Past Meetup

PCH To Zuma Ridge! (Fast-Paced Conditioning Hike)

This Meetup is past

7 people went

Zuma Ridge Trailhead

5555 Busch Drive · Malibu, CA

How to find us

Driving my blue X5, 818.618.7897

Location image of event venue


Plan is to hike along Zuma Ridge to the Buzzard's Roost ranch and back before it gets too dark, making for a challenging out & back hike of just over 8 miles and about 2200 feet of gain, with big Pacific views both up and down.

Our hikes are afternoon conditioning hikes for people hiking at an intermediate level or above, and enjoying time outdoors with fun and friendly people sharing similar interests and fitness goals.

Our hike format emphasizes easy-to-access and scenic 5-8 mile Malibu-area conditioning routes with[masked] foot elevation gains, a relatively fast pace with a single rest stop, and optional technique discussions and conditioning exercises (based on individual and group interest). Total hiking time is normally 2.5-3 hours.

We schedule our hikes as late in the day as the season allows, minimizing hiking in the dark while encouraging people with a variety of schedules to get one or more conditioning hikes in during the week and tune-up for bigger adventures.

Here is info on our scheduled hike…hope to see you there!

Buzzard’s Roost Via Zuma Ridge

Hike Type: Conditioning

Level: Intermediate

Route Type: Up & back

Distance: 8-10 miles

Elevation gain:[masked] feet

Terrain: Fire road

Dogs allowed: Yes

Route summary:

Our hike will take us 8-10 miles roundtrip alongside one of the most beautiful sections of the 60-mile Backbone Trail, which runs through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from Will Rogers State Park in the east to Point Mugu in the west.

The route begins at the gate to the Zuma Ridge Trailhead, at the end of Busch Drive, and proceeds northerly roughly 4 miles and 2200 feet up along a ridgeline trail that leads to Buzzard’s Roost, with spectacular Pacific views. The terrain is open fire road. Depending on the group and available time, we have the option of adding an additional 2 miles of hiking down to and then back up from the Backbone Trail after reaching Buzzard’s Roost, which would add roughly 1000 feet of elevation gain.

The route begins near the ocean but quickly gives way to open hillsides and ridgelines. Since we begin a short distance from the beach and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop at Buzzard’s Roost, either after our ascent from the trailhead or the optional extension, to grab a snack and enjoy the great views before beginning our descent back to the Zuma Ridge Trailhead.


Please wear – brush-resistant pants, one or more wicking shirts appropriate to the temperature, comfortable hiking shoes or light boots, your favorite undergarments and accessories, and a light backpack.

Please bring – at least two liters of water, snacks, an extra layer of clothing, a charged cell phone, identification, a headlamp, a small first-aid kit, bug repellant and sunscreen, a waterproof shell if rain is forecast, and any medications or anything else you might need on the trail.


There is free parking in the Zuma Ridge Trailhead parking lot at the end of Busch Drive.

Please do not leave anything of value in your car, at this or any other trailhead.


From any direction, take your favorite way to PCH and Busch Drive, which is located roughly two miles west of Kanan-Dume Road. Turn north (away from the ocean) on Busch Drive and proceed 1.3 miles to the end of Busch Drive and the Zuma Ridge parking lot and trailhead (please note that Busch Drive has a sharp right bend at 0.8 miles in from PCH). The house across the street is 5555 Busch Drive and you can use that for GPS.



The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Malibu Hiking Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in events. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY: This group, its organizer, assistant organizers, event organizers will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur carpooling to and from hikes, or for any injuries or accidents before, during, and after group hikes. If you sign up and come on this hike outing you are acknowledging that you freely and voluntarily assume all risks of injuries and damages and agree to participate in the hike/outing. No +1s or guests allowed at Malibu Hiking events. All attending must be group members.

All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.