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The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area encompasses a broad range of parks and publicly owned open space areas, ranging from 10,000-acre-plus state parks to tiny parcels situated to protect unusual natural habitat, or to preserve cultural and historic resources, or to allow public access to spectacular vistas. One example of the latter is the parcel known as the “Malibu Canyon Piuma Ridge.” There, high atop the rim of Malibu Canyon, you can take a short hike to a restful spot with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains spilling down toward it.

The hike is practically trivial, but getting there involves some adventurous driving on curvy roads. From Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, turn north on Las Flores Canyon Road. Proceed 3.4 miles to Rambla Pacifico, and turn right. Go 0.6 mile to Piuma Road and turn left. Now head west on Piuma for about three miles, and notice the Piuma roadside overlook on the left. The obscure starting point for the trail (a small parking area on the left side of the road) is 0.25 mile farther, at mile post 2.91. The little hike ahead is great for kids, and your leashed dog might appreciate the chance to sniff around a bit and enjoy the exciting scents of the natural world.

From the trailhead, follow a former roadbed (now a wide trail) that ascends the brushy slope. After only about 0.3 mile and 150 feet of elevation ascent, you arrive at a flattish, open area featuring two picnic tables and a virtually unlimited view. Gaze eastward to spot the dramatically tilted sandstone strata on the west flank of Saddle Peak. Look westward into Malibu Creek State Park and spot the dramatic profile of the Goat Buttes — a mini-mountain range of volcanic origin. Scan the ocean in the south to as far as the transparency of the air will allow. Those bumps out there in various directions are the Channel Islands, the nearest of which is Santa Catalina Island, about 45 miles away.

Piuma Overlook
Enjoy a wide-world view from Piuma Overlook in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 145 miles
Hiking length: 0.6 mile round trip
Difficulty: Easy

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Comments

SavetheReaganMeadow Sept. 30, 2009 @ 2:28 p.m.

Save the Reagan Meadow Near Piuma. We request your nonmonetary support. We are a grass roots nonprofit organization attempting to preserve the open space of the Historic Reagan Meadow. The Caifornia State Park Service and several special interest groups are trying to pave major portions of this wildlife corridor to create an unsightly Equestrian Campground and RV Park, adjacent to scenic Mulholland Highway, a state designated scenic drive. Save the Reagan Meadow for everyone to enjoy!

     http://www.savethemeadow.blogspot.com/
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SavetheReaganMeadow Nov. 9, 2009 @ 11:46 a.m.

Due to an outpouring of support to preserve the historic vistas of the Santa Monica Mountains, we now have a new website.

http://www.savethemeadow.com

Thanks to everyone who has expressed support for preserving the historic Reagan Meadow near the Piuma Overlook.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 9, 2009 @ 12:52 p.m.

Thanks for that Info.

It is a little bit far, and not easy driving, but I am going to hit Malibu within the next month and check this site out!

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