If you are feeling the need to escape the city of Los Angeles for a day, then head north on the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. There are plenty of hiking trails and beautiful beaches that will leave you feeling refreshed. As you drive up the highway, you will see surfers catching some waves to your left and the Santa Monica Mountains to your right.
A coworker of mine recommended I go to Point Mugu State Park and hike the Ray Miller Trail. To get there drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway and take the La Jolla/Point Mugu State Park exit. The road will take you directly to a small parking lot, which costs only $8 for the day. The trail is a fairly leisure hike totaling approximately five miles.
The five mile trail is an out-and-back, but if the La Jolla Trail is open and you are a more adventurous hiker you can continue on an 11 mile loop. The La Jolla Trail was closed so my friends and I followed the zigzagging Ray Miller Trail until we reached the top where we saw the Santa Monica Mountains rolling eastward and the beautiful infinite blue ocean continuing westward.
Due to a fire (not sure when it had occurred) most of the trees and bushes were burnt up leaving most of the scenery to be black and brown. By the end of the hike my black running shoes were covered in dust leaving them a light caramel color. Fortunately, I could tell some trees were beginning to shed the black burnt bark revealing bright white fresh bark.
Don’t let the lack of green deter you from visiting this trek, because it was beautiful and the hike provides some killer views. Once again, while hiking in California I felt like a tiny creature among nature. I’m just not used to it since I am from the Midwest. Here is a list of more hiking options in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.
After your hike, if you have time, plan on packing a lunch for the day and drive to one of the Malibu beaches. I wish my friends and I had had time to stop at Thornhill Broome beach across from the sand dune. The sand dune is a steep sandy hill along the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s impossible to miss as you drive north to Point Mugu State Park. Grab a picnic table and enjoy your lunch as you watch surfers catch the waves and people awkwardly climbing the sand hill. Here is a list of more beaches in Malibu.
My time in SoCal is quickly coming to an end, so I’ll definitely be fitting in as much hiking as possible. Let me know if you want to join me!