Palos Verdes Peninsula

A small rainstorm out over the ocean off Los Angeles

The Hill (n.)
Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes Peninsula. Rancho Palos Verdes. Rolling Hills. Rolling Hills Estates. Palos Verdes Estates.
A section of land in the shape of a hill, with cliffsides on the beach, rocky shores, and more than a few nature preserves.


Here are the posts I’ve written on the environment and flora of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

City Nature Challenge Wrap-up

The City Nature Challenge is over! I can’t wait until next year, to check up on how these plants are doing. And to add a few more to my collection. Congratulations to everyone who took part! I’m always so happy when a big number of people turn out for nature.

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Palos Verdes – City Nature Challenge

Get your portable phones and cool cameras ready for a five-day bioblitz style event! From April 30th to May 3rd, be on the lookout to log and identify all the plants and animals you can possibly find in the Palos Verdes area.

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Climate Since Covid

Only time will tell what the final effects of the COVID shutdowns are on the environment. During the height of the lockdown, air quality improved almost immediately. NO2 and CO2 (from fossil fuels) both decreased. This effect was noticed most heavily in major cities, though arguably the whole world benefitted. Fine particulate matter, PM2.5, similarly…

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The Palos Verdes Hill has quite a few places to hike, walk, and watch the birds and leaves rustle. Attached is a map of places to hang with nature in PV. Below is a list of useful links for nature and general PV information.

The hill provides two slightly different climates, in the same way that a house has different climates on the north and the south sides. Most of LA is hardiness zone 10b (30-35°F). The north side of PV hill is 10a (25-30°F), while the south side of the hill is a much warmer 11a (35-40°F). Guess there’s just a bit more sun on that side. The weather is typically between 51°F (10.5 C) and 76°F (24.5 C), with temperatures rarely below 45°F or above 85°F. The warm season lasts for 3.0 months, from mid July to mid October, with an average daily high temperature above 74°F. The hottest day of the year is happens in late August, with an average high of 76°F and low of 65°F. The cool season lasts for more than 4 months, from late November to mid April, with an average daily high temperature below 67°F. The coldest day of the year is in late December, with an average low of 51°F and high of 64°F.

The topography is, invariably, hilly. Guess that’s why there’s an area named Rolling Hills! The PV Hills are the landed end of the Channel Islands’ Transverse Ranges system. The land sits mostly at about 200 ft or more in elevation, with Rolling Hills taking the elevation to over 1200 ft. The highest portion of the peninsula follows Crest Road, between Crenshaw and Palos Verdes Drive East, until its highest point at San Pedro Hill. Some portions, especially along the coast, are at sea level – but it takes a bit of a hike to get down there.

The plants you’ll find are an amazing mix – from southern africa treasure flowers to desert cholla cacti. I’m still learning all the plants that grown on the hill, in the many distinct zones; from coastal scrubs in rocky areas to desert-adapted cacti on some north-facing hillsides.

The Parks, Preserves, and Trails

Parks and Trails

Palos Verdes Nature Preserve

The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve encompasses approximately 1,400 acres comprised of eleven individual Reserves, 424 acres of which consists of the Portuguese Bend Reserve. The Preserve is owned by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and is co-managed by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for ecological values and habitat restoration.
  • Abalone Cove Park – Trail Map
  • Agua Amarga – Trail Map
  • Alta Vicente – Trail Map
  • Clovercliff Park
  • Del Cerro Park
  • Eastview Park/ Dog Park
  • Filiorum – Trail Map
  • Forrestal – Trail Map
  • Founders Park
  • Frank A. Vanderlip Park
  • Fred Hesse, Jr. Community Park
  • Grandview Park
  • Ladera Linda Community Center
  • Marilyn Ryan Sunset Point Park
  • Martingale Trailhead Park
  • Ocean Trails – Trail Map
  • Pelican Cove Park
  • Portuguese Bend – Trail Map
  • Point Vicente Interpretive Center
  • Point Vicente Park / Civic Center
  • Rancho Caninos Dog Park
  • Rancho Palos Verdes Beach
  • Robert E. Ryan Community Park
  • San Ramon – Trail Map
  • Three Sisters – Trail Map
  • Vicente Bluffs – Trail Map
  • Vista Catalina Park
  • Vista Del Norte – Trail Map