Cameron Nature Preserve

Named for director James Cameron, who sold the property to conservationist groups at the discounted price of 12 million dollars, Cameron Nature Preserve is some 700 acres of open space in the heart of Malibu.  There were several side roads and trails that I hope to explore in the future.

1       2      3       5

The trailhead is very easy to get to, just a mile off of Pacific Coast Highway on Puerco Canyon Road.  I parked and began up Puerco Canyon Fire Road.  After climbing for awhile I reached one of the new side trails.  I didn’t take it today, but soon.  Photo 4 – Looking down at Zev Yaroslavsky Coastal Slope Trail.  I’m not sure how far it goes.

4     6   I reached what looked like an abandoned ranch.  There were several buildings reachable via the road that breaks to the right of the main road.  There is also an abandoned house off of Puerco Canyon Road.

7               8

The roof had been removed, I assume to make it uninhabitable.  Oddly though, it was really clean.  No garbage or even dirt on the floor, and the walls look like they have been recently painted.

9     10   From the abandoned house I looked back at the switchbacking fire road I had just climbed.  I continued up the sometimes steep fire road.

11               12

Photo 2 – Looking down into Corral Canyon.

13     14   As I climbed the fog became thicker.  In the middle of photo 2 is Mesa Peak.

15       16      17       18

The trail to Mesa Peak is off the road to the left.  There’s a weather station (or something) visible from the road.  Mesa Peak is actually a few yards down from the weather station and marked by a cairn.  By the time I got there it was totally socked in.

19     20     21   I searched for a trail that breaks to the right off of Puerco Canyon Road and travels above Pepperdine University.  I went all the way to Mesa Peak Fire Road but didn’t find it.  I backtracked about a half mile and found the almost hidden turn-off for the trail I was looking for.  The trail is a bit overgrown, particularly at the beginning.

22       23      24       25

26   I passed a few areas where the grass has been mashed down, indicating that an animal had slept there.  This unnamed trail travels along a ridge, descending in steep spurts.


28               29

Pepperdine University below.  You can’t tell how big it is until you get above it.

30               31

32   The trail borders ranch property with lots of goats doing their thing.

33     34     35   Photo 2 – Another shot of the upper part of Pepperdine with Point Dume in the background.  I believe these are the dorms.  Looks like they have their own little world up there.  Photo 3 – My turnaround point.  I came to the bottom of yet another steep hill.  These two chairs made for a nice place to sit and eat.

36   Right below my resting spot stands Pepperdine’s 125 foot white cross, Phillips Theme Tower.


The grassy area across the highway and beyond Pepperdine is Malibu Bluffs Park.


I start back toward Puerco Canyon.

39     40     41   Photo 1 – As I ascended I noticed something on a hill to the left of the trail.  A white cross?


The skies cleared a bit and I was able to see Saddle Peak.

43               44

As I climbed the final steep hill I noticed a trail breaking to the left.  I followed it and soon found that cross I saw from below.  I think it’s about seven feet tall.  In Hoc Signo Vinces – In this sign you will conquer


From the cross, views of Malibu Colony and Malibu Lagoon.

46               47

Point Dume looking a little clearer at this hour.

48     49   Photo 1 – About half way down Puerco Canyon Fire Road, I look back at Mesa Peak.  This was a tough but lovely hike.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *