Update on Park Closures
All NPS trails are open, w/the exception of part of the Satwiwa Loop Trail. Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa is only open sunrise to sunset. Point Mugu State Park re-opens 5/24. More »
Trucks on Cheeseboro Canyon Trail
Occasional truck traffic (approx 6 trips per day) will take place on Cheeseboro Cyn Trail weekdays between 8am & 4pm for demolition and removal of Cheeseboro Tank. Should be completed by 5/31/13. Check back for updates or call 818-889-8996. More »
Map and Site Information: Zuma and Trancas Canyons
Zuma! It is derived from the Chumash word for “abundance.” Certainly, Zuma and neighboring Trancas Canyons satisfy this description. The perennial streams running through these canyons give rise to an abundance of animal and plant life. These same natural resources have influenced and given rise to a long and rich cultural history.
While venturing through the canyons, look and listen for the signs of life around you. Walk carefully along the trails and discover tracks of deer, rabbit and coyote. Marvel at the delicate homes of funnel web spiders hiding in the earth’s tiny crevices. Listen for the shy wren-tit, the “voice of the chaparral.” Though rarely seen, its call sounds like a ping-pong ball echoing throughout the canyon.
For more than 10,000 years, Zuma and Trancas Canyons have been home to animal, plant and human communities. Chumash ancestors walked here, gathering food and materials for tools and shelter. During the Spanish period (1769-1848), a Mexican Land Grant united the canyons for the first time under one name—Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit. The 13,330 acre grant included coastal areas from Santa Monica to Point Mugu.
Frederick and May Rindge bought the property in 1892 and renamed it Rancho Malibu. They adopted a policy of no through roads and no right-of-way granted to trespassers. May Rindge continued this policy after her husband’s death. As the legendary “Queen of Malibu,” she depleted her fortune while trying to maintain the integrity of her property. Still, after twenty years, the U.S. Supreme Court forced her to allow the Pacific Coast Highway through her ranch.
This scenic highway made the area more accessible to a greater population, forever changing California’s coast. However, Zuma and Trancas Canyons remained minimally developed. Throughout their history, these canyons have had many names, many residents, and many owners. Preserved by the National Park Service, their zuma or their abundance of resources and beauty remain for you to experience.
Did You Know?
A core group of dedicated National Park volunteers, often laboring in the hot sun, built a native plant nursery from the ground up in 2002. Native plants, from the common Ceanothus to the endangered Lyons pygmy daisy germinated in this volunteer-run nursery will help restore disturbed habitat.