Great LA Drives : Canyon Carving above Malibu

FIESTA ST test route
Canyon Carving route above Malibu, click to embiggen

If you know me, you know by now I’m a car guy.  Not trucks, suv’s or anything else with 4 wheels.  Cars.  Cars that handle well and are fun get my blood pumping. Yesterday was just such a day.

If you were terrorized by a bunch of new Fiesta STs yesterday, it was me and I apologize.

Got a hot hatch of your own and want some fun? Take the route I took yesterday starting in Santa Monica into the hills and canyons above Malibu.  The route is just drop dead gorgeous with the Cornell Winery as a mid point in the route to stop for some libations and just catch your breath.  It will take you up PCH from SaMo to Malibu where you make an abrupt right up Malibu Canyon, across Mulholland and then down Decker Canyon to Leo Carillo State Beach.  About an hour for each leg if you follow the entire route.

What you get on the route is some really exciting hills and curves to test your driving ability.  I’ve done a similar route in the past and on non-school days you do need to have your wits about you are there are kids on skate boards running the canyon without regard to lane maintenance.  And bicycles.  All that is part of the territory I guess, weekdays are the best bet for canyon carving when traffic is light and the kids are in school.

hot hatches in the wild
hot hatches in the wild at Leo Carillo State Beach

I love Mulholland the best on the route.  Lots of good straight aways and sweeping curves with little traffic.  Malibu Canyon does have truck traffic which slows traffic way down and takes the fun out of a hot hatch.  Decker Canyon is my second favorite.  With little to no traffic on it you can row the gears and mash the gas/brake to your hearts content and see what your car is really capable of.  If you have a passenger, make sure they don’t get car sick or take dramamine first as the road is that twisty.  Seriously, in the group I was with we had one person at the drivers change point who had to get out and sit on the curb with their heads between their knees trying to ride it out.

If you love awesome scenery and a break from traffic I highly recommend this drive, even if you don’t have a hot hatch to appreciate it to its max.  (If you want to read about the car you can read about it HERE).

3 thoughts on “Great LA Drives : Canyon Carving above Malibu”

    1. From the Santa Monica, basically intersection of Colorado and Ocean its about 80 miles round trip if you follow the directions and mileposts exactly.

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