This weekend, Toki, Josh and I ran one of our favorite trails. We call it the “Zuma Loop,”but it’s actually a combination of the Zuma Loop Trail, the Ocean View Trail, and the Canyon Trail. The trail is located in beautiful Malibu California, along the Pacific coast.
The views from the top of the ridge are the perfect reward for the strenuous climb. The snapshot above- taken with my phone – doesn’t do it justice. Imagine a 270-degree vista of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean, as well as rolling, chaparral-covered hills. Add to this a cooling sea breeze, and you get the picture. The best part about the trail is that four-legged friends are welcome. That means dogs and horses. As well as any other wild animals that happen to be wandering by. This weekend, we spotted a herd of deer and received a sunset serenade by a few yipping coyotes.
If you live in Southern California, this trail is worth checking out!
Directions: From Santa Monica – Take the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) North for 18 miles to Busch Dr. (This is right at Zuma Beach, just past Westward Beach Rd.) Turn right at Busch Drive and proceed up the road, making no turns. Eventually Busch drive will end at a fire road and a small parking lot on the right.
From the parking lot, the trail heads north (don’t take the fire road), down a slight slope. As you continue along the trail, it will open up into a large canyon (Zuma Canyon). At the bottom, you can wander through a very un-california-like oasis of trees and creekbeds (dry at this time of year). Once in the canyon floor, I like to stay right and follow signs to the Ocean View trail. It’s a steep climb, but the downhill portion on the Canyon View Trail is easier on the knees, and the paws.
In fact, because it was getting late during our trail run this weekend, we opted to return down the steep Ocean View Trail instead of completing the entire loop. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until we were back at the car that Toki had rubbed her carpal pads raw! (If you’re not sure what is a “carpal pad,” check out this diagram of a paw.) Apparently, the carpal pads located above the paws on the front legs are used to help dogs “brake” when running and descending. So keep an eye on that part of the paw when descending steep slopes. And if you check out the Zuma loop, take the more gradual descent on the Canyon View Trail.
Finally, if you go, remember to bring plenty of water for you and your pup. Happy Trails!