Zuma Canyon hike Malibu

The appeal of Ocean View and Canyon View Trails is self-evident. Both offer fine views of the Pacific Ocean and Zuma Canyon. Located on the opposite side of Zuma Canyon as Zuma Ridge Trail, Ocean View and Canyon View Trails combine to form a 3-mile loop with 750 feet of elevation gain.

To complete the loop, leave from the Bonsall Trailhead and start up Zuma Canyon Trail. The first junction you cross on the right is Ocean View Trail (after 0.2 miles). The second trail on the right is Canyon View Trail. Each trails weave up a mountainside of coastal sage to a connection with an Edison Fire Road near the top of the ridge. Every junction along the way is well marked.

This being a loop, you are free to head up either trail. Both tracks have been rutted by horse traffic, which loosens the dirt and makes the steep sections extra grueling. There is more loose sand on the Ocean View Trail, making it better suited for the descent.

Canyon View Trail
Canyon View Trail

A half-mile from the trailhead, make a right on Canyon View Trail. The single-track makes an aggressive ascent of the wall of the canyon. After a mile of good climbing, you will round the top of the trail and head east. Canyon View Trail ends at a junction 1.3 miles from the canyon bottom.

Canyon View Trail
Canyon View Trail descends to Ocean View Trail

Make a right and continue a short distance to another marked junction. Ocean View Trail begins its descent to the right. Turn here and take the sandy track for 1.1 miles back into Zuma Canyon. These are the best views of the hike, which you are free to enjoy as you lope downhill. The single-track drops back to the canyon floor, surrendering the sweeping ocean and canyon views. Cross the dry creek bed and make a left on Zuma Canyon Trail to complete the hike.

Zuma Canyon
Looking up Zuma Canyon from the bottom of Ocean View Trail

To get to the trailhead: Take PCH to Malibu and make a right on Bonsall Drive, one mile west of Kanan Dune Road (If you pass Zuma Beach, you have gone too far). Drive north on Bonsall Drive for one more mile to the dirt parking lot at the end of the road. The trail leaves from the northwest corner of the lot.

Trailhead address: 5875 Bonsall Drive, Malibu, CA 90265
Trailhead coordinates: 34.031492, -118.81214 (34° 01′ 53.37″N 118° 48′ 43.70″W)

Use the map below to create your own directions:

Photos

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These photos were taken in August of 2010. Click to enlarge.
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