One of our favorite things to do with the kids is finding a new adventure close to home. Close is a relative term, but with young kids, we like to keep the drive as short as possible, and in this case, the 5 minute drive is as easy as it gets. That leads me to one of our favorite hikes in Palos Verdes, the Malaga Dunes to Del Sol Fire Road. This can take as long as you like, and with our little companions, an hour and a half is about average, longer if we venture off trail to explore.
Distance: Approximately 4 miles round trip
What to bring: Running or light hiking shoes, snacks for the kids, water bottle, binoculars for the view
Best time of year: Year round, but a clear winter day with snow in the mountains is amazing
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate – a few narrow trails and a couple steep sections, but generally family friendly
Starting from the parking area on Via Tejon (just east of the PVE post office), this hike starts out along the Olmsted Creek and borders the PV Golf Course. [Variation: You can also start on the Valmonte Trail off Paseo del Campo and cut over the Malaga Creek Trail to the Olmsted Creek trail.] The trail steepens and winds under Via Campensina and eventually joins the Del Sol Fire Road [Variation: you can park near the golf course and start directly on the Del Sol Fire Road if you want to avoid the muddy trails in winter.] The Del Sol Fire Road is mostly paved and climbs from Via Campensina until you reach Via del Sol, a quiet street with limited parking near Via del Monte. This part of the hike offers amazing panoramic views of the entire LA Basin and Santa Monica Bay. This hike is a favorite all year round, and is a great place to get an early start to see the sun rise or set. Don’t forget to bring some water and a couple snacks if you want to linger and take in the views. Note: a lot of other hikers/walkers bring their dogs so please be considerate. If you bring yours – keep them leashed and bring poop bags and carry out any trash.