Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, 3/21/08
Abalone Cove, view from top of trail leading down to the beach, 3/21/08

Shown in the picture above, Portuguese Point.  At the base of the point are the tidepools.  From the top of Portuguese Point you will see another cove and point which is called Sacred Cove (aka Smuggler's Cove) and Inspiration Point (pictured right).  To reach the tidepools and/or the top of Portuguese Point take the trail down to the beach.  To hike down to Smuggler's Cove from the walk down PV Drive to the trailhead.

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park located in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Here you will find two beaches, tidepools, a State Ecological Reserve and about 5 miles of trails crossing rocky bluffs with great views.

Located at 5970 South Palos Verdes Drive,
(310) 377-1222
Parking is usually $5.00

Check for current information on the City of Rancho Palos Verdes websiteAlso see Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy website.

Rattlesnakes are found in this area, use caution.  If you don't know what a rattlesnake looks like a photo can be found on our
Safety Page.

Inspiration Point, 3/21/08
Inspiration Point & Sacred Cove view from Portuguese Point, Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve, 3/21/08

Winter Photos:

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Just before sunset, looking South, 12/26/10

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Sunset at Abalone Cove, from the bluffs near the parking lot, 12/26/10

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The last few minutes of the sunset on 12/26/10...

Spring Photos:

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, 3/21/08
Looking toward Abalone Cove from the parking lot, 3/21/08

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, 3/21/08
View towards the hills from Abalone Cove parking lot, 3/21/08

Abalone Cove, Beach Trail:
This is a foot path from the picnic area on top of the bluffs near the parking lot leading down to the beach.  As you are facing the ocean, trail head is on the far left corner of the picnic area.  This trail is not too long or difficult, many families with children use this trail.

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Beginning of the trail

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In the distance, Portuguese Point (at the base of the point, tidepools)

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Nearing the end of the trail

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Trail ends in a sort of ravine (view to the left, ocean is to the right from here)

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End of the trail, to the left is "South Beach" (Portuguese Pt/tidepools) to the right "North Beach"

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The walk to the tidepools is over a rocky shore and is a little rough.

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There is a trail above "South Beach' on these bluffs but it's very narrow and close to the edge

Tidepools, Abalone Cove/Portuguese Point:
Best viewed during a minus tide or very low tide. 

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Abalone Cove, Starfish in the tidepools, 3-21-08
Bat Star

Abalone Cove Tidepools, 3/21/08
Urchin (purple)

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Ochre Star

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Pelicans resting on the rocks, Portuguese Point, 3/21/08

Abalone Cove, Beach Bluff Top Trails:
One narrow trail, "Dahlia Trail" (off Olmstead Trail near the tidepools) leads along very close to the edge and runs from the end of the trail down to the beach over to the tidepools.  Several other narrow trails run on top of the bluff, most end at a deep ravine or loop back to where you started.  Probably not good trails for small children as most are very close to the edge which is sometimes difficult to see through the brush. 

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Trail begins near the end of the Beach Trail & connects to Olmstead Trail ending at the tidepools

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Trails leads along the edge of the bluffs of "Sorth Beach"

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At one point this narrow trail has a steep drop off on both sides

Portuguese Point Bluff Top Trails,
Olmstead Trail to Portuguese Loop Trail

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Olmstead trail head off Palos Verdes Dr. (near Narcissa Dr.)

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Olmstead Trail Marker

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View of Abalone Cove/Portuguese Pt. tidepools (high tide)

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View of the tidepools from the top of Portuguese Pt (high tide)

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Portuguese Loop Trail (at the end of the point)

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View of Sacred Cove/Inspiration Pt. from Portuguese Loop Trail

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Sacred Cove View Trail (follows a black pipe) seen from Portuguese Loop, click pic to enlarge

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View of Abalone Cove from Olmstead Trail

Sacred Cove (or Smuggler's Cove), Sacred Cove View Trail: 
Extremely steep leading along a very unattractive drain pipe, trail in poor condition.  The land in this area (known as Portuguese Bend) moves a lot.  At the end of Portuguese Point is a "cave" where small waves can sometimes be seen passing through from Abalone Cove to Sacred Cove.  Sorry the pictures below stop at the end of the trail on the beach...this was due to "alternative swimsuites" let's say (or more like a lack of swimsuits). 

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Trail marker at the beginning of the turn down the bluff

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The trail is very steep and covered with loose dirt and rock

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View looking back up the trail behind us

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Another view of the steep trail.

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Parts of this trail have erosion damage because there is a great amount of land movement in the area

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Standing on the beach at the end of the trail, Inspiration Point in the distance

Views from Portuguese Point (Spring 2008):

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View of Abalone Cove from trail heading to Portuguese Point, 3/21/08

Abalone Cove view from Portuguese Pt trail 3/21/08
View of Abalone Cove from trail to Portuguese Pt & Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve

Portuguese Point, Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
View towards land from trail to Portuguese Point, white pillar on the hill is Wayfarer's Chapel

Links
Newer photos on Facebook Page photo gallery "1/15/12 Abalone Cove Shoreline Park & Reserve"

Trail map:  http://www.pvplc.org/_lands/docs/Abalone_Cove_Trail_Map.pdf

Safety
Please note the Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove area is subject to landslides, the land is constantly moving.  Trail conditions can change rapidly, like all bluff areas.  Tidepools can be very hazardous during high surf advisories or even when the high tide starts coming in.  Large waves can suddenly appear (you usually can't see them coming).  Please check times for high tides and low tides before your trip.  Tide info at Surline's site for this area can be found at http://www.surfline.com/reports/report.cfm?id=4936  Rattlesnakes are found in all areas of Palos Verdes Peninsula, also see the Safety Page.

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