From time to time we take Kanan Road in Agoura Hills to Malibu for quick access to Zuma Beach, Westward Beach and Point Dume State Beach as well as Escondido Canyon Park, Paradise Cove and other great outdoor spots in Malibu.
From the 101, Kanan Road is about 12 miles from Pacific Coast Highway and takes roughly 15 minutes without traffic. Something that has always puzzled me is why it is called Kanan Road all the way from its juncture with North Westlake Boulevard in Thousand Oaks to the 101, through Oak Park and Agoura Hills, down to its intersection with Mulholland Highway in Malibu and then becomes Kanan Dume Road.
Runaway Truck Escape Ramp
The southernmost section of Kanan Dume Road is particularly steep, with an 8% grade over three miles. My kids always ask about the "Escape Ramp" at the bottom of Kanan Dume Road at its intersection with PCH.
The Truck Escape Ramp was built in 1987 after a series of crashes and resulting deaths due to runaway trucks. The escape ramp, or arrester bed, is an 800 foot long, pit in the middle lane of the road filled 2 1/2 feet deep with gravel. The allowable weight limit for trucks on Kanan Dume was also dropped in 1987 from 14,000 to 8,000 lbs.
The arrester bed was renovated in 2014 to make it wider and improve signage. Thankfully we have never seen the escape ramp used, but it is there if it is ever needed.
There are three tunnels on Kanan Dume Road between Latigo Canyon Road and PCH built in the late 1960s to early 1980s. They are affectionately referred to as T-1, T-2 and T-3. T-3 is two-lane tunnel located at approximately 1142-1208 Kanan Road in Agoura Hills, roughly five miles from Highway 101. A short distance later, you will drive through T-2, located just northeast of Rocky Oaks Park. About 2 1/2 miles from T-2 is the T-1 tunnel, just south of the Newton Canyon Backbone Trail trailhead.