By Steven Morris
This is a moderate hike in Rancho Palos Verdes including excellent ocean views, walking beside the ocean and visiting tidal pools. The hike is 4.5 miles long, with 800-foot gain, taking 2.5 hours. This hike includes the Prickly Pear, Ocean Vista, East Portal, Gnatcatcher, Switchback, Dudleya and Lakeview Trails. Wear lug sole boots, and bring a snack and water.
Take Palos Verdes Dr. S. to La Rotonda Dr. to end, and into the trail parking lot (inside the gate). Walk through parking lot entrance, up La Rotunda.
Take trail on left between 5th and 6th light posts (Prickly Pear Trail).
Take cement road; cross bridge; turn right.
Upstairs on right to asphalt (not street), turn right (Ocean Vista Trail).
Cross La Rotunda. Pass start of guardrail.
Turn right at old wire cable (past cement manhole). Walk beside cable on your left (East Portal Trail).
Pass WWII observation post
Turn left at switchback, going down
Turn left at bottom at 4 boulders
Pass Sagebrush Walk Trail on R, continue on Gnatcatcher Trail
At V split, veer right and downward
At end, turn right (at cliff)
Break at picnic table
Retrace steps, then turn left at first trail (narrow) opposite the 4th ‘Dangerous condition’ sign
Turn left at wider trail
Left at old wire cable to pass gully
Left at divide. Straight, not right. Pass 3 boulders
Continue left past 4 boulders
Left along lower cliff (Switchback Trail)
Switchbacks to shore, then turn right
Right on obvious dirt trail (Dudleya Trail)
Left at top, on asphalt path
At restaurant garden, hike along cliff, with cliff on left
Veer left to shore, turn left
Left up obvious dirt trail
Go straight, not left at platform. Veer right
Right at asphalt path (near flag)
Left, remaining on asphalt (Lakeview Trail)
Take middle path on concrete
Veer left not right, remaining on concrete (Lakeview Trail)
Straight, not left, remaining on concrete
Straight, not left or right, to parking lot