Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Hike Day: Terranea Discovery Trail, Rancho Palos Verdes

The kids are lying on a life sized cement impression of a whale.
Yep, they are obviously smaller, 

Trying to find our hike for this week, we found a great little museum. We were actually searching for a restroom--this hike does not have one, btw but if you find the museum, there is a public restroom on the side of that building. It's actually the sight of the old Marineland amusement park. The museum building can be found about two parking lots past the Terranea Resort.

Point Vicente Lighthouse

This trail starts on the bluffs but eventually leads down to the shore. Along the flat, dirt trail are kiosks that share interesting and educational information about the environment, sea life and habitat.

There are stairs at points. I would not recommend a stroller beyond the bluffs. The trail is not challenging except for the heat. It is full sun. There are pleasant ocean breezes--sun protection strongly recommended.

The trail is flanked by native drought tolerant plants, shrubs, flowering bushes and cacti. 

The trail actually leads through the resort at times. Go down past Nelson's, resort restaurant and you'll find the spot the sea lions are usually lounging. Continue on and not much farther you will find the beach access.

There is a cave. You have to cross the beach, climb over the rocks and there it is. We were unable to check it out this time specifically due to the high tide. This trail is low on the adventure scale but it does offer spectacular views.

What most of the trail looks like. 

The docent at the museum was VERY nice and friendly. She filled us in on the disease, what to expect down at the beach and extra info along the self guided tour of the museum. She told us about part of the trail that is the location of the old Marineland Pier, and usually hosts sea lions, but there weren't any today. The tide was extra high with a rip tide, swells and waves up to 6-7 feet!

In good weather you could check out tide pools. When we went, the tide was high. There has also been the introduction of a disease along the coast that has killed off the sea stars. That explains why we haven't seen anything this year when we have visited tide pools!

We passed a few drinking fountains that seem like they might be owned by the resort. They were not well maintained at all. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water.

It was over all a bust for us--no sea lions, no tide pool or cave access. It was ok. We enjoyed the sound of the crashing waves while we ate lunch then headed back. The trail is short so younger might enjoy it.

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