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blue Zuma Ridge/Canyon Loop

  4.1 ( 10 ) Favorite

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11.1 mile 17.9 kilometer loop


Ascent: 2,696' 822 m
Descent: -2,718' -828 m
High: 1,775' 541 m
Low: 116' 35 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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Trail shared by Perry Cortell

A couple of hardy climbs on fire roads above Malibu will reward you with stunning ocean views and serene canyons.

Perry Cortell

Features Views · Wildlife


This loops features a mildly challenging climb up Zuma Ridge, then down and up the other side of Zuma Canyon. There are great ocean and virtually unspoiled canyon views along the way. There are also many options to extend your hike or deviate from this route.

Need to Know

This is a popular equestrian route so watch out for horses along the way. Aside from the watering spigot for horses at about mile 7.2, there isn't any potable water on this trail. The trail along the ridge is exposed, and it will be hot in summer. Bring water. The creek will likely only be flowing in winter and spring after a good rain.

There are multiple options to extend your hike and even connect up to the Backbone Trail at the Kanan-Dume Trailhead.


A mildly challenging loop easily accessed from PCH in Malibu. There are two trailheads: one at the end of Busch Drive, the other Bonsall Drive, both with parking (take your pick.) This loop can be done in either direction.

Going clockwise, follow the Zuma Ridge Trail to where it meets the Zuma-Edison Fire Road. Turn right and go around the closed wire gate. Descend all the way to the end, passing the equestrian watering station, to the bottom where the trail will lead you across the creek on your right. This is the beginning of the second long climb.

After a long left-hand turn, you'll take the singletrack Zuma Canyon Connector Trail on your right. It is easy to miss but it is marked. If you find yourself going up the top of the ridge over Kanan-Dume, turn around. Follow the singletrack in a long, steady descent for about 2 miles then take a hard right up and over to the Canyon View Trail. Alternatively, you can also continue straight down to the Ocean View Trail. There are trail signs at this junction.

At the bottom, turn left then right to return to the Busch Drive Trailhead or hike straight ahead if you came from Bonsall Drive. The trails loop in this area so it is easy to get turned around. There are trail signs and probably more than a few people so you know you are close to the trailhead(s).

For more info, see Jerry Schad's "101 Hikes in Southern California".


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Sep 3, 2018
Terry Alvarez
Started at about 7:30 am.
Jul 29, 2018
Daniel Wong
11.1mi — 6h 30m
Jul 28, 2018
Don Sta
Jun 24, 2018
Robert Z
5h 00m
May 5, 2018
Jin Yang
Apr 21, 2018
Matt C
10.5mi — 6h 00m
Nov 19, 2017
David Maguire
Entered via the canyon and followed the creek bed until it met the fire road, finished via the west half of the loop. 8.5mi
Jun 3, 2017
Gray B
Bring lots of water! Great mountain/valley views. Pretty over grown, get ready for some bush whacking. Great workout!

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 10 votes


  4.1 from 10 votes
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in California


50 Views Last Month
1,959 Since Dec 5, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

A really enjoyable hike overall. I went counter clockwise, which resulted in a slightly less clear hike to start (fairly overgrown trail on the eastern end), but really stunning views throughout. The trail is not heavily traveled beyond the first two miles on either end (which make for beautiful out and backs for a short hike), so expect some solitude and isolation for most of the hike. May 14, 2017
Perry Cortell
Los Angeles, CA
Perry Cortell   Los Angeles, CA
Yes, the superbloom has really overtaken the eastern end, particularly on the Canyon View Trail. Also, the Edison Rd is badly in need of maintenance as more than a couple of minor landslides and washouts have made it passable only by foot (not a bad thing if you're a hiker, IMHO.) May 14, 2017

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