This hike, in the outskirts of Malibu Creek State Park, is a great way to see beautiful views while hiking over the Santa Monica mountain range and down to the ocean. The trail is one that requires you to leave a car at the other end though or you will have to hike all the way back out adding another 7 miles onto your hike. That just means you need to bring a friend with you on this one and I am sure they won’t complain as it is a really beautiful area. Here is all the information.
- 7 Miles
- 1,500 feet of elevation
- Must have a car at the exit to drive back to the start
There are a few different ways to do this hike, and you can explore some of the hikes best spots without doing the whole thing if you are so inclined as well. I will simply show you the way that we did this hike though and you can take it from there.
We left a car at the base of Puerco Canyon which is just West of Pepperdine, at the end of Puerco Canyon Road. From there we took a second car back along Malibu Canyon Road to the parking lot turnout, right next to Mesa Peak Tractor Way, which is the start of the Piuma Creek trail. You can see the parking lot in the photo above.
From here we started our hike which heads up a single track, connects with the Malibu Backbone Trail, winds around the hills then eventually dumps you out in the newly acquired Puerco Canyon.
The hike starts from the small parking lot, heads past a restroom then begins its accent via a steep single track.
This is a beautiful trail as you gain elevation and come in and out of the trees. Each time you leave a section of trees you will see better views of the Malibu mountains to your North as well.
The trail continues for about a mile and then it connects with a fire road. Unfortunately, you will be walking this fire road for the rest of the hike.
That being said, the fire road continues to charge up the hill and provides a lot of beautiful views as it does.
About 2.5 miles in you will come around a bend and see the ocean for the first time, peaking out between the mountains in the above photo.
As you proceed up the fire road the ocean views continue to get better and better.
Eventually the fire road will come to a fork and you will want to proceed down to the left. This will begin your gradual downhill and you will be doing this for the rest of the hike.
Each bend in the road provides better views as you get closer and closer to the ocean. You can even see Point Dume in the distance of the above shot.
We only saw two other people on this entire hike, but we did have to move for fire crew coming up the road in trucks a few times.
After you get almost all the way down the mountain you will see the first of a few abandoned houses out here. It is crazy to imagine how much these houses would sell for today, even without a roof, and I took some time to explore them.
You can then continue down the hill and veer off to the left into the small canyon where you will find a lot more different structures you can look at. Here is a photo of the area from where you make the turn.
My favorite spot was the overlook, which had a house that had actually crumbled into the hillside but still had a large fireplace sitting on the foundation. I found it pretty interesting to photograph but all of the old structures were cool in their own right. Here are a few photos.
From here you just hike the rest of the way out to your car, which you should have parked at the base of this road. If you did not park a car here then you would need to hike all the way back up and over the hill itself again and I would not recommend that.
So for a hike that takes you along a fire road for pretty much the entire time it truly is a beautiful way to see some amazing vistas of the Malibu coast. Every time I explore around here I find myself wanting to come back and see more. It is a beautiful place and I would love to hear what your favorite spots are in Malibu below.