Hiked part of this trail when got lost off the Zuma Loop ... Lovely hike ... but lots of turns and biker ... so if you have a dog, keep them close ... though unlike other trails I have been on, bikers are super nice to let you know if other bikers are behind and aren't angry for sharing the trail (thx!!)
So I have to correct something I wrote in a previous review. I wrote that the view was only a water view. Well...that's incorrect. Turns out when there isn't a cloud bank you can see Catalina and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Really improves the view. Still doesn't last for very long but at least it's a better view. There still are better hikes for ocean views along the coast.
The trails out of this trailhead have one thing more prolific than most any other set of trails I've done ...horses. If you have children and they are enamored with horses bring them to Zuma Canyon. There is a local horseback outfitter that has a large trailer full of horses at the trailhead when I've recently hiked this on weekends as well as Friday.
Found the ocean view. On my previous visit I took the Rim Trail and it cuts off the loop before gaining the elevation needed to see the ocean, Not that good a view, I like coastline or islands and there definitely isn't coastline and it was too hazy to see any islands. There are some palm trees in one view...so that was nice. Much better views on other trails. Charmlee and Corral Canyon come immediately to mind. Other trails out of this trailhead probably have a view seeing that one is called Ocean View Trail.
Although I'll likely go back, this isn't one of my favorite trails. There may be a view from a short section at the highest points but I cut that section off on my hike and didn't see a single ocean view. When an LA county resident hears Zuma they think beach and ocean. Although a nice enough hike it doesn't have that assumed view. The bigger problem is the trail. In places the loose dirt and dust is extremely thick. There is evidence of considerable horse use and horses really tear up trails. Now I have no problem with sharing trails with horseback riders because they can positively influence construction and maintenance of trails. However, as summer progresses with no rain, the horses make the trails in sections seem like you're walking in sand.
VERY long trail and 1part hard to find because it veers off into a mountainside, OFF the official trail. That part is very hard to see. I ran into a couple of other hikers that didn't have gps or a trail map on their phone....they got lost :/ Beautiful views, but be warned...it's a long trail and this route scales a mountain on a hard to see path for a third of the trail.
Beautiful and scenic, the initial uphill is steady and steep but well worth the climb. The trail is very rutted and required us to walk on the sides. Despite that, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a pleasant 2 hour hike.
Working Counter clock wise, this is a great trail with lots of different terrains, Nice shady single track for most but a Long steady climb on a fire road and a Huge Climb with many switchbacks. The view up top is One of the many highlights along with a great creek that always seems to have water and lots of great falls and Boulders..... from there about .25 up the Trail you take a left t to continue the loop and it is kind of hard to spot..... you are only 2 miles from the trail head but its the hardest part of the hike . IMPORTANT when starting this new trail it will be vital you wear Long pants it is Narrow, rocky and bushy with the switchbacks that climb fast for over 1000+ feet It is quite a Unique trail in the Santa Monicas and well worth it.