This property includes 55 acres of land on the slopes below and around the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall. Sitting above Point Vicente Lighthouse, this location offers impressive coastal and Catalina views. It is the current location of a 15-acre habitat coastal sage scrub restoration project, initiated in 2008, and home to the threatened California Gnatcatcher whose population has been severely fragmented. The abundance of cacti in the area also makes this an ideal location to spot Cactus Wrens nesting.
Alta Vicente Trail takes you past Battery Barnes, which was constructed in 1942 to protect the northern approach to the Catalina Channel. Two 6-inch diameter coastal artillery guns were placed there, and underground bunkers were built to house soldiers, ammunition, and supplies. The Point Vicente Military Reservation remained in government hands until 1977, first as a training area, and later as the Launch and administration area for NIKE missile site LA-55. Today all of the NIKE era buildings have been slightly remodeled and now used as the RPV City Hall. The NIKE missile launch area is used as a city storage and maintenance yard and Battery Barnes is owned by the US Coast Guard who uses it as a radio beacon and aid to navigation.
Alta Vicente Ecological Reserve
30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Parking is available at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall and on residential street Via Capri.