Zuma Ridge Trail: Fourth of July Hike
It was five years ago to the day that I hiked this same trail. Like then, I began in the late afternoon and ended after dark. My plan, to make it up to Buzzards Roost Ranch and then down to a high spot to take in the fireworks show off of Broad Beach. My previous hike was marred by thick fog. I couldn’t see a thing. This year the skies were clear.
Hiking Distance: Around 8 miles
Driving Directions: In Malibu just east of Zuma Beach, turn onto Busch Dr. You will come to a T-junction. Go right, sticking with Busch Dr. to it’s end at a large, ungated parking lot on the right.
I started up the trail around 4:30 p.m. This fire road is extremely easy to follow. From the main road, there are a couple of signed fire roads which break east and west. I stayed on the north-south fire road, Zuma Ridge Trail, all the way to Buzzards Roost Ranch.
This is an excellent workout trail. Basically the first half of my day was four miles of up. There’s very little shade.
After a mile or so the trail was totally empty, left to me and my thoughts.
I continued to Buzzards Roost Ranch. I pushed the pace, something I don’t normally do.
The closer I got, the steeper and more rocky the road became. The Ranch kept getting closer, slowly but surely, but it felt like a long haul. Photo 3 – Fuzzy insect scoots along the dirt.
I have hiked here many times before. I always feel relief when I catch sight of the tree shown standing in the middle of this photo 1, my turnaround point. Photo 2 – I arrive at Buzzards Roost Ranch. There are a couple of nice logs to lounge on beneath the tree.
I rested for a few minutes and soaked in the deep blue panoramic views.
I headed down as the Sun rapidly lost altitude. The high point in the center of photo 2 is where I planned to set up.
Sunset on Boney Mountain.
Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, bathed in pink rays.
Fireworks shows along the Santa Monica Bay began around nine. They looked very small but I could see them all the way to the end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and even over to Catalina Island.
I tried out my headlamp using the red filter. This is supposed to help maintain night vision. It did make for some interesting photos.
Around 9:45 another fireworks show began, this time off of Point Dume. Now I had a better view.
Happy Fourth of July