Smuggler’s Cove

Is there a nudist beach in Rancho Palos Verdes? Although it is illegal, many naked sun worshipers have been known to frequent a beach at Smuggler’s Cove (aka Abalone Cove) in the Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes. This beach is accessed by a trail across the street from Pepper Tree Drive and Palos Verdes Drive South.

Smugglers Cove Beach with its tide pools and places to explore a really cool sea cave is the main destination for most visitors to the area. This beach rates as one of the best tide pool spots in the Los Angeles area.

The trail starts at the end of Crenshaw Bl. (by Del Cerro Park) in Rancho Palos Verdes. It winds its way down the mountain traveling through Portuguese Bend Reserve to end at Palos Verdes Drive South. From there you carefully cross Palos Verdes Drive South and travel west until you come to a sign saying Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve. Take this trail down to Sugglers Cove.

There are multiple trails that can lead you to Palos Verdes Drive South. You can get a PDF map of Portuguese Bend Reserve here and here to see all the various routes you may wish to take.

  • Highlights: Great ocean view, beautiful bay, sandy beach, tide pools, water cave
  • Near: Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
  • Distance: 6 miles round trip / alternate 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1200 ft. / alternate 500 ft.
  • Hike Time: 3 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: 5/10
  • Trail Condition: Mostly good
  • Kid Friendly: Yes
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Best Time: Low Tide
  • GPX File Download: >>CLICK HERE<<
  • Alternate Trail GPX Download >>CLICK HERE<<

Getting to the Trailhead:

From Los Angeles – 110 fwy (south) to Pacific Coast Hwy. (right) to Crenshaw Bl. (left) to end of road.

Google Map Link


Trail Detail Map


Trail Profile


Alternate Google Map Link


Alternate Trail Detail


Alternate Trail Profile


Portuguese Bend Reserve

Portuguese Bend Reserve

water cave

Water Cave


Smugglers Cove Tidepools


Sea Cave at Sunset


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