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Zuma Ridge/Canyon Loop

  4.0 ( 11 ) Favorite


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 22, 2019
Kristof Mattei
With breaks 4h53. All clear. 11.1mi — 4h 53m
Aug 11, 2019
Dry and clear.
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

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 11 votes


  4.0 from 11 votes
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in California


31 Views Last Month
2,217 Since Dec 5, 2016



Traversing the Canyon View Trail overlooking Malibu and the Pacific Ocean
Dec 5, 2016 near Malibu, CA
Zuma-Edison Fire Road offers visitors great views of Zuma Canyon and the ocean beyond.
Dec 5, 2016 near Malibu, CA
The view from Zuma-Edison Fire Road looking east
Dec 5, 2016 near Malibu, CA

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