8.5 MRT – Moderate (1,750′ elevation gain/loss)
DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAILHEAD:
In Simi Valley, take Highway 118 west to Highway 23; take Highway 23 south to Highway 101. Take Highway 101 6.25 miles “south” (toward L.A.) to the Kanan Road exit Turn right, (toward the ocean) on Kanan Road, and drive 6 miles to its intersection with Mulholland Highway [you will have driven through two tunnels]. Continue through the intersection staying on Kanan Dume Road (same road, different name). Drive 1.7 miles to a very nice paved parking lot on the right side of the road (just before you reach the 3rd tunnel which is named Tunnel #1).
Our hike will begin in the parking lot near Tunnel #1 where the Backbone Trail (BBT) crosses Kanan-Dume Road. As we head west along the Backbone Trail we’ll descend into the lower end of Newton Canyon which is lined with ferns and other lush vegetation. Not long after the trail crosses Newton Canyon Creek, we’ll take a spur trail and look for a 25-foot waterfall. We’ll then continue along the BBT in Upper Zuma Canyon to the abandoned Zuma Ridge Motorway which we’ll follow as it climbs to a point near Buzzard’s Roost at the crest of Zuma Ridge. We’ll return the way we came.