Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Corral Canyon

Diminutive Corral Canyon Park is one of the newer parcels of open space to be added to the archipelago of public lands known as the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. A lazily looping hiking trail traverses the park’s grass- and chaparral-covered slopes, inviting your exploration on foot (no mountain bikes allowed, though).

The trailhead is obscure. To get there, you’ll need to be going westbound (up the coast from Santa Monica) through Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway. (There is no eastbound access to the trailhead.) At a point 0.6 mile east of Puerco Canyon Road, there’s a parking lot on the right for the Malibu Seafood and Deli restaurant, 25623 Pacific Coast Highway, which doubles as the Corral Canyon trailhead. If you reach Corral Canyon Road, you have gone 0.3 mile too far.

Check out the interpretive plaques at the trailhead and then take off on the trail, which begins by crossing a small area of willow scrub in the often-marshy bottom of Corral Canyon. On the far side, swing left. After 0.1 mile choose the trail on the right that will take you immediately uphill and counterclockwise on a two-mile loop. The beautifully graded pathway curls up a grassy hillside swept by fresh Pacific breezes. Hang-gliding humans on parasailing craft can often be seen drifting lazily to and fro along the shoreline, utilizing those same sea breezes.

At 0.8 mile, you reach a narrow ridge. A false trail goes right up along the top of that ridge, but you stay left, following a more gently graded trail that continues gaining elevation, going north, parallel to the canyon bottom below. By about 1.1 miles, at an elevation of 550 feet above sea level, there’s a sharp switchback. You swing left and initiate a zigzagging descent down into the canyon and then alongside the canyon bottom. Keep an eye on the sky for ravens, hawks, or vultures swooping, soaring, and gliding.

Nearing the end of the hike you pass a homesite — a cabin burned like so many others in this wildfire-prone region — with its forlorn chimney still standing. Shortly ahead, you come to the aforementioned split in the trail, a short distance shy of the trailhead.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Corral Canyon
Climb high above the Pacific Ocean on the trails of Malibu’s Corral Canyon Park.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 150 miles
Hiking length: 2.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Next Article

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

Friends from Earthless, The Blank Tapes, Howlin Rain, Warish, and others join in the fun

Diminutive Corral Canyon Park is one of the newer parcels of open space to be added to the archipelago of public lands known as the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. A lazily looping hiking trail traverses the park’s grass- and chaparral-covered slopes, inviting your exploration on foot (no mountain bikes allowed, though).

The trailhead is obscure. To get there, you’ll need to be going westbound (up the coast from Santa Monica) through Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway. (There is no eastbound access to the trailhead.) At a point 0.6 mile east of Puerco Canyon Road, there’s a parking lot on the right for the Malibu Seafood and Deli restaurant, 25623 Pacific Coast Highway, which doubles as the Corral Canyon trailhead. If you reach Corral Canyon Road, you have gone 0.3 mile too far.

Check out the interpretive plaques at the trailhead and then take off on the trail, which begins by crossing a small area of willow scrub in the often-marshy bottom of Corral Canyon. On the far side, swing left. After 0.1 mile choose the trail on the right that will take you immediately uphill and counterclockwise on a two-mile loop. The beautifully graded pathway curls up a grassy hillside swept by fresh Pacific breezes. Hang-gliding humans on parasailing craft can often be seen drifting lazily to and fro along the shoreline, utilizing those same sea breezes.

At 0.8 mile, you reach a narrow ridge. A false trail goes right up along the top of that ridge, but you stay left, following a more gently graded trail that continues gaining elevation, going north, parallel to the canyon bottom below. By about 1.1 miles, at an elevation of 550 feet above sea level, there’s a sharp switchback. You swing left and initiate a zigzagging descent down into the canyon and then alongside the canyon bottom. Keep an eye on the sky for ravens, hawks, or vultures swooping, soaring, and gliding.

Nearing the end of the hike you pass a homesite — a cabin burned like so many others in this wildfire-prone region — with its forlorn chimney still standing. Shortly ahead, you come to the aforementioned split in the trail, a short distance shy of the trailhead.

This article contains information about a publicly owned recreation or wilderness area. Trails and pathways are not necessarily marked. Conditions can change rapidly. Hikers should be properly equipped and have safety and navigational skills. The Reader and Jerry Schad assume no responsibility for any adverse experience.

Corral Canyon
Climb high above the Pacific Ocean on the trails of Malibu’s Corral Canyon Park.
Distance from downtown San Diego: 150 miles
Hiking length: 2.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tacos Lily: good enough for Anthony Bourdain!

I raise my Tecate to the Master.
Next Article

“Medicine Show” webcast showcases Mrs. Henry’s puppeteering

Friends from Earthless, The Blank Tapes, Howlin Rain, Warish, and others join in the fun
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close