LA Hikes: Burma Road Trail, Rancho Palos Verdes
Hiking in Los Angeles in general is one of my favorite things. Everyone is friendly and looks at you and smiles or says "hi" as they pass. Usually, everyone's pretty busy or preoccupied with what they're doing to make an effort. But out in the wilderness of Los Angeles, paved trails and all, it's a different atmosphere.
One of my favorite trails in Palos Verdes is the Burma Road Trail. It starts at the southernmost end of Crenshaw Boulevard and offers the most spectacular views.
Aside from the views, the trail never gets boring, no matter how many times I've done it. There are so many trail options that I start to feel like Robert Frost at every turn, asking, "Which path should I take?"
On this day, I ventured out into the LA unknown with my friend Brittney who was visiting from Utah. We're always joking about the difference between a "Maddie hike" and a "Brittney hike." My hike's are usually her nature walks. But this time, it was different. By the time we were ascending back, she was saying how this was definitely the most challenging hike I've taken her on (finally!).
Our chosen path was hiking the entire Burma Road which ends at the top of an incline. You could either turn around from here, or try to make it down to the road and beach. We opted to go farther.
From the top of the end of the official Burma Road trail, there's a slightly steeper descent as you make your way down to the road. We just kept following the trails down and to the right until we reached a point where we had the road and a fence in front of us.
If you get to the fence and follow it to the left, there's an opening where you can walk out onto the road. At this point it might have been nice to have someone pick us up, but since that wasn't an option, we walked along the road a bit – it's just above the ocean, and there's further spots along the road where you can make your way down – before turning back. It took us about 2.5 hours – not sure our miles.
We were able to get out, get active, hear the peacocks in the distance, see some mountain bikers and horse riders and have time to soak in the warm sunshine.
This article mentions a more detailed trail option. But you really can't make many wrong choices here. And you can go as far or near as you'd like – even bringing a picnic and going down the hill enough to find a spot to eat is nice just to enjoy the view.
The only word of caution: it's best to avoid this trail after a long rain. The ground gets really muddy and hard to walk on. Other than that, enjoy!