Best of Portuguese Bend Reserve


With many trail options, Portuguese Bend Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes is a popular hiking location. This is also our go-to place when I don’t have time to research a new trail but want to spend some time on the trail. Not a bad place to have as a back-up. 😉 The view from Burma Rd never gets old.

View from Burma Rd on an early foggy morning

With west side trails connecting to the neighboring Filiorum Reserve, there are many ways to create a loop route with various distances. Regardless of your fitness level, you should be able to find a route that works for you and your adventure pup. I will provide links to trail maps below.

View of Eagle’s Nest Trail and Catalina Island from Burma Rd (September 2015)

As my readers already know, our favorite time to hike is early morning. However during summer when it’s already in mid-70’s at 8 am, I prefer to go in the late afternoon around 6 pm. Ocean breeze usually picks up and the place feels and looks different with the setting sun. There are even some short sections of shaded area. Just be on a lookout for a rattlesnake who might be resting there before you found it. Here is a picture of Rattlesnake Trail in the afternoon. Gorgeous!

Rattlesnake Trail in March

Ishibashi Trail used to be our favorite trail until it became more popular this year. It’s a lovely trail with a view of the ocean and rolling hills. You should check it out if you haven’t yet.

Ishibashi Trail in spring

If you feel adventurous, I recommend doing Ishibashi – Rim – Paintbrush – Rim (toward the ocean) route. A bit of scrambling is required on Rim Trail. If you are afraid of heights like me, you might want to know that it helped me when I did this the opposite way.


If you want to add a hill workout, try Water Tank Trail. You want to begin this trail from Vanderlip Trail. This steep 0.25-mile trail will be sure to make you sweat.

Water Tank Trail from Burma Rd

Good to Know:

  • Many trails here are shared by hikers, mountain bikes and horses so be sure to look out for them for everyone’s safety.
  • Bring plenty of water and hike early or late in the day as there is no shade.
  • Free street parking except the first 10 parking spots on Crenshaw Blvd. Those spots require a permit. They are marked 1 – 10 on the sidewalk.

At the moment, our new favorite hiking route is to begin from the Burma Rd trailhead in Portuguese Bend Reserve then cross over to Filiorum Reserve and end the hike on Rattlesnake Trail. Our new favorite trail is in Filiorum Reserve. When I find a less traveled path, it becomes my new favorite. 🙂


Get Our Latest Comprehensive Dog-friendly Trail List Here. Enjoy!

Happy Hiking!

7 comments on “Best of Portuguese Bend Reserve”

  1. Looks like such a lovely hike. And the first photo is awesome – looks like you are on top of the world with all the fog. Beautiful captures of Xena! 🙂

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