Tide Pools near Seascape Trail, Palos Verdes, CA - September 2012

I'd heard about this new tide pool spot in Rancho Palos Verdes (thanks chiffonade!) and was dying to check it out. Finally, the tides cooperated and T and I headed out there on a warm Sunday afternoon. The low tide was at 5:15 pm (0.82 ft) so we managed to arrive early. Here's where we were:

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There's a trail description of the Seascape Trail here on hikespeak.com. Towards the end of the description, the tide pools are mentioned:

"Walk or drive to the small parking area near the top of Calle Entradero just before it turns inland. Slip through the railing and find the path dropping off the bluff to the south. Watch your footing down the steep bank as your eyes will easily be distracted by the impressive tide pools below. At the bottom of the trail, walk across the boulder-sized rocks covering the beach to reach the tide pools. From here you may also trek up and down the rocky coast as far as you desire before returning up the steep path."

We found a spot easily in the (free) lot and the path that drops down to the tide pools is very close (across from the first park bench along the trail). The path was quite steep and both of us considered not going down, but we saw a family with cooler and umbrella on the beach below so that convinced us it could be done.

These tide pools are similar to others along the Palos Verdes Peninsula like White Point, Sacred Cove and Abalone Cove, but in this spot the taller outcroppings form a semi-circle making the pool in the center large and deep enough to swim in.

As always I was very happy to be out near the ocean again. We saw many urchins (purple and red), anemone, sea stars, crabs (many different types), barnacles, limpets, chiton and fish. We spent a good amount of time watching some sea hares feasting. They were some of the largest I'd seen. Some of the pools were so deep one could spend 20 minutes just observing the goings on - hermit crabs stealing shells from other hermit crabs, striped shore crabs eating urchins.

Striped Shore Crab? (Pachygrapsus crassipes)

California purple urchins for miles (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)

California sea hare (Aplysia californica)

My favorite moments of the trip were when I saw three bunches of flourescent pink bristles near one another - I thought it was Christmas Tree Worm, but now it seems those don't occur in the Pacific? -

Christmas Tree Worm? (Spirobranchus giganteus)

and when I spotted 5 or 6 shimmering green and orange turban snails of some sort. Other than this cluster I didn't see any others of this type in the pools. I couldn't get a good photo, because of the waves, but there is one (slightly-blurry photo) below.

Wavy Turban Snail? (Megastraea undosa)

As it got later, T and I, wondering how we'd get back up the cliff, watched a couple of fisherman scale it with poles and fish in hand. This gave us the confidence to try it and we managed to get to the top relatively easily.

Still, not something for the faint of heart!

Check out more of my photos of this location in the Flickr set here.


  1. Did you swim in the pool, or is there too much algae/coral/animals?

  2. We didn't swim in the pools but other adults were wading in them and some children were swimming.


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