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10 Best Hikes in Malibu You Must-Try

Malibu in California is well known for its beach lifestyle and top-notch surfing. Let’s set aside the enormous homes owned by celebrities and business moguls for the moment, but you might be shocked to learn that Malibu in Southern California has so many of the best hiking paths.

Southern California is a beautiful place to visit because of the extended daylight, big palm palms, and intriguing arid deserts, and obviously, the seashores are on just much everyone’s list of must-dos.

This coastal city is the ideal location for anyone looking to get away from their busy lives and go on an exciting picturesque hike.

Probably the best hikes in Malibu incorporate a climb to an old M.A.S.H shooting area in the Malibu Creek state park and hiking trails. The best hikes in malibu with an oceanic view of the Pacific Ocean and gorgeous Malibu waterfall hikes.

While climbing in the deserts of California will without a doubt grandstand exceptional and energizing scenes as in the popular Joshua Tree National Park

During the summer months, one can experience the best hikes in Malibu, with the ocean views. As one gains elevation one will be rewarded with a few of the best panoramic Pacific Ocean views.

1. Outstanding Hikes in Malibu

1.1. Solstice Canyon Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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The trail is assessed as having a moderate degree of difficulty and an elevation climb of 800 feet. Dogs are permitted on the trail. The trip’s first ascent is via the Solstice Canyon Trail, which is shaded.

Take a rest before continuing down the Rising Sun Trail to the car. During the best walks in Malibu, this road section provides coastal views and cascades over the canyon cliffs.

1.2. Point Dume Cove Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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Because so many rock climbers tackle the cliff, the Point Dume Cove Trail is one of the finest hikes in Malibu. From January through April, migratory whales may even be spotted in the water. On the nearby rocks, there can be a number of seals dozing off.

1.3. Malibu Lake Vista Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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This trail leads to breathtaking lake panoramas, making it the ideal place to decide which hiking options to pursue. The Malibu Lake Vista Trail offers views of Malibu Lake. Despite having a 1.1-mile length and a 302-foot elevation increase, the trail is rated as difficult to hike.

A trail in the Santa Monica Mountains offers a sweeping view of Malibu Lake. There are various ways to reach this viewpoint; this is just one of them, but the longer trail offers breathtaking mountain panoramas.

1.4. Los Liones Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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The Los Liones Track, a 4.4-mile out-and-back trail with a 1,190-foot elevation rise, is another outstanding out-and-back trail. This test is thought to be of intermediate difficulty. The best treks in Malibu are described in depth in the Trail Guide.

The trek should take a few hours, and the first few miles of the slope should be rather challenging. However, as you draw nearer to the summit, you can see the Pacific Ocean.

Take a well-earned siesta on the padded seat with views of Malibu and Santa Monica to the left and right, respectively. There isn’t much shade, and dogs are not permitted, so bring shade. Climb to the Parker Mesa Overlook because the vista is worth the effort.

1.5. Backbone Trail To Sandstone Peak

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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After parking close to Yerba Bueno Road on the Pacific Coast Highway, begin the path’s difficult journey uphill, passing through lovely valleys and breathtaking rock formations.

Hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of canyons and the Pacific Ocean from Sandstone Peak, which is the highest point in Los Angeles County.

One of the most stunning walks in Malibu is the 3-mile-long, 1,000-foot-tall Sandstone Peak Trail. The Mishe Mokwa Trail’s 6 kilometres and 1,400-foot ascent. Both are accessible to hikers and welcome dogs.

The Santa Monica Mountains’ tallest peak is called Sandstone Peak. The visitor might be able to glimpse the Channel Islands on a clear day.

Allow three hours to complete this well-known, six-mile trail. This is a challenging trek, so bring strong footwear or sturdy hiking boots. To enjoy the beauty without getting too hot, because there is no escape from bright sunlight, think about going on a hike early in the morning or late at night.

1.6. Escondido Falls Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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Some of the best hiking can be found in Malibu’s Escondido Canyon Park. It is one of the Escondido Falls trail’s most well-known hiking routes. The Santa Monica Mountains’ tallest waterfall, at 150 feet high, is the biggest and best of the few waterfalls that can be found along this path.

A 3.8-mile out-and-back track in Malibu, California, with a 620-foot elevation gain, should take hikers around two complete hours to finish.

There are numerous waterfalls along the path that winds through Escondido Canyon Park. Dogs are permitted. Parking places are accessible from Highway 1 or the Pacific Coast Highway. Only in the very last case is it possible to park in the lot itself.

Before reaching the gravel road leading to the park, most of the ride is along a paved road through a Malibu neighborhood. The 50-foot-tall lower falls are more than plenty, but as one ascends further along the Trail, the greatest is still to come!

You may see a wall of green moss and rushing water that splashes into a calm lake when hiking the upper Escondido Falls hike.

1.7. Charmlee Wilderness Park

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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Charmlee Wilderness Park, an amazing park with 532 acres of land, is one of the best places to go for a stroll in Malibu, California. The Ocean Overlook Loop Trail is typically the busiest of the eight miles of available trails.

The most beautiful hikes in Malibu offer breathtaking ocean views all along the coastline. Another appealing aspect of this hike is the remains of the Ranch home.

The elevation gain on this 2.6-mile circle trail is 450 feet. It is regarded as a simple climb, and your dog is welcome to accompany you.

Countless nice sceneries may be found on Charmlee, one of the best hikes in Malibu. Interestingly, Charmlee also has an old farm that is currently in ruins and oak trees. The paths in this area have soft curves, delicate slants, and elaborate knolls. with the genuinely breathtaking coastline vistas.

Visiting Charmlee early in the year is preferable because there are beautiful hiking paths there all year long. The fact that this park offers full moon climbs every month of the year is a particularly enjoyable aspect of the climbing options. Around five o’clock in the evening, park docents start driving these famed hills. 

1.8. Corral Canyon Loop Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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There are various hiking paths on Backbone Trail, but one of the greatest in Malibu is the Corral Canyon loop trail. Approximately half of the Backbone Trail’s 65 miles remain. According to reports, this Los Angeles hiking trail has some of the most breathtaking vistas.

The 2.3-mile route gains 531 feet in height and is graded as easy to moderately strenuous. Pets are allowed as long as they are on a leash.

You have Thousand Oaks and wonderful mountain views on one side. But one of Malibu’s top hikes offers stunning ocean views.

With the exception of another stunning west coast dusk, the greatest time to snap pictures is during the golden hour of nightfall when the light is excellent.

1.9. Zuma Ridge Trail

10 Best Hikes in Malibu
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The Zuma Ridge Trail is among the best hikes in Malibu with the most incredible view. The Zuma Ridge Trail is a busy out-and-back hiking trail with a consistent slope.

5.6 miles with a height gain of 1,473 feet. It is considered moderate difficulty, and one needs about 2 hours to complete the hike.

The path begins at the highest point of a wide dirt service road that goes through the Canyon and ventures into the green mountain slopes.  Along this trail, one will enjoy the great panoramic views of Malibu’s sea shores and the delightful Ocean down underneath.

Zuma Ridge Trail is further north of Los Angeles than most other Malibu climbs, it will in general be less packed. One will enjoy peace and calm while partaking in the sea and mountain landscape.

1.10. Mesa Peak

10 Best hikes in Malibu
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One should try Mesa Peak, one of the top hikes in Malibu, to experience the rocky trail on the grassy mountain slopes. This moderately hilly climb offers breathtaking mountain views in one way and a view of the ocean in the opposite direction, as well as cool rock pool formations all along the route.

The Malibu Creek State Park is where one actually wants to go to get to the trailhead. leaving the car unattended in the Backbone Trailhead area. From Corral Canyon Road, there is another route that one can use to get to Mesa Peak via the Mesa Peak Motorway.

2. Things to Watch Out For when Hiking in Malibu

Malibu hikes can be dangerous, the most popular hiking trails can have venomous animals one must be well prepared to experience the best hikes in Malibu. Features of Hiking in Malibu:

  • All along your route, you will surely find poisonous oak. Try and be beyond careful and safe.
  • Look out for snakes in Malibu hikes.
  • There will be bugs or hicks throughout some hiking trails, especially the trails with shade. Carry a Natural Insect Repellant on the best hikes in Malibu.
  • Read other hikers’ reviews of the trail that one wants to go on Alltrails and Hikespeak, especially more recent ones on the best hikes in Malibu, California.
  • Look around, especially at the wildflowers along the route. They might look like bushes from afar but can be mesmerizing when gets closer.

3. Suggestions for Hiking in Malibu

5 Essential Hiking Hacks

Before one tries or enjoys other activities in Malibu, one needs to experience some of the best hikes in Malibu. Here are a few tips for experiencing the best malibu hikes.

3.1. Fetch an Offline Map

Make sure to have an offline map before you start your best hikes in Malibu because you might not be able to catch the signal after inclining slightly.

3.2. Be UV Protected

Even if visitors leave early in the morning, the sun is particularly oppressive on the Rising Sun Trail, one of the best hikes in Malibu. Pack some extra sunscreen in your backpack, dress in breezy layers, and always climb wearing a cap and sunglasses.

3.3. Carry Water and Use Hiking Boots

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By: Pliekhova/Deposotphotos

In any climbing situation, it’s essential to stay hydrated. Explorers should carry at least 1-2 liters of water in warm weather and another supply for more smoky conditions or difficult climbs whenever possible.

Always use reusable water bottles to avoid leaving trash on the trails. For experienced climbers, a Camel Back Hydration pack is a great investment, or foldable water bottles are another practical option.

In addition, don’t forget to use hiking boots that are useful to keep your feet safe and comfortable. So that you can even click nice feet pics at the end of the day. 

3.4. Hiking with Dogs

On your vacation to the best hikes in Malibu, research dog-accessible treks and always keep your dog on a leash when hiking.

Consider presuming that the dog will be exposed to severely scalding temperatures because dogs can overheat while trying to keep up with the intensity and risk having their paws eaten. After Malibu hikes, check the dog frequently for ticks.

3.5. Don’t Hike After the Sun Sets

Eureka Springs
By Eureka Springs from DepositPhotos

Make an effort to time your climbs to coincide with daylight hours. That increases the possibility of unpleasant natural life events in the nighttime in addition to the potential for being lost or hurt.

3.6. Explore the Fauna but Be Careful

Don’t be shocked if you encounter deer, snakes, mountain lions, coyotes, or other animals while trekking. On the off possibility that one encounters any wildlife while hiking in Malibu, give them some room and try not to freak out.

Never flee from larger animals like coyotes or mountain lions; instead, take a slow step back while keeping an eye out for the animal. For further information on how to handle creature encounters on hiking routes, one can get in touch with the Santa Monica Mountains Park Ranger Services.

3.7. Don’t Miss out On the Marked Trails

Selective focus on new, young green leaves of the Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum,  in nature in California in the beginning of the spring
By: AlessandraRC/Depositphotos

On a day-long trip on one of the best hikes in Malibu, protect the wilderness and yourself by staying on the well-marked routes. Avoiding ticks, coming into contact with Pacific Poison Oak, and getting scratches is possible. For crowded paths, long jeans and hiking boots are always a good choice.

4. Frequently Asked Questions

4.1. Is Hiking in Malibu Worth It?

It is a laid-back city that enables one to enjoy time in a breathtakingly beautiful environment and has some of the best hikes in Malibu. In this city, there are many other outdoor activities besides hiking.

4.2. How Long Does the Zuma Canyon Hike Last?

The open Zuma Canyon is explored on this 2.8-mile trail. The sandy trail winds north through brushy open space and along a stony creek bed. As the canyon’s mouth closes, oaks and sycamores proliferate, providing greenery as well as shade for trail users.

4.3. Is Malibu Home to Any Poisonous Snakes?

Rattlesnakes are common in Southern California’s hills, including Malibu, which is located in the Santa Monica Mountains. They prefer to hide in the brush but also tall grass, yet grow more active as the weather warms.

Final Words

Best Hike in Malibu! I Discovered a Hidden Cave!

The main 10 best hikes in Malibu California. They provide a wonderful variety of magnificent views, including beaches, waterfalls, rock pools, and ocean vistas as well as expansive lake beauty.

The best hikes in Malibu feature a trail that is well-maintained and ranges in difficulty from an easy hike to a challenging one. Don hiking boots, grab a pair of hiking poles, and explore Malibu while rock climbing.

Along a mountain trail’s length, there are even scenes from classic films and television shows. A little portion of the path offers free parking, an exciting out-and-back hike that will give you a good workout, and the chance to explore some of the best hikes Malibu has to offer all at once!

5 Best Hikes in Malibu

Last Updated on April 1, 2023 by Susanta Biswas