Terranea Discovery Trail Beach Hike in Rancho Palos Verdes

Living in Southern California means having a lot of beautiful hikes along the coast. Rancho Palos Verdes is a community south of Los Angeles known for its beautiful cliffs and many coastal hikes. One of our favorites hikes in this area is the Terranea Discovery Trail.

It’s a 2.2 mile out-and-back moderate hike that goes along the ocean cliffs down to the beach.

Watch our video to get an idea of the trail:

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About the Terranea Discovery Trail

View of cliffs from the start of the Terranea Discovery Trail.

The Terranea Discovery trail is a gradual slope from the parking lot off of Palos Verdes Drive down to Terranea Beach. It’s mostly dirt with some pavement, and is stroller-friendly, except for some stairs towards the end. Since the trails is very gradual with a well-marked path, it’s very family-friendly and you can take children of all ages on it.

We took our son who was 1.5 years old at the time and had started walking a few months earlier.

The trail is easy and family-friendly, even young kids.

On most of the trail, you have beautiful views of the ocean and some scenic stops along the way. The trail is lined with bushes and palm trees, but there’s no shade so it may get hot during the middle of the day.

There are many scenic vista points along the trail.

Midway through the trail, you walk a short distance on a paved road through the buildings of the Terranea Resort.

After walking down some wooden stairs, the trail ends at Terranea Beach, a small sand and pebble cove. So it’s not the best beach to hang out at and play, but it does have some nice scenic views.

The trail ends at Terranea Beach.

Next to it is Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, a cave that you can climb up to and see the tide go in and out of. Though not too difficult or dangerous, climbing up this section is recommended of older kids and adults.

Watch the waves go in and out of Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave.

Trail map of Terranea Beach Hike

Here’s a map of the trail from All Trails:

How to get to Terranea Discovery Trail

This is a map with the marker at picnic area just shortly after the start of the trail. Routing it here will take you to the trail entrance. There are plenty of parking spaces, and the trail starts from the south end of the parking lot.

Terranea Bluff Park
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Travel lessons from our Terranea Hike

You learn something new with every trip. Here are a few tips we learned from hiking the Terranea Discovery Trail:

  • Check the weather and tree coverage before any hike. Whether there are trees covering the trail or not will significantly affect temperature.
  • On hikes, wear layers that you can remove. It might be chilly when you start, but you could be sweating by the end.

Travel gear that was helpful on our beach hike

Here are some recommended items we took on the trip that helped make it easier, or was used for taking our photos and videos.

The backpack carrier we used on our hike.

ClevrPlus Cross Country Backpack Child Carrier – We used this carrier backpack on the trail, you can see it in the video. This is a great back pack carrier for babies and toddlers. It’s comfortable for the parent and the child, and has pockets and storage pouches for extra items.

Canon EOS Rebel T4i – This is a nice entry-level DSLR camera that I used on the hike. It’s easy to use and takes solid pictures. There are newer versions of the rebel that offer more features, but you can get the older models for fairly inexpensive now.

GoPro Hero5 Session – This is what I used to film the majority of the video. It’s an incredible little action camera that has mild stabilization, great for recording while walking. It’s a cube shape and doesn’t have a viewing screen like its newer models, but is perfectly convenient quick action recording in Full HD. Find it on Amazon or eBay.

See all the gear that we use on our family trips >

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