Ridgeline walk with ocean views above the Pacific Coast Highway


Analysing terrain data

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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


For a dose of nature and a breath of fresh air in the hills above the Pacific Coast Highway, make the scenic side trip to Tuna Canyon Park.

Its handful of trails roll along ridges that tumble down to the sea along the quiet stretch of coast between Santa Monica and Malibu. The entrance is a nondescript dirt road off Tuna Canyon Drive, near the hillside community of Fernwood.

Park in wide dirt pullouts on either side of the pavement, then walk up the dirt road past a closed gate to enter the park.

The trails are a network of fire roads that total only a few miles, but you can see a lot in a short distance here.

Shrubby chaparral allows expansive vistas from the ridgelines. Trails are open to bikes as well, but Budwood Motorway is one of the best for hiking (though it’s named “motorway,” it is closed to motorized vehicles).

It’s not as wide as surrounding fire roads, and it narrows down to little more than a footpath as you get farther out along the ridge.

You’ll trend generally downward and southward toward the ocean, with great views in both directions along the coast. On this trail, it’s possible to continue all the way down to the highway, but the path becomes steep and much harder to follow.

Turn around when you’ve had your fill, and make the uphill walk back the way you came. Sources: https://trails.lacounty.gov/Trail/105/Budwood-Motorway https://trails.lacounty.gov/Trail/393/tuna-canyon-main-entrance-trail https://silenthiker.com/5-16-12-tuna-canyon-park/