Quake Malibu

    Malibu is a beach city in the Santa Monica Mountains region of Los Angeles County, Ca…
    Malibu is a beach city in the Santa Monica Mountains region of Los Angeles County, California, situated about 30 miles west of Downtown Los Angeles. It is known for its Mediterranean climate and its 21-mile strip of the Malibu coast, incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu. The exclusive Malibu Colony has been historically home to Hollywood celebrities. People in the entertainment industry and other affluent residents live throughout the city, yet many residents are middle class. Most Malibu residents live from a half-mile to within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway, which traverses the city, with some residents living up to one mile away from the beach up narrow canyons. As of the 2020 census, the city population was 10,654.


    One of Several Scrambling Trails
    Newton Canyon Falls was one of those waterfalls that somehow eluded us many years ago on our first attempt. But after finding it recently, we wondered how on earth we managed to miss it. Newton Canyon Falls Maybe it had something to do with the fact that our previous attempt occurred in late Spring during a pretty dry Winter so perhaps it wasn’t flowing back then. Nonetheless, on our most recent visit in 2010, we came during early Spring after a very wet Winter so for sure we weren’t going to miss it this time around! This waterfall was somewhat hidden from the Backbone Trail alongside the Kanan Road, which links Hwy 1 to the 101 Freeway through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Hiking and Scrambling to Newton Canyon Falls After parking the car, we followed the Backbone Trail downhill past a creek and towards a trail sign at a fork. Julie ducking branches from overgrowth on a narrower trail of use after leaving the Backbone Trail and pursuing the Newton Canyon Falls Since the Kanan Road was perched alongside and above the Backbone Trail during this stretch, it was quite noisy given the amount of traffic that the road sees. In any case, at the fork, the Backbone Trail continued to the right, but we took the trail of use to the left. After a minute or two on this branch trail, we had to look for one of several scrambling trails that branched to the left. With some trial and error to find the scrambling route that we were most comfortable with, we eventually reached the bottom where we immediately were next to a stream. Next, we pretty much scrambled our way upstream which involved going over some deadfalls and termite-rotted trees. At the bottom of a scramble, Julie and I then had to stream scramble our way upstream to the bottom of Newton Canyon Falls After a couple of minutes of this, we were right before the base of Newton Canyon Falls. The total hiking distance for just this falls was about a mile round trip, which was both short and sweet. Extending the Excursion to Zuma Canyon Falls There were actually more waterfalls in the area, but we didn’t have the time to do them nor did we feel like partaking in additional scrambling. As suggested in our California Waterfalls book, we could have followed the stream downstream towards the top of more cascades eventually getting to another 25ft waterfall known as Zuma Falls. Plus, had we continued on the Backbone Trail, we could’ve seen the Upper Zuma Falls which was dry on our first visit. Julie on the initial stretch along the Backbone Trail, where we could have taken it beyond the spur use trails to Newton Canyon Falls and continue towards Zuma Canyon Falls After 2.5 miles on the Backbone Trail, we could’ve ultimately connected with the Encinal Canyon Road. Authorities Newton Canyon Falls resides in the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area near Malibu in Los Angeles County, California. It is administered by the the MCRA as well as the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the MCRA website or NPS website.
    Hike to Newton & Zuma Canyon Falls
    This few mile hike will take you to 3 amazing lesser known waterfalls in the Santa Monica mountains National Recreational Area. Three waterfalls in one short hike?!...I'll take it! That's what you'll get if you make the visit to these falls in the Santa Monica mountains in Malibu. The trailhead starts on Kanan Dume road, which is also where the Backbone trail meets. Park in the designated parking area and take the vegetated downhill trail about.2 miles until you get to an unmarked junction. Take the trail to the left for another.2 miles which will lead you to a vertical 25-foot hidden waterfall. Once making your way down to the base of the falls, soak up the scenery and get a few shots. From here is where the fun begins!To see the other two waterfalls, be prepared to rock hop downstream. There's no immediate trail, so your only option is to hike through the water or scramble across the rocks. Hike your way downstream towards Lower Newton Canyon Falls. You'll know when you've arrived because the end of the stream will take you to a sheer cliff which is the top of Lower Newton falls. From here take the slightly beaten trail to the left and make your way on a steep downhill slope to the base of the 30-foot waterfall. I personally enjoyed this fall a bit more then Upper Newton Falls. The forecast and composition made for great photographs. Another couple hundred feet is where Zuma and Newton creeks join. Stay right for another 5-10 minutes until you get to Zuma Canyon Falls. Note: I learned my lesson the hard way after being careless hiking through some brush of poison oak, so cover up and be careful! Zuma Falls is only about 23-feet tall, but this was my favorite of the three. So I guess you can say the waterfalls just keep getting better and better!...lol. This has a spectacular setting with the falls dropping over a sandstone ledge and surrounded by large caves. On a warm day, feel free to take a dip in the water! When done, make your way back the way you came. Have fun and happy trails!


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    Data from: Wikipedia