Zuma Ridge Trail Do-Over

I take pride in the fact that I rarely hike the same trail twice.  However there have been a couple of hikes where the weather was poor and I don’t feel I was able to capture the true character of these areas.  I last hiked up Zuma Ridge Trail on the evening of the 4th of July, 2012.  I hoped for an awesome sunset followed by fireworks, but instead found myself stumbling around in a dense fog.  Today, three and a half years later, I was treated to a gorgeous, clear and cool day.  I felt strong today.


Pretty colors to start the day.

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It was so clear that Catalina Island, as well as several other of the Channel Islands, popped off the horizon.  Even the rarely seen Santa Barbara Island (photo 2), was a visual fixture all day long.

4   Zuma Ridge Trail, really a wide fire road, is a great workout hike.  It’s several miles of steady climbing.

5     6   Looking across Zuma Canyon I spied the steep Ocean View and Canyon View Trails.

7   Malibu High School from Zuma Ridge Trail

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Sunrise on the trail

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Photo 1 – Is there anything more gorgeous than the orange glow of morning light?  Photo 2 – Up the coast I could clearly see more islands.  This must be Santa Cruz or maybe Anacapa and Santa Cruz together.

12     13     14     The trail just keeps climbing on and on, sometimes steep, sometimes moderately steep.  There is little peak has a white rock on top, shown in photos 1 and 3.  It looks like you can scramble to the top if you have the skills.

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Photo 1 – Looking down into Trancas Canyon with a lot of blue in the background.  Photo 2 – And there’s Point Dume.

17       20      21   After a few miles I passed a turnoff for Trancas Edison Road and came to another junction in the trail, just below the power lines shown in photo 1Photo 2 shows the road that breaks to the right off of the main trail which takes hikers down into Zuma Canyon and then up to the ridge on the other side.  Photo 3 – I remember you.


I climbed up to the tower of power to get a better view.  Buzzard’s Roost Ranch sits at the top of the peak straight ahead.  The ranch would be my turnaround point.

22   From the junction I believe it’s about a mile long hike away, maybe a mile and a half.

19     23     26   Beautiful Mountains to the east, marred by human progress.  Very close by are the antennae that stand atop Castro Crest.  Ugly but useful for navigation.

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There are nice views of the rock formations over in the Circle X Ranch area.

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After a short break in the ascent the trail started up toward the ranch.  Where this rock wall sits, I believe, is where private property begins.

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In the distance I picked out the military sat dishes at the far end of Point Mugu State Park.

31     32     33   One last push and I found myself at the top.

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Photo 1 – I hiked a few yards past the crest in the trail to get a look at the other side.  Photo 2 – I sat down on a log near the entrance to the ranch and ate lunch.  This was my view.



I headed back down the road.  Great day.  As far as former bad weather hike redos is concerned, I have my sights set on Gaviota Peak next.


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