Sister Act

Wish you could have a little quiet time with the Pacific? There’s a hike for that. Tucked in…

My Weekend Sherpa:

Want to do it Did it


Wish you could have a little quiet time with the Pacific? There’s a hike for that. Tucked in the Three Sisters Reserve is a 1-mile coastline loop carved along the edge of Rancho Palos Verdes peninsula’s rolling hills. Starting from an unassuming residential street, you’ll be ushered to the cliff-side McCarrell Canyon Trail, an exposed, grassy route bordered by coastal sage scrub. Constant views of the Pacific make watching for snails underfoot tricky. From the ocean cliffs, spot Catalina Island and the rocky Abalone Cove to the south. The soundtrack to the Three Sisters’ scenery is a tranquil hush barely interrupted by the occasional birdwatcher tiptoeing around for a glance of the California gnatcatcher or the cactus wren, both at-risk birds indigenous to the preserve. The route back involves tackling the steep, rock-covered Barkentine Trail (surrounded by prickly pear cacti) before rejoining the McCarrell Trail. Three cheers for Three Sisters.

Post-hike, pull into the Terranea resort and kick back around an ocean-view firepit at Nelson’s. Pair a hot Bavarian pretzel or crab cake sliders with a Stone IPA.

Take the I-110 to Palos Verdes. Take the Pacific Coast Highway exit and head west on PCH for 3 miles. Take a left on Crenshaw Blvd., and after 3.4 miles take a right on Crest Rd. From Crest, take a left on Highridge Rd., where you’ll see a sign for the Sea Crest neighborhood. Go right at the end of Highridge onto Ocean Terrace Dr. Park at the end of the street and enter the marked McCarrell Canyon Trail at 6270 Ocean Terrace Dr. Follow the McCarrell Trail downhill about .5 mile and take a hard left at the Three Sisters Trail, heading east. Shortly after, head left on the Barkentine Trail and follow it uphill. At the top of the hill, take a right on McCarrell to return to your starting point. Nelson’s is 5 miles down the road from three Three Sisters. Three Sisters and Nelson’s are dog-friendly (though signs at Three Sisters warn of rattlesnakes).


Adventure Categories