Miles of trails on the hidden backside of Palos Verdes offer 180-degree views of the Pacific coast. This is how coastal California must have looked 100 years ago: unspoiled, rolling hills of coastal scrub, the waves crashing at the bottom of the cliffs below and, through the mist, Catalina Island hovering miragelike on the horizon. A web of intertwined trails at the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve leads down through its 399 acres of land, past skittering lizards, shy rabbits and the occasional rattlesnake. The main route, Burma Road Trail, is a relatively easy hike, but it is 2 miles downhill, which, if one does one's math, means 2 miles back up the hill. This hidden place is simple to find: Take Crenshaw Boulevard south until it ends and look for a parking spot. For traditionalists who like to start uphill and finish going down, there is also public parking at the Ladera Linda Community Center, 32201 Forrestal Drive. 29800 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. (310) 541-7613,
—Jedd Birkner

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.