Featuring Southern California's premier hiking trails

Follow us!
FaceBook Twitter

La Jolla Valley and Canyon Loop

Ranking :
County : Los Angeles
City : Malibu
Terrain : Mountain, Peak, Valley
Difficulty : Average
Camping : Yes
Fishing : No
Historic : No
Length : 7.00 miles
MountainRange : Santa Monica Mountains
TrailType : Loop
Access : Dogs Allowed, Family Friendly
Water : Creek, Lake, Ocean, Waterfall
Exposure : Some Trees and Shady Areas - Not much
Description :
This is hike seems to have something for everyone and is definitely one of my favorites. You’ll start off on the Ray Miller Trail where you’ll begin your ascent up right side of the canyon to Overlook Trail. As you make your way up you have great views of the Pacific Ocean and Pt. Mugu to the North and the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground to the south. Once on Overlook Trail you’ll have some fantastic views of Boney Mountain and Big Sycamore Canyon off to the East. You’ll be a peak elevation at this point. Further up the trail, as you start to make your way to the La Jolla Valley Loop Trail, you’ll have large sweeping views into La Jolla Canyon off to the West. This is where having a GPS can be a big help to you as you won’t be on this trail long before you’ll meet up with the La Jolla Canyon trail and start heading South down into the canyon. Depending on the time of year you’ll either pass a pond and or a puddle of muck. This is my favorite section of the hike as the vegetation really gets thick through here and you’ll run into all sorts of native wildflowers as you head into the canyon. Half way into the canyon the rock walls will start to get tighter and the trail will start to narrow. In this section you’ll see the Giant Coreopsis growing everywhere. These plants look like they’re from another plant as they have tall trunks (some up to 10 ft high) and what looks be green mop heads. If you’re hiking in April or May they’ll be blooming in brilliant yellow and you will blown away at how incredible they look. Along the opposite wall of the canyon find an old Indian Cave that’s a bit tricky and a somewhat dangerous to get to. On your way out of the canyon you’ll pass by a creek and a waterfall. The time of year and how much rain we’ve gotten really determines how dramatic the water features will be. On your way out you’ll find bathrooms with running water. Parking is $8 (bring cash) or you can park on PCH for free and walk in, which is what we did. Bring plenty of water!

Directions :
You’ll find the entrance to La Jolla Canyon is 15 miles south of Oxnard on Pacific Coast Highway (1). It’s between Pt. Mugu and the Thornhill Broome Beach Campground. Checkout the Google maps link on the details page and you can probably get more detailed instructions from there. When you’re finished hiking I would strongly suggest heading south down PCH to Neptune’s Net for a cold beer and some lunch.