Zuma/Trancas Canyons: Upper Zuma Canyon
Hiking Distance: 9.6 Miles Round Trip Hiking Time: 5 Hours Configuration: Out-And-Back Elevation Gain: 350 Feet Difficulty: Moderate
Exposure: Exposed Hills And Forested Canyons Dogs: Allowed
Maps: U.S.G.S. Point Dume Tom Harrison Maps: Zuma-Trancas Canyons Trail Map
Zuma Canyon And Trancas Canyon Are Neighboring V-Shaped Canyons In The Central Portion Of The Santa Monica Mountains. The Steep Gorges Have Cascading Streams, Weather-Carved Sandstone Boulders, Fern-Lined Pools, And Jungle-Like Forests With Oaks, Bays, Willows, And Sycamores. The Scenic Canyons Are Located In The Zuma/Trancas Canyons Area, Managed By The National Park Service, And Have Remained Natural And Undisturbed.
Upper Zuma Canyon-Trancas Canyon Map Photo Gallery
This Hike Traverses The Upper Slopes Of Zuma Canyon, Climbs Up To Zuma Ridge Between The Two Canyons, And Drops Into Trancas Canyon. En Route, The Hike Visits Newton Canyon Falls, Upper Zuma Falls, And Trancas Creek. The Route Utilizes The Upper Zuma Canyon Trail And The Trancas Canyon Trail, Both Sections Of The Backbone Trail That Connects Kanan Dume Road With Encinal Canyon Road. The Two Trails Join Atop Zuma Ridge.
To The Trailhead
From Santa Monica, Drive 18 Miles Northbound On The Pacific Coast Highway/Highway 1 To Kanan Dume Road (5.8 Miles West Of Malibu Canyon Road). Turn Right And Drive 4.4 Miles North To The Trailhead Parking Lot On The Left (West). The Parking Lot Is Located Just After The First Tunnel (T- !)
From The Ventura Freeway/Highway 101 In Agoura Hills, Take The Kanan Road Exit. Drive 7.9 Miles South To The Trailhead Parking Lot On The Right (West). The Parking Lot Is Located Just Before Entering The Third Tunnel (T-L). (Kanan Road Becomes Kanan Dume Road South Of Mulholland Highway.)
Walk Past The Trailhead Kiosk, And Head West Through The Lush Vegetation On The Backbone Trail (Upper Zuma Canyon Trail). Descend On The South Wall Of Upper Zuma Canyon. Switchback To The Right And Cross Over To The North Canyon Wall. After Crossing The Trickling Newton Creek, Two Side Paths On The Left Lead To Newton Canyon Falls. Continue On The Rock-Embedded Path (The Main Trail) As The Coastal Views Open Down Zuma Canyon Towards The Ocean. Descend Into The Shade Of A Mixed Forest With Mature Oaks To A Bridge Spanning Zuma Creek. Cross The Bridge And Parallel The Waterway Upstream. Climb To Views Of The Surrounding Mountains, Then Drop Back Into The Forest And Cross A Feeder Stream. Wind Through The Backcountry On The Undulating Path To A Close-Up View Of Upper Zuma Falls As It Flows Down The Face Of A Sandstone Wall. Weave Along The Mountain Contours To A Posted T-Junction With The Zuma Ridge Trail, A Gated Dirt Road At 2.5 Miles. The Right Fork Leads 0.4 Miles To The Trailhead Gate On Encinal Canyon Road. Bear Left And Follow The Unpaved Road 0.1 Mile To A Left U-Bend. Mid-Bend Is A Junction. The Zuma Ridge Trail (A Fire Road) Continues Down The Ridge For 5.3 Miles To Busch Drive By Zuma Beach.
Bear Right On The Trancas Canyon Trail, Continuing On Another Section Of The Backbone Trail. Follow The Ridge Uphill, Leaving Zuma Canyon. Descend And Traverse The Hillside Into Trancas Canyon To The Posted Backbone Trail Sign. Veer Left, Staying On The Trancas Canyon Trail. Follow The Gentle Downward Slope And Switchback To The Left, Dropping Deep Into The Lush Canyon. Continue Down To A Tributary Of Trancas Creek In A Shaded Forest. Cross A Bridge Over The Tributary, And Head Down Canyon Through The Oak Forest To A Fork At Trancas Creek. The Left Fork Follows The Creek About 100 Feet And Ends. Bear Right And Rock-Hop Over The Creek. Climb The Canyon Wall, Leaving The Shade Of The Forest. Cross A Bridge Over The Creek, And Climb Out Of The Canyon To The Gated Trail-Head On Encinal Canyon Road. Return Along The Same Route.
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