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Upper Filorium Reserve: the Palos Verdes Peninsula's Newest Open Space

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Photo by David Lockeretz of Nobody Hikes in L.A.
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By David Lockeretz of Nobody Hikes in L.A. / Special to LAist

Compared to the Santa Monica Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, the Palos Verdes Peninsula might not be one of Los Angeles’s most famous hiking destinations, but there are many great trails in the area. The peninsula is perhaps best known among hikers for the stunning ocean views at the Portuguese Bend Reserve and the geology of Point Fermin and Point Vicente. But for hikers who further want to explore the area, the new Upper Filorium Reserve is well worth a visit.

The 191-acre reserve features several miles of trails. A short but scenic (and challenging) route is the mile-plus trip to Jack’s Hat, a hill that pokes up above the meadow, offering great ocean views. From Pacifica Drive, follow the path between the two houses, take a right on the Mc Bride trail, and almost immediately, turn left on the Jack’s Hat trail and head steeply downhill. At the bottom of the hill, take a right, heading toward the ocean. Turn left on another trail that climbs up Jack’s Hat, and enjoy the great views from the top.

Many longer trips are also possible in the Upper Filorium Reserve. The Kelvin Trail extends eastward into the popular Portuguese Bend Reserve. The Rattlesnake Trail climbs steeply to Crenshaw Blvd., providing great ocean views every time you turn around to catch your breath. The McBride Trail heads west into the Three Sisters Reserve, where more trails await. There’s no doubt that the trails of the Upper Filorium Reserve, and its two neighboring parks, can be combined to create a very challenging hiking route.

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The Upper Filorium Reserve is convenient to the South Bay and Long Beach, and it isn’t far from downtown L.A. or the West Side. From I-405, take the Crenshaw Blvd. exit and go south for 8.6 miles. Turn right on Crest Road and go 0.7 miles. Turn left on Highridge, make a quick right on Ocean Terrace and go left on Pacifica. The trail is located on the left side of the street, between the first two houses. From I-110, take the Pacific Coast Highway exit and head northwest for 3 miles to Crenshaw. Turn left on Crenshaw and drive 3.4 miles to Crest.

For more information about the reserve, visit their site.