Set in the southernmost mountains of the Transverse Ranges, the Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve is located in the Cold Creek watershed of Malibu Creek, perhaps the most pristine and biologically diverse watershed in the Santa Monica Mountains. Cold Creek itself flows year-round through the reserve. Smaller tributaries of Cold Creek additionally provide the reserve with a well-developed corridor of riparian habitat. Primary habitats include chaparral, coast live oak woodland, and annual grasslands. Overall, there are more than 300 vascular plant species, including the state-endangered Pentachaeta lyonii, a rare member of the sunflower family. The reserve also harbors an abundance of fauna, particularly birds, and two rare reptile species: the San Diego horned lizard and the San Diego Mountain kingsnake. All of Stunt Ranch burned in 1993, but has recovered well. The site
My dog and I went on this hike just before sunrise and the fog was amazing. It filled the canyon, which made for some pretty awesome sights. The hike itself was not hard in the least bit, but good views for the entirety of it. Also, it wasn't loud at all, and I only saw one other person on the trail.. All I heard was the chirping of birds; granted, I was there pretty early. Anyway, I would recommend it, especially for a sunrise hike!
Enough has been said about the Grade, its not that bad, its all fire road and too many houses around. Geologically its a fascinating trail and that fact makes it worth it.
At the top for a snack all you hear is the 101 freeway constant roar, sirens, dogs barking and really kills any affect of escape.... not my cup of tea, but worth doing once. I put on a 25 pound pack and went down to Redrock canyon then back, then to the top, my Legs are sore so it was good.
Decent out and back trail, with several approaches to the summit, I started on Stunt Road. Happy I did this in January, as with many LA trails, not much shade. The final 2/3mile was a bit steep but short enough it isn't too tiring. Good views from the peak, however the actual drive up had some more spectacular ocean overlooks. Very few people on the trail which was great, and some fun rock formations to looks around off the side of the trail.
Good aerobic workout with a moderate but steady uphill is an understatement. The grade for the last mile to the summit averages 16%. That's steep. For short distances the grade is 20% or more. If you're in excellent condition the adjectives good and moderate may apply but I'd substitute strenuous and significant. The views, as stated, are wonderful...maybe even spectacular. I did the hike when the distant mountains were capped with snow. Go on a cool day, take it slow, enjoy the views, and most people in good condition can make the summit. Remember, it's not a race.
This hike is really beautiful. Once you get to the top, the 360 degree views are amazing and there is an old military box full of letters and trinkets people leave when they reach the top. It's a great place to get away and enjoy solitude. I only saw one person during my hike. There are lots of little areas to explore as well. Really fun hike.
We actually did more than an out and back ... We actually took a spur trail back down to mulholland thanks to geocaching. Was a great point to point that way. Started at stunt road and end on mulholland. Steep in beginning and awesome vista views from the peak. And mostly down hill from there.