Zuma Loop Trail

Malibu, California 90264

Elevation Gain905ft
Trailhead Elevation149ft
Elevation Min/Max110/452ft
Elevation Start/End149/149ft

Zuma Loop Trail

Zuma Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Malibu, California. It is within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It is 1.3 miles long and begins at 149 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 905 feet. This trail connects with the following: Ridge-Canyon Access Trail and Zuma Canyon Trail.

Zuma Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"At first, when you turn inland off Pacific Coast Highway onto Bonsall Drive and enter Zuma Canyon, the canyon looks like many others in the Santa Monica Mountains: huge haciendas perched on precipitous slopes, accompanied by lots of lots for sale. But the road ends and only footpaths enter Zuma Canyon. Malibu, Topanga, Temescal and Santa Ynez—perhaps these canyons and others in the Santa Monica Mountains looked like Zuma a century ago: a creek cascading over magnificent sandstone boulders, a jungle of willow and lush streamside flora, fern-fringed pools and towering rock walls."

"This is a very difficult 13.6-mile loop. The ride begins with a moderately steep 2.7-mile ascent up Zuma Ridge Motorway. This is followed by a sharp two-mile descent into Zuma Canyon on Edison road. Get your feet wet crossing a stream before beginning a tough two-mile climb out of the canyon. So far, the ride has followed four-wheel-drive fire roads in poor to fair condition. The steepest sections of these roads are rock strewn and sandy; negotiating them will require good bike handling skills. descend on Kanan-Dume Road to mostly level CA 2. Pedal up moderately steep Busch Drive to complete the trip."

"from the Pacific shoreline, Zuma Canyon harbors one of the deepest gorges in the Santa Monica Mountains. Easily on a par with nearby Malibu and Topanga Canyons in scenic wealth but much less known, Zuma Canyon holds the further distinction of never having suffered the invasion of a major road. Under cover of junglelike growths of willow, sycamore, oak, and bay, the canyon’s small stream cascades over sculpted sandstone boulders and gathers in limpid pools adorned with ferns. These natural treasures yield their secrets begrudgingly, as they should, only to those willing to scramble over boulders, plow through sucking mud and cattails, and thrash through scratchy undergrowth."

"Zuma Canyon is one of the few canyons in the Santa Monica Mountains that is accessible only to foot and horse traffic. There are no paved roads. This hike begins on the Zuma Canyon Trail. The trail heads up the drainage parallel to Zuma Creek past lush riparian vegetation, oak, willow, and sycamore trees. The hike returns on the Zuma Loop Trail above the canyon floor, traversing the hillside overlooking the canyon and the ocean."

"The creek that flows through Zuma Canyon runs year-round. In drier times it can be restricted to trickles and puddles. At the bottom of the canyon, the water is below ground. The change of seasons is ever evident here, which makes for a refreshing change from the usual amaranthine evergreen climate of Southern California. Sycamore, oak, willow, and black walnut trees line the canyon floor as it ascends towards the Castro Crest. Fall and winter can often be more colorful than the spring, with the perennial autumnal transformation of deciduous leaves and the rains that spawn forth new life in the form of wild flower blossoms. Zuma is derived from a word that means “abundance” in the Chumash language, and while the brush and foliage of the riparian woodland provide ample coverage for animals retreating at the sound of your approach, it is easy to imagine the prevalence of wildlife living along the stream."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-min Point Dume
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018