Grotto Trail

EASY 67 reviews
#1 of 13 trails in

Grotto Trail is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.7 miles 665 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Thousand Oaks, CA: Travel US 101 / Ventura Freeway east to Highway 23 / Westlake Boulevard. Head south on Hwy. 23 to Mulholland Highway. Turn right (west) and proceed to Yerba Buena Road to reach Circle X Ranch. Park at the Ranger Station on Yerba Buena Road and walk down to the Group Campground where trail begins.

19 days ago

Had a lot of fun. Went past the end of the grotto trail until we were completely off trail. Ended up finding a sign that said "Boundary Line" of the state park. Made it back just before night fall. The actual two small caves were great places to visit. 10/10 would hike again.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views, easy trail yet turns and landscape keep it engaging and rewarding. Great for kids, too!

2 months ago

3 months ago

Love the bouldering session at the end! Favorite hike for me and my kids!

hiking
4 months ago

Very scenic trail for the area it's in. The drought dried up most of the water so there's not much left once you actually reach the grotto, but it was still an enjoyable hike.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Short but fun. Start by parking at the Circle X Ranch. Then follow the signs down to the trail head. From there it takes you down into the valley below. Once at the area where the grotto is located, it takes some bouldering and climbing to actually get down to the grotto. You can make this hike as short or as long as you want. It all depends on how much exploring you feel up to doing. There was some stagnant water still down at the bottom. You can see newts and minnows. It was quite and lots of birds. Beware, just off trail there was quite a bit of poison oak. Remember: avoid leaves of three. For the most part the hike is in the shade. Overall I would consider this a pretty easy hike. As always, have fun and be safe!

5 months ago

great hike. it was upper 90s on Sunday but the shaded trail made it fantastic.

5 months ago

Shaded for the most part, good excercise, very cool to Boulder on.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

What I feel makes this trail a solid 5 is the fact that you can choose how easy or hard your trek will be! If you're out of shape, have children with you or are just looking for something quick and simple yet still with a beautiful view, you can stay on the initial trail and head back whenever you please. Feel like hopping, climbing and strategizing through rock formations? Well, Grotto Trail is perfect for that as well!

The only thing that was sort of unfortunate is the fact that there is hardly any water flowing downstream; although I feel that that is not something I can use to hold a star back from the trail. Still had a neat little waterfall with a slight cave.

Please enjoy responsibly! Saw some trash and graffiti throughout portions of the trail but not too much yet. Respect nature. Or else...

-Raymond

hiking
7 months ago

Magnificent! Took my four kiddos (12, 11, 9, 6) climbed rocks, descended into caves, looked n wonder at the underground caves and waterfall, and journeyed back fulfilled.

hiking
8 months ago

It was great. Easy but interesting. Not so many people, I love the sound of the running water:)

hiking
8 months ago

I would have given it more stars for the beauty of it all, as it certainly is that. Perfect place to introduce small children to hiking. and there are a lot of those, lots of people even on weekdays. trash and even graffiti. I started at Sandstone trail head to make it a perfect 5 mile in and out hike, and if you do this i HIGHLY recommend that route as the begining of the trail leading to Grotto trail is VERY nice....again trash and what not,. Beware - I tried to make a loop out of it and catch the trail up and around back to the campground from the other side, the maps say they connect but i looked hard and could not see a trail connecting..... If you hike the Santa Monica's its a trail everyone should do at least once, preferable on a weekday, when school is in session..... or with your kids for a family hike. the next time i go will be after 4 straight days of rain.... So i doubt i will ever get back.

hiking
8 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Malibu and it's absolutely beautiful. It has a little of everything, from walking through the forest to along a river and up and over boulders into caves. This is a great experience I hope you enjoy!

hiking
8 months ago

Fun, short hike. Grotto was cool. If I hadn't been hiking alone, I would have loved to take on more bouldering and follow it down further.

hiking
8 months ago

This is a great 3 mile hike/walk. The scenery is beautiful. Unfortunately, I was not expecting the challenge of the giant boulders at the end... right before you get to the grotto and because I was by myself, It was more of a challenge than I was comfortable with.

hiking
9 months ago

I took my 4 kids fom the ages of 5 -8 and they were all able to do this hike, of course along with many breaks. My kids had a great time and even asked me to take them back.

hiking
9 months ago

So pretty! Well worth the trip we took to get there!

9 months ago