Past Meetup

Newton Canyon Trailhead Kanan Dume To Zuma Ridge (Fast-Paced Conditioning Hike)

This Meetup is past

13 people went

Newton Canyon Trailhead

1600 S Kanan Dume Rd · Malibu, CA

How to find us

My cell is 818.618.7897 and I have a Blue X5

Location image of event venue


Last week of 5:30pm hikes...
Return of The Instigator also....
Plan is to hike through the canyon on the Backbone Trail to the fire road and then up to the high point just north of the Buzzards Roost Ranch. We'll stop and return from there, for a rolling and athletic hike of about 8 miles and 1800 feet of gain. Due to length of hike and timing, we will over at a fast clip to reach the peak

Please note that the guest feature is not activated for this meetup. On all my hikes, I expect everyone coming to have signed up themselves, read the write-up, and arrive informed and prepared.

Hope to see you on the trails,


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!

Special thanks to Mark L for showing me this hike and for most of the details.

Kanan Dume Road to Zuma Ridge

Hike Type: Conditioning

Level: Intermediate

Route Type: Out & back

Distance: 7-8 miles

Elevation gain:[masked] feet

Terrain: Double & single-file trail, fire road

Dogs allowed: Yes

Route summary:

Our hike will take us 7-8 miles roundtrip on a beautiful part 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 Kanan Dume Road and goes westerly on the Backbone Trail, crossing through and then out of Zuma Canyon. The winding canyon trail is sheltered for the first 2.5 miles, and offers views of Newton Falls and Upper Zuma Falls along the way, but then rises up out of the canyon as it reaches the Zuma Ridge Trail. Total gain is about 600 feet.

We will then continue on the Zuma Ridge Trail, which turns south and ascends sharply about 1.5 miles and 800 feet up to Buzzard’s Roost Ranch, affording increasing panoramic views along its route. We will travel on Zuma Ridge Trail as long as time permits, and stop to take in the spectacular Pacific views before returning by the same route. The terrain is a mix of single and double-file trail and open fire road.

About half our hike is wooded and shaded canyon trails, but the route gives way to open hillsides and ridgelines, before reaching an open area over the Pacific. Since we begin on the floor of Zuma Canyon 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.


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.


Free parking is available at our meet-up location.

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


From the 101 – exit at Kanan Road and drive south (toward the ocean) 7.8 miles, going through two of the three tunnels on this road (which changes name to Kanan Dume Road). Turn right into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, just before entering the third tunnel.

From PCH – turn up South Kanan Dume Road. Drive 4.4 miles from PCH, going through one tunnel, and then take a left into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, almost immediately after coming out of the tunnel.



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 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 judgement 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 Meetup Group events. All attending must be group members.

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