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 Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide (The Trailmaster)
John McKinney
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"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."
101 Hikes in Southern California: Exploring Mountains, Seashore and Desert (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris
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"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."
Best Hikes with Dogs: Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"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

Trail Log