Where mountains collide with ocean, it’s hard to go wrong in the search for perfect views. What makes Malibu’s Corral Canyon stand out is its raw nature—coastal sage scrub and willows clinging to parched hills, plus the occasional bunny or lizard—experienced over a 2.4-mile, fairly gentle and shockingly deserted (on a weekday afternoon) hike.
As the trail begins, the noise of PCH and the sea breeze follow you up. But things quiet down—and heat up—quickly on this shadeless trail. Hang a left at the first fork—this way you can face the ocean during your descent. Cutting through wild fennel and rust-colored grasses, the packed dirt path leads you on switchbacks along the east side and top of Corral Canyon. The descent toward the ocean has sweeping views of Santa Monica beaches all the way to Point Dume that are more than easy on the eyes.
Dawn to dusk