Text and photography copyright 2011 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
- Location: Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu Creek State Park, on Piuma Road. From Pacific Coast Highway, take Las Flores Road north for 3.4 miles. Turn right on Rambla Pacifico, go 0.6 miles and merge onto Piuma Road. At 3.4 miles, look for a small dirt turnout on the left side of the road.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 1 mile
- Elevation gain: 300 feet
- Difficulty rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: “Malibu Beach”
- More information: here
- Recommended gear: hiking poles; sunblock
- Rating: 5
This short, but surprisingly challenging hike, takes in some great views, including the Goat Buttes of Malibu Creek State Park, the ocean, the San Fernando Valley, the Saddle Peak complex and more. While it might be a little bit short to be considered a “must do”, it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
From the small turnout on the side of Piuma Road, ascend on a fire road. The trail climbs quickly, taking in nice views, and soon arriving at a picnic area. On the opposite side of the clearing, look for a rough trail heading downhill. The trail descends back to Piuma Road, getting quite close to the edge of the cliff. Some of the terrain here is tricky; don’t underestimate it. In addition, the path is overgrown in places. But soon, you arrive at another turnout on Piuma Road where you can get nice views of the ocean and of Malibu Canyon before retracing your steps. With appropriate caution, you can also make a loop of the hike by returning to your starting point via Piuma Road.