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Portuguese Bend Reserve, Palos Verdes Peninsula

Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve, 3/29/11

This is one of ten reserves that make up the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve at Palos Verdes Peninsula.  At Portuguese Bend Reserve you’ll find 399 acres of open space with beautiful sweeping ocean views, an excellent view of Catalina Island on a clear day, and moderate to challenging trails. 

Portuguese Bend Reserve is one of four contiguous open space reserves within the PV Nature Preserve along with Three Sisters, Upper Filiorum, and Forestral Reserves for a total of about 900 acres protected open space.

Upper Filiorum

Portuguese Bend Reserve is located between/adjacent to Forrestral Reserve and Upper Filiorum Reserve.  The Portuguese trails connect to Forrestral Reserve trails.  Upper Filiorum trail plans are still in development. 

Just past the trailhead to Portuguese Bend Reserve the first canyon below on the right is part of Upper Filiorum.   

Below Portuguese Bend Reserve, along the shore is a fifth nearby reserve, Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve which includes Sacred Cove and Abalone Cove adjacent to Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and can be seen from the four preserves listed above.  At this time no official trail connects Portuguese Bend Reserve to Abalone Cove Reserve but it appears the proposed future plan for the California Coastal Trail (CCT) does include this connection (a CCT map showing this is at: http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv/planning/planning-zoning/VISION-PLAN-CONNECTIONS-EXHIBIT.pdf)

Shoreline/Abalone Cove Reserve & ocean view from Portuguese Bend Reserve, Burma Road Trail.

3/29/11, this area was burned in the August 2009 fires, but the area is looking nice again.

In sections of the reserve you'll still see the charred remains of trees from the August 2009 fires.  However, the area is making a comeback now.  Compare the picture on the right taken 3/29/11 with the picture of almost the exact spot in this news article from 2009: 


Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is doing a lot of restoration here as well, which the public is welcomed to participate.  

Crenshaw Blvd in Rancho Palos Verdes ends just past Del Cerro Park becoming a dirt road aka Burma Road Trail which winds through Portuguese Bend Reserve almost to Palos Verdes Dr South.  A number of trails loop or cut over to the next bend in Burma Road Trail.  Below are a few highlights of one of the many trails off Burma Road.  Park along Crenshaw or at Del Cerro Park. 

On Burma Road Trail at Peacock Flats trailhead.

Peacock Flats Trail

On Peacock Flats Trail (loud birds heard "crying" in the reserve are in fact peacocks)

Burma Road Trail

As of this writing (April 2011) you may have to walk city streets or drive to some nearby or adjacent reserve trailheads, but you can easily make a full day of hiking in and around Portuguese Bend Reserve.  See the links in the next section for more details and links to trail maps.

Please be advised (as in all natural open spaces) at Palos Verdes there are hazards which include rattlesnakes, bees, poison insects, poison plants (both native and invasive)--see the Safety Page for helpful info. 


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External Links:

Portuguese Bend Reserve Trail Map:



Map showing all reserves included in Palos Verdes Nature Preserve:



Official Portuguese Bend Reserve webpage: