Week 148: Abalone Cove Trail

October 07, 2018

Oceanside Abalone Cove Trail on Palos Verdes is a Walk to Awe, 2.4 miles

There are leisurely walks on sandy beaches, and then there are the beach hikes that show you how old, beautiful, and powerful our California shorelines are, and have been for centuries. Barbara and I opted for the wet and rocky today, following Charles Fleming's June 26, 2015, hike from the Los Angeles Times. This protected area is an undeveloped section of Palos Verdes, off Palos Verdes Road South. The Tongva Indians lived here for thousands of years, and when the Spanish arrived, a 1784 Spanish land grant created Rancho de los Palos Verdes, a cattle ranch. After several changes of ownership, NY banker Frank Vanderlip purchased 16,000 acres of the rancho in 1913, and, in 1923, developed 3,200 of those acres into Palos Verdes Estates. The Olmsted brothers, who organized and landscaped the development, left a quarter of the acreage as permanent, undeveloped space. (The trail from the beach to the Portuguese promontory is named for the bros.) Today the protected shoreline is part of the Abalone Cove State Marine Conservation Area. This hike gave Barbara and me everything we wanted/needed to escape. We began at the trailhead for Abalone Cove Trail, a dirt path with stone steps that led us down to tricky, rocky, Sea Dahlia Trail—part of the California Coastal Trail. A walk along a secluded shoreline over thousands of old stones, smoothed by a constant break of waves crashing steps away. After the waves break, water retreats back to the ocean, rustling the stones and creating a loud moan. So cool! We skipped past a small waterfall, breathed in the damp sea air, hiked Olmsted Trail up to Portuguese Point Loop Trail and around the promontory, and then retraced our steps. Every single view, from the ocean to the bluffs, was nothing less than breathtaking. Our only regret—starting our hike at high tide stopped us from exploring the nearby tide pools for starfish and crabs. So, we have two pieces of advice: if you want to explore tide pools, hike at low tide; and, if you like to hike in the morn, the only parking lot is chained and locked until 9 a.m. and there is absolutely zero, don't-even-try, street parking. Fleming nailed it when he said it's a "hike to awe" over. We can testify to the awesomeness! 


Add caption

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Total Pageviews