La Jolla Canyon Loop Trail [CLOSED]

MODERATE 93 reviews
#20 of 22 trails in

La Jolla Canyon Loop Trail [CLOSED] is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,230 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching




wild flowers



no dogs

*La Jolla Canyon trail closed on the left section of the hike from the trailhead due to storm damage.* Spectacular ocean views, lovely rolling valley, inspiring peak, little pond The trail starts out along the relatively easy La Jolla Canyon, moving through a little canyon carved by the stream running down the canyon. After about a mile and a half, rolling hills and grasslands of La Jolla Valley will spread out before you. You will see a lovely pond on you left, then will head west across the entire expanse of the valley. During the spring, this valley covered with wildflowers. At about the 4 mile mark, the trail begins to swing around the north flank of mugu peak, eventually traversing along the steep hillside facing the ocean. This is a breathtaking section of trail with wonderful views of the ocean and the Navy base. At about 6 miles you will find a cutoff trail that take you up to the top of the 1266 foot Mugu peak. There are great views of both the ocean and La Jolla Valley, and even an inspiring American flag flying. After enjoying the peak, rejoin the main trail for an easy 2 mile trek back to the car.

9 months ago

The trail is technically closed from a rock slide caused by rain (see photos) but the loop is a fantastic trail with mountain and sea views.

washed out
10 months ago

Okay, just finished a quick hike/run. started through the Ray Miller trailhead, and took the trail 2.4 mile closed trail back. the Ray Miller trail is in mint condition, and with all these recent rains, everything was lush and beautiful. the Last Jolla Valley Trail Camps are looking gorgeous, and I cannot wait to use them! Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to see if any of the creeks were running nearby, but the pond at the beginning of the 2.4 mile trail was full, and a small stream trickled from it down the canyon. About halfway down, where the closed trail meets the waterfall/clifside, the trail is COMPLETELY washed out. The recent storms I mentioned earlier have wiped out everything here, and it was only due to some light scrambling that I was able to finish the trail.

Mon Jun 04 2018

Es un Lugar hermoso y divertido nosotros subimos por el camino incorrecto y esta muy peligroso por que subimos la Montaña y esta todo muy resbaloso gracias a dios todas llegamos bien es mejor empezar por chumas y empezar por la Jolla y salir a Reymiller

Fri Apr 27 2018

Beautiful and fun

Sun Mar 18 2018

Loop is closed. Assuming walk-in campground is part of closure too? I looked all over for it. Took Ray Miller 2.7 mile trail to the fire road. Never found LaJolla walk-in camp.

Thu Jul 27 2017

La Jolla Canyon trail closed on the left section of the hike from the trailhead due to storm damage.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Hiked 2 times with Veterans and volunteers. Beautiful scenery. Nice resting areas with shade.

Mon Apr 10 2017

La Jolla Canyon falls still has a small flow and is beautiful to see after all the drought. Be aware that getting up the falls will require some Class 4 climbing skills and you will need to know how to rappel with proper gear if doing this route counter clockwise.

Mon Mar 13 2017

Hiked up the canyon to the waterfall which has been washed out. Climbed up the side of the waterfall with a rope that someone had secured. Wasn't too difficult. Then finished the loop. Keep in mind if you are hiking counterclockwise because your have to scale the 25 ft section on the way down.

Sun Mar 12 2017

Good uphill climb, followed by a steady trail running loop

Sat Jan 28 2017

Really nice hike went through amazing views and adventure

Fri Jan 06 2017

The whole area is beautiful - and quite windy! This is the second time we camped and Thrornhill-Broome beach... and the second time we had the tents flatten on our faces during overnight winds. I was originally going to do this hike until we saw the notice of the closed section. I'm attaching a photo of the posting. The section that is closed is from the trailhead left section to the first intersection with another trail - or on the AllTrails map which has you loop counterclockwise, basicly the 9 o'clock to 6 o'clock section is closed.

Sun Jan 01 2017

This is a beautiful trail with a variety of terrain, including mountains, canyons, and ocean views. Take heed of the closure signs. It's no joke. Even the Ray Miller trail can loop around to the canyon trail and it's almost 7 miles where you will find yourself at a drop off that you will have to climb down or turn back.

Mon Oct 10 2016

There's a sign at the entrance of the trail (posted January of 2015) that says a 1.14 mile section of this hike has been deemed "too dangerous" and has been closed. I ended up taking another trail. I couldn't tell how this would affect the loop.

Thu Sep 15 2016

No biking

Tue Sep 06 2016

Is a nice trail, great view!

Sun Sep 04 2016

Checked this trail head out today. Trail head is clearly marked No Dogs! Not a good sign to see when you have a dog in the back seat, ready to hike.

Thu Jun 02 2016

The trail is closed for the last couple of miles. I had to turn around making this an 18 mile hike. The views were nice some of the way but a lot of it was just fire roads.

Wed Jun 01 2016

It was tough but worth if

Sat Mar 19 2016

It was tough but doable.

Sun Mar 13 2016

Not easy but well worth the effort. One of the most spectacular views ever

Fri Feb 05 2016

I did this hike by myself one morning. It was an easy hike, although careful with mosquitos. It's a nice, isolated trail. You can take the Ray Miller trail on the way back, although the rock is loose due to erosion from the wildfires.

Tue Aug 18 2015

I did this hike last year with about 15 folks from my church and it was great. This weekend my family and I did the Ray Millet trail first, connected to the overlook Fire road trail and then to the la jolla loop to find that it's closed off after the pond. It was disappointing to not see any notices of the closed trail until we were almost at the end of our extended hike. We had to back track almost 5 hours back the way we came. It was a lesson learned to be prepared for the unexpected. So to all who read this the La Jolla trail is closed.

Sat Jun 20 2015

Great hike for a morning or afternoon. There is a pretty steep trail going up the mountain. Once you are up there you get rewarded with stunning scenery and landscape. Make sure you hike the plateau as well (Valley loop trail). We had it all to ourselves. You get to experience nature at its best. The smell of the wildflowers and sounds of the birds, in addition to the landscape make for a very enjoyable hike. Be careful going downhill since it is mostly sand and can be slippery in spots. I went with my wife and a 15 year old boy and girl. We all liked it.

Mon Sep 08 2014

Very interesting trail to run and hike. This loop is used as the 11K course of the Xterra Point Mugu race. The start going either direction, about a mile, is fairly steep with the middle section rolling. The side that is close to the ocean can be covered in fog or low clouds, but by the time you are a mile inland, or high enough, it's blue skies above and the sun very strong. Quite enjoyable and challenging but can be done by those new to trail running.

Thu Sep 04 2014

Such a beautiful area and a great hike. Challenging enough to be able to call it a workout but not so much so you can't enjoy a good conversation. Not overly crowded and plenty of solitude.

Tue Jul 15 2014

I hiked up here from the chumash TH on PCH and did a loop through the la jolla plateau. It was SUPER windy up in the flats which I was not expecting. Top that off with recently toasted vegetation and it was a strange hike. Should be getting better as time passes (as these things do) but don't expect a fully populated area up here.

Tue Apr 22 2014

My husband and I are new hikers, this is our 3rd hike after two 3 mile jaunts. It was moderately difficult, there were portions that were steep enough to take frequent breaks (if only because the elevation change catches your breath) and the .3 up to the flag and sign in area is pretty much straight up. It was worth it though for the view up at the top. We started the hike at the Ray Miller Trailhead and ended at the Naval Base, the only problem is walking back to your car is along Pacific Coast Highway and the jarring change from quiet clean air to cars is a little rough. Other than that I think we were both feeling really accomplished and proud of ourselves. I would say make sure you have water and a hat on as there is not much shade.**Also make sure to take a pen if you want to sign the Sierra Log! There was nothing to write with at the top!**

Mon Dec 30 2013

Hiked this as a quick afternoon hike from the Chumash Trailhead. It was ~4.5 miles with just over 1000' elevation gain. The first mile is brutal...I then took a right at the top for the more gradual incline up to the peak. There's a flag and a sierra club log at the top with spectactular views of the mountains, the navy base and of course the ocean and channel islands from most of the trail. Often foggy down here.

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