POINT VICENTE FISHING ACCESS TRAIL
Hiking distance: 1.5 miles round trip Hiking time: 1 hour Configuration: out-and-back Elevation gain: 140 feet Exposure: exposed coastline Difficulty: easy Dogs: allowed
Maps: U.S.G.S. Redondo Beach
Point Vicente is situated on the southwest point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Perched on the cliffs high above the shore is the historic 67-foot Point Vicente Lighthouse, built in 1926. The lighthouse warned ships of the rocky shoals in the Catalina Channel.
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From the 140-foot scalloped bluffs are vistas of the lighthouse, Santa Catalina Island, and Long Point, the former site of Marineland on the southeast end of the bay. This is a premier spot to observe migrating gray whales from mid-December through March.
The Point Vicente Fishing Access Trail descends the eroding cliffs to the rounded cobble stone beach beneath Point Vicente and Long Point, where the tidepools are teeming with marine life. The crescent-shaped bay with large offshore rocks is a popular site for scuba divers, surfers, and anglers.
To the trailhead
From the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) at the south end of Torrance, take Hawthorne Boulevard south 7.3 miles to its terminus at the coast. Turn left on Palos Verdes Drive South, and drive 0.8 miles to the posted fishing access. Park in the lot on the right.
Walk to the west (upper) end of the parking lot. Take the well-defined dirt path, just beyond the restrooms. Descend the cliffs on an easy grade towards the prominent Point Vicente Lighthouse. Halfway down the slope, switchback left, dropping down to the rocky cobblestone shoreline. The beach pocket is bordered on the west by steep cliffs and a natural rock jetty.
On the south end, the beach ends near Long Point, where the cliffs drop 100 feet into the sea near the offshore rock outcroppings.
Point Vicente POINT VICENTE FISHING ACCESS TRAIL (MARINELAND)
Hiking distance: 1 mile round trip Hiking time: 45 minutes Configuration: out-and-back Elevation gain: 100 feet Exposure: exposed coastline Difficulty: easy Dogs: allowed
Maps: U.S.G.S. Redondo Beach
Long Point extends seaward at the southwest point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Marineland, a defunct 108-acre marine amusement park, was situated on the bluffs atop Long Point from 1954 to 1987. It closed due to its remoteness and competition from modern aquatic parks and aquariums. Beach access is still permitted from the enormous Marineland parking lot atop the 100-foot bluffs. The trail descends the eroded cliffs to an isolated beach pocket at the base of the vertical cliffs. It is a popular snorkeling and scuba diving area.
To the trailhead
From the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) at the south end of Torrance, take Hawthorne Boulevard south 7.3 miles to its terminus at the coast. Turn left on Palos Verdes Drive South, and drive 1.3 miles to the Long Point turnoff, the old entrance to Marineland. Turn right and drive 0.4 miles to the far southwest corner of the parking lot.
Take the partially paved road/trail past the vehicle barrier. Descend to the east, overlooking Abalone Cove and Portuguese Point (Hike 53). Halfway down the descent is a large flat area and trail split. The road continues straight ahead to the sheer, eroding cliffs and rocky beach pocket. Watch for a narrow, intermittent waterfall dropping 60 feet off the cliffs. After exploring the tidepools and rock formations at the beach, return to the trail split. Bear left, leaving the road, and take the dirt path along the edge of the
100-foot bluffs. Slowly descend to the tip of rocky Long Point, where pelicans often line the ridge. Return along the same route.
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