Posts filed under hikes

Inspiration Point - Pacific Palisades, CA

I’m going to admit something that’s a little embarrassing not only as a local hiker but also a 6-year strong Angeleno - I had never been to Will Rogers State Historic park until I finally decided to conquer the hike to Inspiration Point. The park is rich with history plus a polo field, a ranch house, and a beautiful picnic area. Oh, and did I mention the lovely 2.5-mile loop hike to Inspiration Point? It’s a great place to spend an entire day.

I will say, the one downfall of this area is the steep price you have to pay for parking! The fee is $12, so if you are going check this area out, it’s definitely worth it to pack a picnic and spend some time there.

From the parking lot just beyond the park entrance, you’ll find the trailhead meandering up the hillside just to the left of the fenced in tennis courts. The single track here switches back and forth for a short tenth of a mile before you come to a service road, which is the Inspiration Point Loop Trail. Across the way, there is a single track that continues to wind it’s way up, while the service road gradually makes its way up the mountainside with views of the Santa Monica bay. If you choose to take the single track, it will cut your distance and time in half. Otherwise, continue along the service road.


As you make your way to the left, you’ll find two benches along the road, offering beautiful vistas of the surrounding area. One looks south over the polo field and Santa Monica. The other rests at the western end of the loop and has a great view of the Pacific Ocean.

Follow a bend in the trail to the northeast. Just past the top of the aforementioned single track, you will come to another split with a trail breaking off to the right. You’ll see arrows and signs for Inspiration Point in both directions! You have two options. You can take the road another quarter mile up Inspiration Point Loop Trail to the overlook, or you can turn down this single track, which crosses a chaparral-covered depression to reach the point after 0.4 miles. We took the single track, which was a fun little detour. Both routes lead to your destination of Inspiration Point. 

IMG_4412.JPG

If you followed the road, you’ll get more lovely views of the taller mountains off to the north until you eventually come to a split. Take a right up along a spur trail that wraps around a short rise to reach Inspiration Point.

IMG_6508.JPG

To the southwest, you’ll find an amazing view as the Pacific Ocean curls it’s way around Santa Monica Bay. To the north, you’ll find wonderful views as well. Looking out to the Santa Monica Mountains you’ll find the 2,126 ft. high Temescal Peak.

To close the trail loop, head back down to the trail split. A couple hundred feet to the north is a trail map. The Backbone Trail (which is roughly 65miles long and crosses the Santa Monica mountains all the way to Point Mugu) breaks off to the left, while the descent from Inspiration Point continues on to the right. Hike straight through a junction with a service road heading down to Will Rogers Ranch and continue to the eastern edge of the loop. Along the way you’ll spot mansions at the top of Sullivan Ridge to the east as you make your way to a line of eucalyptus bordering the trail.

This is one of the only shaded areas along the loop, which provides a charming canopy for the remainder of the hike. Continue another 0.4 miles down the hillside to the bottom of the trail. Here, you can take a peek around the ranch or say hello to the horses! You’ll pick the trail back up as it runs next to a large green lawn. This is the perfect place for a picnic or to enjoy a good book under the sun. Follow the trail along the top of the field and behind the Will Rogers House to complete the loop and return to the parking lot.

Note: Dogs are not allowed on the park trails, however, you may have your leashed pups on the lawn.

As mentioned before, there is a $12 fee for parking. You can also find (limited) free roadside parking outside of the main entrance. 

How to get there: Follow Sunset Boulevard to Will Rogers State Park Road, located 4.5 miles west of the 405 and 3 miles east of the PCH. At the traffic light, turn north on Will Rogers State Park Road. Go about 3/4 of a mile up the mountainside to the park entrance. Pull past the gate and park in the lot on the left.

Address: 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Escondido Falls - Malibu, CA

This rainy weather we're experiencing in Southern California right now has inspired me to FINALLY get my post up about our hike to Escondido Falls. I can only imagine after a long weekend of steady rainfall the waterfalls will sure to be flowing!

The hike to Escondido Falls is about 4 miles of fairly easy terrain. The waterfall has three tiers. The lower tier is about 50 feet high and the easiest of the three to reach. The upper tier, which you can imagine is more difficult to reach, is around 150-feet tall. From what I hear, it's incredibly stunning when the water is flowing in full force. Unfortunately, the day we made our journey was after a few weeks of dry weather, so we didn't attempt to climb to the upper falls.

The hike begins with 0.75 miles uphill along Winding Way, a paved road, just off the PCH that is lined with incredible homes Spanish and Mid-century modern style homes. Quite honestly, this was the toughest climb (and least exciting) of the day. Don't let this small part of your trip scare you off - you'll reach the trail in no time and the waterfall, even at low-flow, is well worth it. You'll gain about 200 feet on this paved climb, then the road will begin to head downhill and drop you at a wooded public park entrance.

The dirt path just past the park sign will take you down through a field of fennel and mustard and on into the woods where a small creek flows. Cross over the creek, and make a left turn headed upstream into the canyon. From here on out the trail is fairly level as it wanders through the forest and field. Thanks to our Spring season timing, we were lucky enough to enjoy a trail lined with beautiful wildflowers along the way. You will need to cross the creek bed a few more times, which I'm sure is a bit more daunting after a good rain, but it should still be easy enough terrain for anyone to navigate. 

What I loved most about this hike were all the serene little pockets along the trail you could sneak off to grab a snack or just sit and listen to the creek flow. We popped off the trail to sit by a tiny little waterfall amidst the creek to snacked on some Three Jerk's Jerky and just take it all in.

After you've been on the dirt trail for about a mile the trail will begin to ascend about 150 feet from a low spot below the road and then you will arrive at Lower Escondido Falls! The beauty of these falls without much water is simply stunning, I can only imagine what it is like on a real flowing day. There are lots of large rocks at the base of the falls where you can set up, take it all in or enjoy a little picnic. Some people complain of a natural sulfuric smell, but that isn't something we noticed. For us, the lower tier of the falls was a far as our journey took us.

There were many other hikers setting off to explore the upper falls. There is a steep trail to the right of the falls lined with tree roots and ropes to help guide your way. If you choose to go this route, make sure you have the proper footwear and attire and hike at your own risk! 

When you're done relaxing by the falls, simply follow the trail back the way you came!

How to get there: Take the PCH to Winding Way in Malibu. Winding Way is a small street about 4.5 miles west of Malibu Canyon Road on the north side of the PCH. There is a free parking lot for the trail on the left at the bottom of Winding Way. Overflow parking can be found along the PCH.

Address: 27807 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

Posted on April 8, 2016 and filed under hikes.

Mulholland Dr. to San Vicente Mountain - Santa Monica Mountains

Hiking to San Vicente Mountain Park from Mulholland Drive is the shortest route one can take to get there. Although it is short, it still offers some stupendous views looking out over the San Fernando Valley as well as Beverly Hills and on out to the ocean. 

Atop San Vicente Mountain lies one of the, now unused, Nike missile defense sites scattered throughout the mountains of the South-western Coast. Here you will find the remains of the buildings and technology that were used to detect and intersect potential missiles directed at LA. After about 10 years, long-range technology came into play rendering the Nike missiles useless. Fortunately the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy has made a point to preserve some of these sites, sprinkling info panels throughout the grounds to keep this history alive.

You will begin your hike at end of the drivable section of Mulholland Drive. You will find plenty of parking along the streets and on up towards the yellow gates. If the yellow gates are open, you can even drive your car all the way up to the top of San Vicente mountain - but where is the fun in that!? 

Hike on past the yellow gate and continue along the unpaved Mulholland Drive. In the distance up head you should be able to spoit the radio towers on San Vicente Mountain. 

As you ascend you'll find Mandeville Canyon ,Westridge, and Canyonback Ridge to the south. As the road continues on the views will begin to open up in the opposite direction, offering gorgeous views out over the Encino Reservoir and the rest of the San Fernando Valley. 

Take a moment to enjoy the views over the Encino Reservoir. We were lucky enough to be hiking on a beautifully clear day. You might notice some side trails on your right - they'll take you out over the reservoir. We had fun exploring this area and got some really amazing photos. 

After you're done taking in the views continue another .4 miles and eventually you will reach and junction. Up ahead Mulholland continues across the Santa Monica Mountains all the way to Santa Maria near Topanga, where the pavement resumes. Instead of continuing on ahead, turn left instead and head up to the mountaintop where the military base lies - you won't be able to miss it.  

Take your time exploring the old grounds and take in the gorgeous panoramic views. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables - even a few telescopes that overlook the canyons below. When you're done, simply return the way you came.

How to get there:  On the 405 freeway take the Skirball Center Drive exit. Heading west follow the signs for Mulhollad Drive. After about 2 miles, Mulhollad Drive becomes and unpaved road and makes a sharp hairpin turn to the left. Continue .25 miles until you can no longer drive. Park behind the yellow gate where you will begin your hike.

Address: 17024 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Posted on May 31, 2015 and filed under hikes.

Eaton Canyon Falls - Pasadena, CA

Eaton Canyon is nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, just hop, skip and a jump from Los Angeles, on the north-eastern side of Pasadena and Altadena. There are a number of hiking trails meandering there way through these hills, but the one I particularly want to feature in this post is the trail that leads to Eaton Canyon Falls. 

The magnificent forty-foot falls lie at the top of Eaton Canyon Trail, cascading into a beautiful, vast pool below. In the summertime, while it can be extremely busy, I can imagine this pool would be incredibly refreshing to wade or lie in - you could even pack a picnic and relax amongst the large boulders scattered throughout. The trail to Eaton Canyon Falls is fairly straight forward and can be easily be summed up through about 1 miles of wide flat dirt trail, followed by 0.65 miles of single track, rocky creek bed that makes it's way up the slender canyon that is a whole lot of fun to navigate. In total, this trail is about 3.5 - 4 miles (depending how much exploring you do) out and back with a slight elevation gain of about 580 feet (again this depends on your exploration). 

The hike begins at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center which is situated inside the gates amongst the parking lot. Between the picnic areas, nature center and flat terrain this specific location is a hot spot for dog walkers, baby strollers and families with young children. If you are in search of a serene, quiet experience in nature, I definitely recommend exploring this area on a weekday as opposed to a weekend. We went on a cooler, overcast day in February and still there was rarely a moment that we were alone on the trail or at the falls.

There is a large sign marking the start of the trail, you can't miss it! Follow the trail along a usually dry creek bed, Eaton Wash. You'll find yourself amongst a few shaded areas and some little tree hideouts as you make your way up the trail.

The trail crosses over Eaton Wash after about 0.2 miles into your hike. At this point you will make a left, heading northwest under a canopy of trees. Around 0.55 miles in from your start, you will find yourself at a junction with the Horse Trail (you will notice signs). Continue to the left to stay on the Eaton Canyon Trail. 

At just about the 1.1 mile mark in your hike, you will reach another junction which is just in sight of a concrete bridge up ahead in the distance. Here, head left again following an arrow for the waterfall, and pass below the bridge to enter the San Gabriel Mountains.

Passing under the bridge turns your hike into a whole different experience. Suddenly you will be traversing much more rugged terrain, boulder hopping, and creek crossing as you make your way through the dense canyon. While this section is quite fun, it can also be unassumingly dangerous - make sure you watch your footing and keep an eye out for falling rocks from above the steep walls of the canyon. Eaton Canyon is infamous for it's helicopter rescues due to careless hiking.

After just about 0.6 miles you will find yourself coming upon the falls. You might have to do a bit of scrambling to get up close, but the views are certainly worth it! If you're lucky you might get a moment to yourself at the falls. We were not so lucky, but still happy to be face to face with a flowing waterfall. It's a rare sight these days due to the common droughts, but thankfully, these last few weeks we've had some decent rainfall.

IMG_4751.jpg

While the heavy traffic can be daunting, it's a must see trail nonetheless. With it's close proximity to the city, large parking area, easy to navigate trails and a rewarding ending, you really have no reason NOT to check this trail out!

When you're done taking in the views, simply head back the way you came!

How to get there: Take the Altadena exit off the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Head north on Altadena Drive. The Eaton Canyon Nature Area is a couple miles up the road on the right. Pull into the park past the gates, and leave your vehicle in the lot by the nature center. WARNING: The parking lot gate closes at 5pm (a little early if you ask me!) so if you plan on hiking past 5pm, make sure you park your car on the outside street and use the trails to get inside.

Address: 1750 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107

Glendale Peak - Griffith Park, Los Angeles, Ca

Between the holidays, a trip to Mexico, an unforgiving work schedule and my current state of sickness I haven't had a whole lot of time to dedicate to hikeology. Thankfully, we are in the middle of a much needed long weekend which finally gives me the opportunity to finally catch up!

To kick off the end of this dry spell, I want to share a wonderful moderate 3.5 mile out and back hike through Griffith Park up to Glendale Peak. I love this trail because it's easily accessible, offers some spectacular views and is low on foot traffic compared to a lot of the other hikes through Griffith Park. 

The trailhead begins on a fire road just opposite Greek Theatre on Vermont Canyon Road. Parking is easy to find as there are many spots lining the right side of the street right in front of the trail. You will jump right into a noticeable incline, but after about 0.2 miles the trail plateaus where you will gain great views of downtown LA to the south and the Greek Theater just below you. Being a regular patron to the Greek Theater, I really enjoy this different vantage point where you get the chance to look out over the little amphitheater tucked away in the trees.  

From here you will continue to follow the fire road until you descend upon a three way junction. To your right, there is a firewood that delves deeper into the canyon and to your right, another trail that leads you past the golf course and tennis court. Ignore these trails on either side of you can continue straight to the trail that quickly ascends up the side of the mountain.

You will follow this fire road until you reach the 1.3 mile point in your hike. Here you will find the trail intersecting with Vista de Valle Drive which is a paved road. You will also notice a green building on your left hand side, make a hard left at the building and continue your climb along the fire road.

As you make your way up the fire road your views of the Griffith Park Observatory will begin to open up and soon you will find yourself upon a small wooden footbridge to your left and a little blue sign (that has unfortunately been graffitied) to your right. 

While the footbridge is intriguing, ignore that (for now - it's a great place for photos when you're doubling back down) and follow the inconspicuous Henry's Trail to your right. This trail is dedicated to Henry Shamma, who was a Sierra Club member and avid writer who spent many years leading hikes up to Glendale Peak and tirelessly maintaining other trails throughout Griffith Park.

You will immediately notice a difference in the terrain. This single trail trail is a bit more rugged than the rest of your hike, but it doesn't last very long so don't be dissuaded by the awkwardly eroding staircase before you. 

While you continue to follow the single track trail to the top of Glendale Peak you will find the views only continue to get better and better. Once at the peak, you will have access to full 360º views spanning from downtown LA, to the Pacific, the San Grabriels and the Valley below.

I found this spot to be incredibly calming. With the lack of foot traffic, you're likely to have the views to yourself, which is a rare thing in Griffith Park. We sat for a long while up there in silence, simply enjoying the scenery and the serenity of it all. Once you're done taking it all in, simply follow the trail back the way you came.

How to get there: Head north on Vermont Avenue into Griffith Park. As you continue north through the park you will pass the Greek Theater on your left and notice parking along the right side. The trailhead will be on the east side of Vermont just past the theater.

Address2715 N Vermont Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Posted on January 18, 2015 and filed under hikes.

Zuma Ridge Trail - Malibu, CA

01-2.png

Zuma Ridge Trail or the Zuma Ridge Motorway is a fairly wide dirt service road that meanders it's way up the western ridge of Zuma Canyon. This easy to follow trail is roughly 5.7 miles out and back and as you continue to climb the views open up looking out over Point Dume, Zuma Beach and Malibu High School.

From the small parking lot head north-west to the Zuma Ridge Trailhead (there is a large sign - you can't miss it). 

The trail is incredibly easy to follow, you will simply follow the dirt service road, ignoring any smaller off shoot trails. If you're hiking on a weekend, don't be surprised if you hear some cheering from down below - it's most likely a sporting event at Malibu High School. You also might have the pleasure of passing by some friendly horseback riding groups.

Around 2.75 miles into your hike you will come to a junction - take the trail that ascends to the right (north-east). This is the last push to the top where you will find yourself with some spectacular views out over Zuma Canyon and the Pacific Ocean. 

If you're feeling especially adventurous you can follow Zuma Edison Rd. trail to Kanan Edison Rd and then on to Ocean View Trail to greatly extend your mileage - if not, simply turn back and came back the way you came. Doubling back will leave you with a solid 5.7 mile hike - which, on a hot day with little coverage from the sun was enough for me!

How to get there: Take the PCH out to Malibu and make a right on Busch Drive (a mile west of Kanan Dune Road and just before Zuma Beach). Head north on Busch Drive, stay right at the second intersection in order to remain on Busch Drive. You will dead end at the dirt parking lot at the end of the road.

Address: Zuma Ridge Motorway & Busch Drive, Malibu, CA 90265

Posted on November 19, 2014 and filed under hikes.

The Wisdom Tree & Cahuenga Peak - Los Angeles, CA

This has become one of my favorite trails in Griffith Park! This particular trail differs from many of the others you'll come across in Griffith Park. This trail is much more rugged, steep and rocky - so make sure you wear appropriate shoes. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people out on the trails with inadequate shoes and unhappy looks on their faces. 

Anyway, to get to the trail head you'll begin by parking along Lake Hollywood Drive. You shouldn't have much trouble finding a spot. From your parking spot head east on Wonder View Drive and head up the hill with beautiful homes to your left and the reservoir below to your right. Continue past the yellow gate and then about .4 miles in from your start the paved road will dead end and you will see the trail head ahead marked by a plaque (only...the plaque seems to be missing these days). 

As soon as you hit the trail it gets right into it. The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow, but you'll ascend nearly 725 feet before you've even gone a full mile. As I mentioned before, it's very steep and crumbly - so watch your footing and don't rush. Right off the bat you'll think you're getting some amazing views of the Hollywood Reservoir, and you are... but the views only open up and get better as you make your way toward the top. Eventually you'll be able to make out everything from the Observatory, to Downtown LA and all the way out to the Pacific.

Around 0.8 miles in the trail will switch back and take you west up the last leg of the trail. This area is the most strenuous - it is even more steep and the ground is extremely loose. Follow this trail to the top of the ridge. To the West on the ridge you will see the "Wisdom Tree" and from here you'll get some of the most spectacular views of the Los Angeles basin. 

Heading west, follow the trail to the "Wisdom Tree". According to... everything I've read on the internet... this tree is pretty dang special. The story goes that the Wisdom Tree (or as some call it the Magic Tree, The Giving Tree or even the Tree of Life) on the summit of Burbank Peak was the only tree left standing after a crippling wildfire fire here in 2007. That fire burned hundreds and hundreds of acres in and around Griffith Park - but not that lone tree! Here you can take in some gorgeous views of Los Angeles to the South and the Valley to the North. We were up here during what I like to call "the magic hour" - that moment JUST before sunset - and the way the sun was hitting the San Gabriel Mountains and the haze (see: smog) that hangs just over the city buildings is really something to be seen. 

At the base of the Wisdom Tree you'll find a couple of trail register boxes. These boxes are filled with notes from fellow hikes and travelers from all over! Find a blank space in a notepad or piece of paper and leave a note, a word of wisdom orrrr shamelessly promote your hiking website, like I did. 

After you take it all in at the tree head east down the ridge trail toward Cahuenga Peak. Through this area you will notice that the northern slopes are still recovering from the 2007 wildfire damage. Scorched remnants of trees and shrubs line the trail. The Cahuenga Peak also holds a bit of history to it. In the 1930's it was purchased by Howard Hughes who wanted to build a home atop it for Ginger Rogers. She declined his offer, and some decades later a group of investors decided to try to build a housing development there as well. Thankfully the citizens of Los Angeles would not stand for this. In April of 2010, Cahuenga Peak was saved from further development by the Save the Sign Campaign. The organization purchased the peak and donated it to LA so that it could become part of Griffith Park. Pretty neat, eh? 

Around the 1.5 mile mark, the trail reaches a small clearing which marks the summit of Cahuenga Peak. 

From this point, you can continue to follow the eastward trail toward Mount Lee and check out the Hollywood Sign. We didn't go on from this point, which is why our trip only totaled around 3 miles - so if you DO continue on keep in mind, it will just about double your mileage.

If you decide that this is the end of the road for you, simply head back along the trail the way you came. I do warn, be especially careful on your way down!

How to get there: On the 101 Freeway you will take the Barham Boulevard exit and drive north for about .3 of a mile. Make a right at the light onto Lake Hollywood Drive. Follow this meandering road for about a half a mile until it intersects with Wonder View Drive. Park along Lake Hollywood Drive (check the signs) and begin hiking eastward up Wonder View Drive. (If head another quarter mile down Lake Hollywood Drive, you will find The Hollywood Reservoir trailhead)

Address: Wonder View Drive & Lake Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Posted on November 11, 2014 and filed under hikes.

Stay Hydrated with Super Sleek Stainless Steel Water Bottles

It's hard to believe that just a decade ago there were hardly any steel water bottles available to the public for personal hydration. Back then we didn't know the health and environmental harms that certain plastic containers could inflict upon ourselves and the world. Thankfully, we've come a long way in a short time and discovered a lot about the dangers of BPA. Through that, we've found that steel water bottles are a great eco-friendly solution. And now with the countless numbers of brands, colors, designs and customization out there your bottle can be a fun way to express your personality out on the trails all the while encouraging healthy habits, sustainability and environmental consciousness! drink up!

Posted on November 9, 2014 and filed under style, hikes, camping.

Hollywood Reservoir - Los Angeles, CA

This is an easy 3.34 mile trail that guides you around the perimeter of the Hollywood Reservoir in the Hollywood Hills. This trail is easy to follow, paved and only has about 50ft worth of an elevation gain making this a great loop for everything from a leisurely stroll, to a solid run or bike ride. 

We took to this trail on a rare day a few months back when we had rain (remember that stuff?!) Normally, I would hate getting caught in the rain, but it had been so long since we had actually felt any kind of moisture in the air, it was sort of exciting and magical to be stuck in the middle of it. And of course, the shower didn't last long - maybe a good half hour - but it was fun nonetheless. 

Anyway, you'll begin by parking your car on Lake Hollywood Drive just to the north of the reservoir and then head for the entrance on the west side of the road. The entrance is a bit intimidating, but I assure you, it IS the way into the reservoir trail... 

As you make your way down the evenly paved path, you'll begin to get views of the the northern end of the reservoir. 

Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - we spotted a few small deer on the other side of the fence foraging in beneath some of the pines that grow along the edge of the water!

About a half a mile in, you’ll start getting some views of the Hollywood Sign off the the east. Although the fencing can be obstructive, you can still get some great views and fun photographs. 

The trail continues to meander along the reservoir’s west end and once you've made your way about a mile you’ll come upon the 1924 Mullholland Dam by which the reservoir was created. This is a gorgeous dam from early-modern L.A. history that is in super great shape and acts as a bridge to get you across to the eastern side of the reservoir. From the middle of the dam you'll have even more spectacular views of the Hollywood Sign and be able to gaze southward down upon the city of Hollywood itself. 

After you cross the bridge continue to the left to stay on the paved reservoir trail. As you make your way north on the eastern trail the views of the reservoir will begin diminish while the views of the Hollywood Sign will only continue to get better and better. 

Around 2.6 miles into your hike the paved trail drops you out on to Lake Hollywood Drive and Tahoe Drive. You'll know in you're in the right place when you come up behind the Hollywood Gate. 

Continue on to the left past Tahoe Dr. and follow the dirt path that makes its way along the northern side of Lake Hollywood Dr. After another .5 miles you'll find yourself back at the beginning of the trail where you originally parked. And there you have it! An easy, low-key "hike" with packed with some beautiful views and interesting LA history. 

How to get there: From the 101 northbound, take the Barham exit and head eastward. Make a right onto Lake Hollywood Drive and continue on it as it winds through the residential neighborhood. When you reach the intersection with Wonder View Drive, descend down the hill toward the reservoir and park on the street near the gate to the reservoir path. The streets here are well marked and you shouldn't have trouble parking along the side of the road. 

Address: 3052 Lake Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Posted on November 3, 2014 and filed under hikes.

Corral Canyon - Malibu, CA

Corral Canyon is nestled just off the PCH and offers some spectacular views of the coastline. This 2.5 mile, dog-friendly loop is the perfect hike to do in the morning before grabbing lunch at Malibu Seafood and then hitting the beach afterwards to cool off - in fact, that's exactly what my friend and I did on our first trip to the Corral Canyon Trail.  

The Corral Canyon Loop begins right off PCH in a parking lot located next to Malibu Seafood and Deli. There is a five-dollar fee to park in this lot and it fills up quickly around lunch time due to it's close proximity to the restaurant, so if you don't get there early enough to snag a spot, you'll have to wait it out or search the southern side of the PCH for an open spot.

There is a sign pointing out the beginning of the trail at the northeast corner of the lot. The path promptly descends to Corral Creek. You will make your way over the creek and through a somewhat marshy area before coming to a junction. This is where the trail loop begins and ends.

I recommend heading left into the canyon as this route gives you the best pay off after your ascent to the top. Shortly after you head left you will pass through the remains of an old home - you will see what is left over of the chimney and a bit of the unnatural landscaping. After this point the climb begins and you will start switching up the east side of the canyon. There is a lot of overgrown, tall grass in this area so do be mindful of ticks and where long pants to avoid too many little scratches. 

As you make your way up the canyon the views will continue to get better and better. When you find yourself nearing the top of the mountain you will find a path that splits off and up to the left. If you want to enjoy some fantastic panoramic views of the coastline and beyond I definitely recommend pooping off the main trail for a moment and taking it all in from this vista point.

After you have had your fair share of the gorgeous views, head back to the main trail you were on before. This is my favorite part of this hike - after you have trudged your way up the canyon, under the hot sun, you will be pretty sweaty and tired - the descent with it's cool ocean breeze and beautiful views make all the hard work worth it. 

Eventually, after a descent of about 2/3 of a mile, you will find yourself back at the junction. Make a left here where you will hop back over the creek and return to the parking lot where your journey originally began. If the nice breeze and the great views weren't enough of a reward for you after this hike, be sure to hit Malibu Seafood & Deli afterwards to endulge in some delicious (fried!) fish! The line can be intimidating, but don't let it deter you - the line is fast moving and the food is so worth it.

As mentioned before, this is a dog-friendly park, and it's best to arrive earlier in the day! Not only will the earlier bird catch a great parking spot, but with the lack of coverage on this trail, you'll save yourself from an exhausting, sweaty hike! 

Address: 25653 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265

Forgive my map - normally they are interactive, but the html for this map was acting up. If you want to view a more detailed map check it out here: http://www.mapmywalk.com/routes/view/519700370

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under hikes.