George F Canyon

Stein-Hale Nature Trail (Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA)


Sunlight shines on a dirt path running between scrub on one side and low trees on the other, leaves still green except a few that are starting to turn red.A short, quiet hike uphill along a seasonal streambed. Late winter/early spring is the time to go if you want to see water, unless it’s been a dry winter. Mostly mild, some parts well shaded, others with occasional shade. The last part gets a lot steeper, but there’s a shaded bench at the top of the (official) trail where, on a clear day, you can see across the Los Angeles basin to the San Gabriel Mountains beyond it. The trail continues on, but leaves the nature preserve and crosses into private property.

Red leaves in bunches of three on a low bush. Trees with green leaves behind it, and the edge of a channel, with a hill rising on the far side.Birds, butterflies, rabbits depending on season. Red-tailed hawks like to circle above an area of the canyon near the trail summit.

Water filling station at the gravel parking lot along Palos Verdes Drive East. Additional parking at the nature center at the corner of PVD East and PVD North.

Important: THERE IS SO. MUCH. POISON OAK. There’s a whole lot of it growing along the stream. (It’s part of the riparian ecosystem.) When in doubt, remember: “Leaves of three, let it be.”

Some maps and signs label it as “Georgeff Canyon” instead. Apparently no one knows where the name came from or who George F. was, but the name’s on a 1924 map, so it goes back at least that far.

These are some photos I’ve taken along the trail. I also have a photo gallery on Flickr.

Wide roundish leaves with water droplets on them in front of a blurry view of narrow trees and water. A dry channel with various sized rocks along the bottom, shaded by overhanging trees. Lots of narrow, almost-straight tree trunks forming an arch, bright red leaves in one corner, yellow leaves in another, green on the ground and in the distance, all dappled with sunlight and shadow. A bush with tiny red berries and light green leaves frames a view of a vast suburban sprawl from above, mountains with just a hint of snow in the distance. Sun-drenched view across the canyon. Bare rock cliffs with shady holes in them. Eucalyptus trees along the far ridge. A light brown rabbit with a fluffy white tail, sitting in the shade beneath a bush, its ears perked up and side-eying the photographer.

Online at George F Canyon.

View on OpenStreetMap.