The Los Angeles Times published a good article by Charles Fleming on some great hiking trails accessible from Del Cerro Park near the intersection of Crenshaw and Crest Roads on the Palos Verdes Peninsula:
September 06, 2011|By Charles Fleming, Special to the Los Angeles Times<!-- Module ends: article-byline-->
Nobody walks in L.A.? Ridiculous! This is one in a series of articles exploring the many opportunities for walking in (and around) a major city.
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, DEL CERRO PARK
Distance: 4 miles
Duration: 1½ to 2 hours
Transportation: Drive south on Crenshaw Boulevard to Park Place or take the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority bus Route 225
Notes: Trails open to bikes, horses and dogs on leash.
This is a vigorous walk through classic coastal chaparral, featuring spectacular ocean views accompanied by cool sea breezes, perfect for late summer.
Begin your walk at the southernmost end of Crenshaw Boulevard, south of Pacific Coast Highway. Park anywhere beyond the intersection with Crest Road, and walk straight ahead to the entrance of the Portuguese Bend portion of Palos Verdes Nature Preserve.
View from Del Cerro Park ( Picture by Bruce Megowan )
The trail begins as a wide unpaved path, with expansive ocean vistas right from the start. Deep canyon walls fall off to the right, dropping to the coastline and the blue Pacific, across which Catalina Island seems remarkably close.
The path, known as the Burma Road Trail, descends gently along a hillside featuring the traditional SoCal coastal botanical selections of sage, cactus, wild mustard and anise. Partway down the hill, under the shade of some weeping California pepper trees, you'll find a public portable toilet. Continue to descend, staying on the wide Burma Road Trail, passing clumps of eucalyptus and pines, some burned and gnarled by a brush fire that raged through this canyon in 2009.
As the trail bends wide and to the right, turn left onto the marked Eagle's Nest Trail, and climb toward a stand of tall conifers. Stop at the Harman Overlook for a good view of the beaches below at Portuguese Bend and Abalone Cove. Farther south, you can see the northern reaches of the private Trump National Golf Club, where the Ocean Trails, open to the public, make for good shoreline access.
View from Del Cerro Park of Portuguese Bend (photo by Bruce Megowan )
You also get an earful of music from the locals: The houses and farms below are home to large numbers of peacocks, whose "kee-yaw!" cries fill the canyon. I have read that the original Palos Verdes peafowl were a gift from Catalina Island owner William Wrigley (he also owned the chewing gum company and the Chicago Cubs) to early Palos Verdes settler Frank Vanderlip (assistant secretary of the Treasury under President William McKinley and the peninsula's first major developer). These birds are their offspring.
View from Del Cerro Park of Terranea Resort ( photo by Bruce Megowan )
Follow the Eagle's Nest Trail downhill from the overlook. When you meet the Burma Road Trail again, turn left, and continue your descent. (If you're short on time or energy, you can turn right and follow the Burma Road Trail back to the beginning, for a one-hour, 2.5 mile walk. But why would you do that?)
At the next intersection, turn right onto the steep Water Tank Trail. You'll lose some more altitude, but don't worry: You won't have to come back up this sharp climb.