Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 133 reviews

Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.8 miles 1551 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular Echo Cliffs where rock climbers ascend shear cliffs, a house sized boulder delicately balanced on a small rock beneath, a giant split rock where kids can dash between the sheer walls, stunning giant sandstone formations, and breathtaking views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point. Highly recommended.

2 days ago

Beautiful views of the ocean and Ventura County. Loved all the trees and plant life along the trail.

20 days ago

1 month ago

Definitely a good hike for beginners. It has a good incline at parts and some loose ground so running isn't ideal. Beautiful views but also very little shade. BEST part is if you climb up the rock wall to get to the peak at the end. However there are stairs to the top as well.

hiking
2 months ago

A very easy hike with some beautiful scenic trails that take you around the loop to sandstone peak. At the first junction you have a choice of either going up the hard path (which is a much steeper incline to Sandstone Peak) or doing the longer loop (but much more scenic route) to sandstone peak and decline back to the parking lot.

2 months ago

Awesome views. Excellent Hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I've always thought the Santa Monica Mountains were kinda blah....Solstice Canyon being totally trashed w/graffiti, trash, and random parties going on w/loud music around the ruins....although it does offer nice ocean views, it just felt like any other "city hike." Boy was I WRONG though. The Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak is absolutely GORGEOUS! The road to get to the trailhead is pretty gnarly and narrow so if you're not used to mountain driving it may bring some sweat to your hands & a faster heart rate. I've tried getting there from both PCH & the freeway, and both are gnarly. The parking lot is very easy to find as there is a fairly large sign that says "Sandstone Peak Trailhead." Pit toilets are available at the parking lot. This trail is quite busy during the weekend but has way less traffic on the weekdays.

After climbing a little less than 0.5 miles, the trail splits: making a right will take you to the Mishe Mokwa trail (longer but gradual incline) and making a left will take you to Sandstone Peak (shorter & steeper grade). I always make a right and follow the Mishe Mokwa trail and do a loop. Doing the loop is about 6.5 to 7 miles, depending on which places you decide to visit. I DEFINITELY recommend doing the Mishe Mokwa trail instead of going directly to Sandstone Peak since you will be missing out on SO much beautiful scenery! You will have a chance to see Split Rock, have the option to go visit the Balancing Rock, and also have the opportunity to check out Tri Peaks. Inspiration Point is another beautiful stop before reaching Sandstone Peak. It's not as crowded as Sandstone Peak and yet has the 360 view of the surrounding area. Highly recommend stopping here.

Lots of solitude if you can come during the weekdays. The trail is fairly exposed so I probably wouldn't do this in hot weather. The terrain is very rugged in certain sections with lots of loose rocks...not the best trail when you have an IT band and ankle problem. Coming down from Sandstone Peak to the main trail may be a challenge if you don't have shoes with good traction.

Total Miles - 7.1 miles (stopping by Tri-Peaks)
Total Elevation - 1,621 ft

Adventure Pass is not required to park. Dogs allowed on leash. Hiking permit not required.

Amazing rock formations! Go visit!!

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this hike!!!! The end is very rewarding. You get to stand on the highest point of the Santa Monica Mountains with 360 views of pure amazingness and don't forget to open up the hidden little door where there is a pad of paper for you to sign and make your mark.

2 months ago

Great views. You can see all the way out to Catalina Island on a clear day. Elevation gain was moderate and not too challenging.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate trail with a few hard parts. There are many trails here and it's hard to go through all of them, unless you have all day. I went to Split Rock, Tri-peaks, Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak ( which has an awesome 360° view). Take water and snacks if you're planning on doing all of the trails. There is some shady spots, but that noon sun will get you. All in all, I'd do it again!!

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail! Amazing!

I'm what I call a "California Girl" hiker. i.e. I have my yoga pants, nikes, iPod and some water in a backpack. I joke that I "hike for the insta".
This hike was just beautiful. Trail signs were a little obscure-ish. But if you're paying attention it's pretty obvious. I like that it's a full loop.
The first leg of the journey (getting to split rock) is probably the most strenuous and dangerous of the hike. But it was so beautiful.
Took me about 2.5 to 3 hours. My fitbit measured 6.67 miles full loop. Just very much worth it.
Got super hella lost on portrero road though.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great little day trail. Plenty of shade on the backside. Really surprised me. We went counter-clockwise and I think that's the best way to go.

There is a logbook to sign in to when you reach the peak. Pack a pen. Leave a Clif Bar. Enjoy the view. It does get hot midday, so pack plenty of water.

3 months ago

This is one of my favorite hiking trails in Malibu!! Its quite a bit of driving from PCH to the parking lot (not like solstice or temescal) but there are some cool ranches and rock formations that are breathtaking on the drive. It's an incline the entire way to the peak and a good work out. It's pretty exposed and not too many trees until closer to the peak. My German shepherd gets really hot any time after 11am once the fog wears off, so if you're bringing a pup (especially in the summer) I suggest getting a really early start. There are outhouses in the parking lot, and rangers are frequent (they will ticket you if your dog is off leash--speaking from experience). When you're almost at the peak you take some stairs, and then a little rock climbing. I've seen older people and some dogs unable to climb it--try to avoid coming on weekends, it can get really crowded and sometimes ruin the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

I clocked about 6.13 miles for the loop - from parking lot to parking lot. The trail has very little coverage, so expect HEAT in the summertime and plan accordingly. If you take the Misha Mokwa trail to the right at the onset and do the loop counter clockwise, it will be an incline (with great views) for the majority of the way up. There is some shade (not much) and flat areas where you can take a break if needed. I went around 10:00a and there wasn't much traffic on the trail, ran into a few single hikers and some families towards the parking lots but pretty much solitude the entire hike. There are a TON of rocks on this trail so I'm grateful I wore hiking shoes. I'm sure you can do running shoes/tennis shoes but expect to have less traction on the rocks and up the inclines. Once you hit Sandstone Peak, it's all downhill to the parking lot.

hiking
3 months ago

Great loop. Took my 8 year old and 17 year old and all was good. Bring plenty of water since temps can be quite warm with minimum wind. Very enjoyable. Finished loop atop Sandstone Peak so last was all downhill.

hiking
3 months ago

Some great rock formations and scenery you just don't see out on the PCH until you drive into the mountains a bit. Fun little summit section, but also some boring dusty parts on the north part of the loop- expected SM mountain stuff.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike. Challenging on hot days because there is little to no coverage over the trail through the switchbacks. Beautiful views at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

I loved it, recommend going early. Really hot in July! Beautiful views!