Corral Canyon Loop

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Featured in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!

Sunset at Point Dume, Corral Canyon Trail, Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu, CA
Sunset over Point Dume from the Corral Canyon Trail
Corral Canyon Loop Trail, Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu, CA
Ocean view from the Corral Canyon Loop

Text and photography copyright 2010 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.

Corral Canyon Loop

  • Location:  Malibu.  Take Pacific Coast Highway past Malibu Canyon Road, and 0.6 miles past Puerco Canyon Road, 0.3 miles before Corral Canyon Road.  The trailhead is next to the Malibu Seafood & Deli restaurant, at 25623 Pacific Coast Highway.  A $5 per vehicle parking fee is required.
  • Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 500 feet
  • Difficulty Rating: PG
  • Suggested time: 1.5 hours
  • Best season: All year
  • USGS topo map: “Malibu Beach”
  • Recommended gear: sun hat; hiking poles
  • More information: LA Mountains page here; trip description here; Everytrail report here; Yelp page here
  • Rating: 6

This loop provides a nice sample of the scenery typical of the Santa Monica Mountains, notably panoramic ocean views, mountains and canyons.  Once owned by Bob Hope, Corral Canyon is one of the newer open spaces in the area.  Though it’s almost entirely exposed, the loop is short enough that it can be done year round, if the temperature isn’t too high.

From the parking lot, follow the signed trail across a seasonal stream.  Take a hard left and reach a junction (0.2 miles.)  The loop can be hiked in either direction, but it will be described here counter clockwise.  You make a steady ascent (ignore the fire breaks), rewarded with ever-widening ocean views as you climb.  At about 0.6 miles from start, you head north into the canyon, leaving behind the noise of traffic on P.C.H.  Your climb levels out about a mile from the start and soon after, you make a hairpin left turn and begin your descent.

The trail drops steadily back into the canyon, making a few switchbacks.  At the bottom, look for the ruins of an old home; like the Tropical Terrace and Keller House of Solstice Canyon nearby, a victim of wildfire.

Passing by the home, the trail briefly ascends to rejoin the intersection.  Follow the spur back to the parking area.

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