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.
dogs on leash
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.
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.
Beautiful views, easy trail yet turns and landscape keep it engaging and rewarding. Great for kids, too!
Love the bouldering session at the end! Favorite hike for me and my kids!
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.
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!
great hike. it was upper 90s on Sunday but the shaded trail made it fantastic.
Shaded for the most part, good excercise, very cool to Boulder on.
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...
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.
It was great. Easy but interesting. Not so many people, I love the sound of the running water:)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
So pretty! Well worth the trip we took to get there!