Hiking the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve

Added by Ben Lertsakdadet

One to six-mile hike (you can configure whatever you're in the mood for). Views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Wide trails that also accommodate mountain biking and horseback riding.

Getting There:

The easiest way to get to Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is by following Crenshaw Boulevard up Rancho Palos Verdes to the very end of the street. You can park on either side of the street near Del Cerro Park, which also happens to be a great place for picnics if you want to eat before or after your hike.

The Trail:

The trail begins on Burma Road, a wide path shared between hikers and mountain bikers that goes on for 2.5 miles. Within 500 feet from the trailhead, you’ll have a wide-open view of the Pacific Ocean. The unique part about hiking in the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is that it is an out-and-back trail that starts from the top, so remember that the first half of the trail will be less tiresome than the second half coming back up.

For a four-mile route, take Burma Road. down to the start of the Barn Owl Trail, which is marked by a white granite column, and hike back up through the Ishibashi Trail. If you feel like making your hike more than four miles, remember that you can easily extend it by adding on some of the other side trails along Burma Road.

The Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is a great place for hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and horse-back riding. From toddlers to older adults, this is a trail for all ages and skill levels.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Foggy but fun, wish I took a longer route.

Enjoyed this hike. I did this on a fogged-in weekday and street parking was plenty but by time I returned to my car at around 10:30 am there wasn’t much left. Also there was a portable traffic sign at the entrance to Burma road stating it is closed weekdays 8am to 2pm. Now I’m questioning wether I misread this. But check ahead. I used the Rattlesnake Trail entrance off Crenshaw just North of the Del Cerro Park. It’s a fairly steep trail down and rocky at points. Made a left on Kelvin Trail and connected with the Burma Road and took that back up to Fire Station Trail and then back up to the neighborhood behind a school. This last part was no fun. A soggy trudge behind homes with no real trail evident. Next time I’d take Burma Rd. back up regardless of the sign. 800 feet elevation change @ 3.5 miles.

Great Views

This hike starts off downhill as you make your way to a small turnout which overlooks the ocean. After this, you can either continue further down or turn and go back up. Parking is limited due to permitted residence and is crowded on the weekends. Suggestion: do this on a weekday morning - less people=more parking.

Hilly Hike With An Ocean View

Being fairly local in Hermosa Beach, I love the variety this trail offers. You can take a simple down and back route, or create your own adventure-snap a picture of the map at the trailhead or just go for it as most paths lead back to Burma. I love Rattlesnake trail and sometimes the adjacent stairs for a different workout. Be prepared for a variety of temperatures as the ocean breeze can bring in fog or blow off the marine layer in an instant. Not a flat trail -you are either going down or up. Keep that in mind so you save energy for the way back up!

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