the California Coastal Conservancy, and the Ibrahim El-Hefni Technical Training Foundation. A  grant from Alcoa Foundation funded the creation of the interpretative exhibits and support from Major Family Foundation enabled the creation of four adjacent native plant demonstration gardens.

White Point Landslide

On November 20, 2011 about 420 feet of earth and roadway of Paseo del Mar and a small portion of the White Point Nature Preserve slid southward toward the ocean below, moving about 53 feet. The City of Los Angeles is evaluating various alternatives. The Conservancy is dedicated to safeguarding the Preserve from a road traversing through the natural lands.

Location/Parking
Linden H Chandler
Preserve
OVERVIEW

This 28.5-acre property is a critical part of the natural environment in Rolling Hills Estates. Intensive habitat restoration efforts have added native wildflowers and shrubs to the hillsides. Trails traverse the preserve’s slopes and grasslands through coastal sage scrub and riparian habitats. The Preserve is home to a number of special native wildflowers, including the common fiddleneck, Western tansy mustard, and longleaf bush lupine. It now provides valuable native habitat capable of supporting native birds and insects, including habitat favored by the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis).

Location/Parking

Location:
The nearest cross streets are Palos Verdes Drive North and Dapple Gray Lane in Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.

Parking:
Parking is located next to the Rolling Hills Little League Field or at the end of Buckskin Lane.

Abalone Cove Reserve
OVERVIEW
Ocean views, tide pools, black sand beaches

The Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve features two beaches (Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove), tide pools, beautiful bluff-top viewing areas, and dramatic crisscrossing trails. The 64-acre Reserve contains a State Ecological Preserve with important natural marine resources and the bottom of the Portuguese Bend landslide area. Two promontories, Portuguese and

Inspiration points frame the Sacred Cove with their sea caves, black sand, and rare plants. The adjacent parking area (a fee is charged at the entrance), multiple picnic tables, and restrooms add to the options for public enjoyment of the area.

Location/Hours

Location: 5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Hours: Open daily from 9am – Dusk

Closed: January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, December 25

Agua Amarga
Reserve
OVERVIEW
Canyons, willow wetlands, and rare California gnatcatchers

This 59-acre reserve contains Agua Amarga and Lunada canyons, which merge at their western ends just above the border with Palos Verdes Estates. Lunada Canyon, once prime land for development, was provided as a gift to the Conservancy in 1992 from the E. K. Zuckerman family. This created the Conservancy’s first natural area. Agua Amarga Canyon was acquired by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in 2005.

Habitat restoration grants have resulted in the creation of three acres of coastal sage scrub and a willow wetland. It is home to endangered California gnatcatcher thriving in large pockets of the restored native coastal sage scrub vegetation. Since planting in 2004, willows have grown to heights of more than 20 feet.

Location/Hours
Location: Two trailheads are located on Posey Way and Rock Park Drive, both accessed from Kings Harbor Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Hours: Open Dawn to Dusk
Alta Vicente
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Lighthouse views, a World War II bunker, and coastal sage scrub

This property includes 55 acres of land on the slopes below and around the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall with impressive coastal views north over Oceanfront Estates. It is the current location of a 27-acre habitat coastal sage scrub restoration project, initiated in 2008.

The trail takes you past Battery Barnes, which was constructed in 1942 to protect the northern approach to the Catalina channel. Two 6-inch diameter coastal artillery guns were placed there, and underground bunkers were built to house soldiers, ammunition, and supplies.

Location/Hours

Location: 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Parking: Parking is available at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Blvd, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Hours: Open Dawn to Dusk

Filiorum
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Wildlife and native habitat corridor for sensitive species

The 191-acre property acquired December 31, 2009, capped a 21-year effort to preserve 900 contiguous acres of protected open space and create a wildlife corridor by linking the Three Sisters and Portuguese Bend Reserves. The Conservancy and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes brought together $6.5 million in resources from State Coastal Conservancy and more than 700 local donors to complete the acquisition of this essential piece of land.

Forrestal Reserve
OVERVIEW

Fossils, dramatic rock layers, native wildflowers, and stunning views

With some of the best remaining native wildlife habitat and hiking trails, this 155-acre Reserve is a key component of the Peninsula’s natural environment and a significant part of the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve.

Since 2001, the Conservancy, along with community volunteers, have conducted habitat restoration and completed trail improvements throughout the Reserve. The eastern portion contains a former quarry and marked trails that wind around the top of the quarry bowl. Dramatic cliffs are characterized by faults, folds, sedimentary bedding and igneous intrusions with many crystals and fossils, particularly fish scales, in the surface rock. Do not collect fossils or disturb the slopes to expose new rock.

Fossils can be seen at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

Location/Hours

Location: Ladera Linda Community Center, 32201 Forrestal Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 Parking for Forrestal Reserve is available at the Ladera Linda Community Center and Forrestal Drive.
Hours: Open Dawn to Dusk

Malaga
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Trails, willow wetlands and rare California gnatcatchers

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Conservancy acquired 61.5 acres of open space containing protected habitat in the Malaga Canyon. The land was formally incorporated into the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve with the approval of the Natural Community Conservation Plan by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in November 2019. Malaga Reserve is located in the Grandview neighborhood near the border with City of Palos Verdes Estates. The land is home to California gnatcatcher habitat and potential habitat for the PV blue butterfly, coastal cactus wren and other rare species. The Malaga Canyon Trail runs through the Reserve where you can view coastal sage scrub, purple sage and in springing blooming colorful Fuchsia.

Location

Location: Trail head entrance at Montemalaga Drive near Basswood.

Preserve Nav
Ocean Trails
Reserve
OVERVIEW
Ocean views, marked trails, beach access

The 119 acre Ocean Trails Reserve includes preserved land restored with 250,000 local native plants installed as habitat for the federally threatened California gnatcatcher and cactus wren. The Reserve has eight miles of trails with a number of routes that wind through grassland and coastal scrub habitat, providing beautiful ocean views and multiple points of beach access. It is a great place to see migrating species passing through Southern California on their way north in the summer and south in the winter months. Look for interesting local vegetation like Dudleya virens, desert thorn and purple fiddlenecks.

Location

Location: Palos Verdes Drive south adjoining the Trump International Golf Course

Preserve Nav
Portuguese Bend
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Geology in action, cactus wrens, and native wildflowers in season

The 399-acre Portuguese Bend Reserve was preserved in 2005 and is the largest of the ten reserves that make up the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve. As well as providing community-valued recreation, it contains important linkages for wildlife and valuable native habitat for sensitive species.

The Portuguese Bend Reserve consists of rolling hills, five distinct steep canyons and rock outcrops, with coastal sage scrub habitat, a community of intensely fragrant and drought resistant shrubs and flowering plants. Located below and to the east of Del Cerro Park are the areas known as Lemonadeberry Parcel, Eagle’s Nest, the Badlands, and the active landslide and dirt extension of Crenshaw Boulevard. Unique features include a pillow lava outcrop called Ailor Cliff after Conservancy founder Bill Ailor.

An August 2009 wildfire burned approximately 165-acres within the Reserve, affecting both native and non-native vegetation and known nesting sites of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the special status cactus wren. We are actively restoring the habitat and will continue to do so over the next few years through selective weeding, native seed and plant installation, trail repair, and species monitoring to help the burn area recover.

Location

Location: The main entrance to Portuguese Bend Reserve is near Del Cerro Park at the end of Crenshaw Boulevard (nearest cross street is Burrell Lane) in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Public Parking is available on the south side of Crenshaw Blvd. 

San Ramon
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Winding pathways overlooking dramatic ocean views

San Ramon Reserve, 95 acres, was formerly called the “Switchbacks” for the twisting path of Palos Verdes Drive East through this property. Pull-outs on the road provide impressive views toward the harbor and Catalina Island.

Location/Hours

Location: San Ramon Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Limited parking at three scenic turnouts along Palos Verdes Drive. 
Hours: Open Dawn to Dusk

Three Sisters
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Three ridges covered by native grasslands and cacti

This 99-acre parcel spread on a rolling hillside has spectacular ocean views and wonderful hiking trails that can be accessed from the end of Ocean Terrace Drive. It is home to several rare wildflower and bird species and the location of a 21-acre habitat restoration project initiated in 2009 using an innovative weed removal project.  For three weeks 250 goats removed non-native plants and the previous year’s thatch. The restoration also included the installation of temporary irrigation and the planting of 8,000 coastal sage scrub and grassland plants.

Location/Hours

Location: The main entrance is at the end of Ocean Terrace Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Parking is available on city and residential streets.
Hours: Open Dawn to Dusk

Vicente Bluffs
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Unique geological features, coastal bluff habitat, and beautiful sunset views

The Reserve stretches around the bluffs of Lower Point Vicente (6 acres), the Fishing Access property (9 acres), and the habitat areas within the Oceanfront Estates project (69 acres). The area contains rare coastal bluff scrub habitat and unique geological formations including dramatic hexagonal shaped columns of rock formed from black basalt. Trail reconstruction and native plant restoration activities are supported by a California Coastal Conservancy grant with the goal to reduce sedimentation along the state coastline. Monitoring of the Reserve resulted in the discovery of exciting and unexpected colonies of the endangered El Segundo blue butterfly.

Location

Location: The trailheads for Vicente Bluffs Reserve are located off Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Use Pelican Cove parking area.

Vista del Norte
Reserve
OVERVIEW

Panoramic views of the City of Los Angeles to the north

This 14-acre Reserve is located above Indian Peak Drive, on the slopes overlooking the Peninsula Center area from Vista del Norte and Indian Peak Loop trails.

Location

Location: Indian Peak Road near the Crenshaw Boulevard intersection, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275

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