Terranea Discovery Trail Beach Hike in Rancho Palos Verdes

Living in Southern California means having a lot of beautiful hikes along the coast. One of our favorites is the Terranea Discovery Trail in Rancho Palos Verdes, just south of Los Angeles.

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

The trail is a gradual slope from the parking lot off of Palos Verdes Drive down to the Terranea beach. It’s mostly dirt with some pavement, and is stroller-friendly, except for some stairs towards the end. On most of the trail, you have beautiful views of the ocean and some scenic stops along the way.

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

The trail has no shade, so it may get hot during the middle of the day.

The trail ends at Terranea Beach, a small sand and pebble cove. 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.


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:

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:

  • 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 location trip

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

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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