Malibu Bluffs Park

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Ocean view from Malibu Bluffs
Footbridge on the trail in Malibu Bluffs

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.

Malibu Bluffs Park

  • Location: 24250 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.  From Santa Monica, take Pacific Coast Highway for 13 miles.  Turn left onto Malibu Canyon Road and into the park.
  • Agency: City of Malibu/Malibu Bluffs State Recreation Area
  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 100 feet
  • Difficulty rating: G
  • Suggested time: 30 minutes
  • Best season:  Year round
  • USGS topo map: “Malibu Beach”
  • More information: here
  • Rating: 5
Perfectly manicured Malibu Bluffs Park might not seem like a jumping off point for a hike, but the trails that leave from here make for a nice loop with great ocean and mountain views.  If you don’t mind the noise from nearby Pacific Coast Highway, this trip is quite the enjoyable little excursion.

From the parking lot, head west along the trail that parallels Pacific Coast Highway. Stay right at the first junction and head toward the end of the bluffs, taking in nice views of Point Dume (and the brilliant green lawns of Pepperdine University). The trail loops around the west end of the park and heads back.

Soon, you cross a footbridge and reach a split. Head right (the other paths will take you back to the parking lot if you want to cut the hike short). The trail heads uphill before reaching the back end of the park by the baseball fields. Head left on the paved path and follow it back to the parking lot.


    1. “G” means that it’s pretty easy and doable for everyone (kind of like how a movie gets rated “G”), and “5” is a nice, average hike (worth doing but not life-changing.)

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