Chandler Preserve: Scenic Hike in Rolling Hills Estates
The Palos Verdes Peninsula is known for its spectacular panoramic and blufftop ocean views. But it's also home to many hidden places, woodsy paradises of privacy and scenery. The Linden H. Chandler Preserve is one such gem.
Located in a somewhat isolated area behind and below Dapplegray Elementary School in Rolling Hills Estates, the preserve, once a farm, offers an easy to moderate 0.9-mile loop trail that can be broken up into shorter walks/hikes. When you reach the top of the upward slope that greets you shortly after embarking on the trail, you can see for miles on a clear day.
From atop the same hill, which has a few pathways traversing it, you'll also catch glimpses of the Rolling Hills Country Club golf course and Empty Saddle Club.
Wildflowers and scrub brush line the trails, and you're likely to see lizards, birds, rabbits, Monarch butterflies, and horses.
Dogs on leash and horses are allowed on the preserve. Horses do use the trails in the preserve, and you'll see them in corrals nearby.
Some of the wildflowers you might see include the star-shaped golden seal, pink farewell-to-spring, and tall and spiky bush lupine. The preserve is continually undergoing habitat restoration, which now provides a valuable native habitat that is favored by the endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly.
Our hike took us up to the top of the hill, where we found a bench from which to enjoy the magnificent view.
On our way down (I had my dog with me), we ran into two young riders, one on a horse, and then some Girl Scouts and adults out for a quick bit of exercise.
We didn't cover the entire loop (we skipped the riparian woodlands) but here's what the online brochure says about the trail:
"Begin at the trailhead near the Little League ballfields. Walk eastward along the equestrian trail past the interpretive sign. You will pass a flourishing riparian area with tall willows. When you reach a point where two trails meet, continue straight up the slope. At Buckskin Lane, take the trail to the left to make a loop around the top of the eastern section of the Preserve. Then descend back down to the riparian woodlands. Bear right and continue up the slope to the right. At the next fork, turn left. You will pass by the Empty Saddle Club. Complete the loop and return to the parking area near the ball fields."
The Linden H. Chandler Preserve, 28.5 acres that was once a farm, was named after the founder of Chandler’s Palos Verdes Sand and Gravel in RHE, and dedicated in 1994. The Chandler family donated the land to the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy and the City of Rolling Hills Estates. (See more info & photos on our page dedicated to the Chandler Preserve here.)
Click here to see the area on a map. The preserve is just a few minutes up from PCH near Crenshaw, and can be accessed from PV Drive North. Make a turn toward Dapplegray School, but a hard left at once without going down the road that leads to the school. Instead, take the road that leads to the Little League ball fields, a one-lane, windy road with turnouts that ends in a wide parking lot near batting cages, ball fields and horses. Just finding the trailhead feels special. Enjoy!