Malibu is enriched with gorgeous landscapes and beaches, making it a fantastic hiking destination. This got us thinking, what are our favorite Malibu trails? With so many options for hiking in Malibu, it’s difficult to narrow it down, but here’s SHADED Malibu’s guide to the top best hikes in Malibu and beyond.
Sostomo/Deer Valley Loop Trail– Malibu
Location:Solstice Canyon in Malibu This trail features a 7.2-mile loop through Malibu and has one of the only year-round waterfalls in the Santa Monica Mountains. The loop boasts breathtaking mountains covered in coastal sage scrub and excellent ocean views. For a less strenuous hike, hikers can simply turn back after reaching one of the lookouts. It’s one of the more challenging hikes in the area, but it will certainly reward its hikers with stunning views.
Point Dume – Malibu
Location: Point Dume Natural Preserve in Malibu Point Dume is a dome-shaped promontory extending into the Pacific at the northwest end of Santa Monica Bay. The Headland is one of our favorite places to walk and hike. Just make sure your dog is on leash! You can hike to the beaches through additional trails at the natural preserve.
Temescal Canyon Loop – Pacific Palisades
Location: Temescal Canyon Gateway Park in Pacific Palisades With a loop of 2.6 miles, this spot a lot offers variety for its hikers. Those in pursuit of a relaxed hike can climb up to a picnic spot or set up at the waterfall, bridge, and flow pools near the mile marker. Those looking for the major viewpoints, can continue on the ridge trail, which leads to magnificent views of the ocean. Since this trail is fairly popular with its proximity off of Sunset Blvd, try to go during the week or during off season.
Inspiration Loop Trail – Pacific Palisades
Location: Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades This moderate 2-mile loop rewards viewers with a stunning vista extending across Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and out to the Pacific Ocean as you make your way through an enchanting tree-lined trail. Once you make it to the top of Inspiration Point there’s a bench, which is the perfect spot to take a rest and feel inspired by the view. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch at the benches off the field (and maybe catch a polo match, too).
Backbone Trail – Malibu
Location: Corral Canyon Park in Malibu The Backbone Trail is over 60 miles long but from Corral Canyon, it’s divided in smaller hikes to Malibu Canyon, Mesa Peak, and Castro Crest. Check out the Jim Morrison Cave, which is just under a mile from the parking lot along the Corral Canyon Trail. (Jim Morrison would evidently seek solace away from his bustling life back in LA).
And there we have it – SHADED malibu’s top hikes in Malibu and beyond. Don’t forget to bring enough water for your hike. Our Malibu Lagoon water bottle has got you covered.
Christa Adams is a writer, photographer, and sustainable traveler based in Barcelona. She's been traveling solo since 2014 has a passion for the outdoors, coffee culture, and exploring quaint European towns. Follow her adventures at www.thespiritedexplorer.com.