Zuma Ridge Motorway

Malibu, California 90263

Elevation Gain3,607ft
Trailhead Elevation1,754ft
Elevation Min/Max424/2410ft
Elevation Start/End1754/1754ft

Zuma Ridge Motorway

Zuma Ridge Motorway is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Malibu, California. It is within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It is 5.9 miles long and begins at 1,754 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,607 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking. Along the trail there is a peak. This trail connects with the following: Chumash Indian Trail (unmaintained) and Backbone Trail.

Zuma Ridge Motorway Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County (Wilderness Press)
Jerry Schad
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"Squeezed between walls soaring 1500 feet or more, the green, riparian strip along the bottom of Zuma Canyon’s mid-section lies undisturbed (save for the crossing of a single, dirt “Edison” road built to give access to electrical towers). Under cover of jungle-like 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." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"Once on the beach, one can imagine the Malibu of yesteryear, without houses, unspoiled, and pristine. There are beautiful rocks here, and geographic points compete with small tide pools for your attention. This isolated beach rests in a natural bay that makes for flawless, rolling waves. Head from promontory to promontory to explore all that this wonderful section of Southern California beach has to offer." Read more
Best Bike Rides Los Angeles (Falcon Guides)
Wayne D. Cottrell
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"Save the best for letter “Z”? Well, “Zuma” means “abundance” in Chumash, so Zuma! Zuma Trancas Calayas is certainly one of the best off- road rides in this book and definitely among the most challenging. Although the route is in the Santa Monica Mountains, which are not nearly as tall and daunting as the San Gabriels, the ride features an unusual double climb—there are two summits rather than just one. The first climb elevates from 116 to 1,812 feet, while the second rises from 732 to 1,710 feet, for a net of 2,674 feet. Only two other rides in this book (the Mounts Lowe and Wilson Expedition and the White Saddle Challenge) have a greater net elevation differential. The terrain is forgiving, with generally good, graded dirt fire roads with minimal erosion and a moderate number of rocks." Read more
Day Hiking Los Angeles (The Mountaineers Books)
Casey Schreiner
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"This relatively mild out-and-back is popular with locals, and for good reason. The Zuma Ridge hike has a steady but approachable incline, and the sweeping views of the Pacific coastline start out almost immediately. If you’re feeling energetic, there are many other trail options in this area to extend your time outdoors. Even before the 0.1-mile mark, you'll start to get views of the Pacific Ocean, Zuma Beach, and the Channel Islands--large Santa Cantalina lies to your south, while the significantly smaller Santa Barbara and San Nicolas islands are off to the southwest. Staying on this route is pretty easy--you just remain on the main fire road and ignore the very few side trails and dirt roads. Enjoy the sage scrub along with the brilliant coast and canyon views as you continue climbing upward." Read more

Zuma Ridge Motorway Reviews

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Skill Level
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Local Contacts
USGS Point Dume
Local Maps