At the George F Canyon Nature Center visitors may explore our natural environment through a variety of activities including lectures, field trips, and hands-on experiences. The center looks out over a restored native demonstration garden full of wildflowers in the springtime. It’s owned by the City of Rolling Hills Estates and operated by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Inside, visitors can view displays and consult books and other information about the plants, animals, insects, geology, and natural history of the canyon. The center also houses a small living animal collection for a close-up view of some of the amazing reptiles and amphibians that live nearby.
Adjacent to the nature center is the 36 acre preserve featuring a nature trail and seasonal stream that passes through one of the most pristine and beautiful canyons on the Peninsula. This Preserve is also the site of the only mainland exposure of the Peninsula’s Catalina schist bedrock (metamorphic rock formed during the Cretaceous Period of the Mesozoic Era).
The trail brochure has some great information that corresponds to numbered posts found along the path, in addition to interpretive signage. There are also plenty of benches at intervals along the trail for resting while you enjoy the willow-riparian and coastal sage scrub habitats.
During the rainy season, the stream can be a magnet for wildlife. Watch for insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals. At the end of the trail, nearly 400 feet in elevation and a mile from the Nature Center, there are spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin and on a clear day you may be able to spot Mount Wilson and Mount Baldy.
Activities at the preserve include naturalist guided monthly first Saturday hikes, bird walks, and full moon night hikes. The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy hosts nature walks throughout the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Check our South Bay Events Calendar for all upcoming events and hikes.
George F Canyon Preserve and Nature Center
27305 Palos Verdes Drive East
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
Friday 1pm – 4pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 4pm
Other days by appointment