Most of us in Ventura County take Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road down to PCH from time to time. We look up and feel dwarfed by the canyons of the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains. What do these canyons look like from the hills above? Well make your way up Piuma Road in Malibu to find out!
Piuma Road is the road we pass as we're driving to the beach, but rarely stop to think about....unless we're driving to Saddlepeak Lodge for a great meal. And daring cyclists and motorcyclists may know about this winding, hilly joy ride to the ocean. But rarely do the rest of us give it a thought as we're busily navigating our way down Malibu Canyon Road.
Well if you're looking to take in some eye popping, panoramic views of Malibu Canyon down to Malibu Lagoon, towards Catalina Island looking south, as well as the Las Virgenes Valley on the other side, take a detour up Piuma Road. From the corner of Malibu Canyon Road and Piuma Road to several overlooks is about 4 1/2 miles. Whoever is driving better concentrate because, as you can see, the road is very winding, the elevation rises to 1500' and the views are jaw dropping.
There are several overlooks where you can stop and park your car. The first one gives you a straight-on view of Malibu Canyon Road and the second provides views of the coastline towards Santa Monica.
About a 1/4 mile before you reach these overlooks, you'll pass the Malibu Canyon Piuma Ridge area, which has a small picnic area. The views of the canyons will take your breath away. The map below, courtesy of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, shows this Ridge area in relation to the overlooks. Don't drive too fast as it is easy to pass by.
Piuma Ridge and Overlook Map excerpt courtesy of Santa Monica Mountains ConservancyAfter you take in the views at the Ridge and/or overlooks, you can either head back or drive another six winding miles to PCH via Las Flores Canyon Road, where you end up at Duke's Malibu.
If you can handle the sound of my noisy kids, here's some footage from the Piuma Overlooks: