Fun in Palos Verdes

One of Southern California’s most prolific nature and recreation area is right here in the South Bay! Palos Verdes has many epic sports for hiking. But none is as large as the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP).

The Beauty of Nature Film Series

The California Poppy Blooms-Local in P.V.!

Spanning over 1,400 acres, the preserve offers more than 30 miles of trails through rolling hills, steep canyons, and rock outcrops, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Whether you are a hiker, a birdwatcher, or simply an admirer of nature’s beauty, the PVNP has something for everyone.

The PVNP is owned by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, and the Conservancy holds and seeks conservation easements over the properties. The preserve is managed according to guidelines outlined in the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) program of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity.

Trails and Hiking

With over 30 miles of trails, the PVNP offers a variety of hiking options for all skill levels. The trails are well-maintained, and there are plenty of maps and signs to guide you through the preserve. Some of the most popular trails include:

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park Trail:

This easy 2.6-mile trail takes you along the scenic coastline of Abalone Cove, with stunning views of the ocean and the rocky shore. You can also visit the tide pools and the historic White Point Nature Education Center.

Alta Vicente Reserve Trail:

This moderate 2.7-mile trail offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. You can also explore the unique rock formations and the native flora and fauna.

Forrestal Reserve Trail:

This challenging 8.2-mile trail takes you through the heart of the PVNP, with steep inclines and rugged terrain. You can see the diverse habitats, including grasslands, coastal sage scrub, and oak woodlands, and spot wildlife like coyotes, rabbits, and snakes.


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Wildlife and Nature

The PVNP is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species, some of which are rare and endangered. The preserve’s diverse habitats, including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, grasslands, and woodlands, provide a haven for these creatures. Some of the wildlife you might encounter in the PVNP include:

California gnatcatcher:

This small bird is a federally threatened species and is only found in the coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California.


This elusive predator is a symbol of the wildness of the PVNP and is a skilled hunter of rabbits, rodents, and birds.

Coastal cactus wren:

This bird is a subspecies of the cactus wren and is found only in the coastal sage scrub habitat of Southern California.

California horned lizard:

This lizard is a master of camouflage and can change its color to match its surroundings. It is found in the grasslands and oak woodlands of the PVNP.

In addition to wildlife, the PVNP is home to a wide variety of plant species, some of which are rare and endemic to the area. The preserve’s flora includes:

Coastal sage scrub:

This plant community is dominated by shrubs like sagebrush, buckwheat, and chamise and is adapted to the dry and nutrient-poor soils of the coastal areas.


This plant community is dominated by shrubs like manzanita, ceanothus, and toyon and is adapted to the hot and dry conditions of the inland areas.

The official PV Nature Preserve Website