Mishe Mokwa Trail to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 25 reviews

Mishe Mokwa Trail to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak is a 7 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.

7.0 miles 1646 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The Mishe Mokwa Trail is a beautiful, well-maintained trail that takes you through a variety of landscapes and showcases the scenic views of the Santa Monica Mountains. When combined with Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peaks, the view is improved considerably. This trail takes you from Yerba Buena Road (via Backbone Trail from the second parking lot) to the Mishe Mowka Trailhead and climbs north-west to the shaded Split Rock. Along the way, you'll pass Balanced Rock (on your right). From here, you head west to the (unmaintained) spur to Tri-Peaks. It's 0.5 miles to the summit of Tri-Peaks (3010'), and it's a lot steeper and more rugged than you've come across so far, but it also opens up to arguably the best view on this hike. There's also plenty of rocks to scramble around on, and if you're lucky, a nice breeze to enjoy. When you're done, head back down to the main trail, and make sure to follow the trail markers pointing you towards Sandstone Peak. It's not hard to get turned around here as the trail loops to the east, so if you're headed in the right direction, you should be passing two water tanks to your right. This portion of Backbone Trail continues to climb as you pass Inspiration Point, Boney Peak (in the distance), and then arrive at Sandstone Peak. The climb to the summit (3111') is fairly intense at this point in the hike (5.5 miles in, if you scrambled up to Tri Peaks and back), and it can be a little crowded depending on when you make it here. But you'll be able to read the crazy things people write in the registry, and add your own commentary when you get to the top. When you're done taking in the sights from the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, scramble back down and make sure you take your immediate right to continue east towards to the trail head. From Sandstone Peak, the trail will begin a steady and sometimes sharp decline, as you lose close to 1000' of the elevation you gained getting here in 1.5 miles. If you parked in the second lot, make sure to pass the first marker (signifying the Sandstone Peak Trailhead), and return to the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, before turning right and heading back to Yerba Buena Road.

1 month ago

Nice hike. Took a friend and went to the right. TriPeaks for a sandwich break then summited Sandstone/Mt. Allen twice. Friend said he would wait at steps. When I was halfway back down he had changed his mind. Total of about 9 miles. Lunch and beer at Neptune's Net was a bonus.

Why does the recording show 9 but the track shows 7 miles? Same thing last week in Ojai.

1 month ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

The HIKE is Fantastic, the Human SUCK.... went on a Sunday in Feb. on another perfect day in So Cal i knew it would be busy so i got there at 6:30...1st car there, it was a Great hike beautiful trail the Mishe part is just Super... I went counter clock wise and by the time i got to sandstone it was a zoo and the humans just ruined it.... but if you subtract the Humans it would have been a 5 for Sure. I won't even get into it, just too many people and city folk not prepared for a Tough hike or looking like they are on a hot date... week days, cold, a little rain anything to scare of the humans and it would be AWESOME

8 months ago

8 months ago

The trail never gets boring it is 95% incredible views.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike. I'd normally give it 4 stars but there's a few things to note:

1. It's crowded. At one point I saw 30 people tromp up to Sandstone Peak. And there isn't a whole lot of room up there. It made for an anticlimactic climax to the hike. So one star off from that.

2. The 1.5 miles or so from the high point of the trail (not counting the spur directly to sandstone peak) down to the parking lot is very steep in places. Not only that, but the trail is littered with rubble from rainstorms and runoff, and it makes for a little treacherous descent. It earns it's moderate rating here. In the last .5 before the trail junction that takes you back to the parking lot, there's a runoff rut that gets 2-3 feet deep taking up a third of the trail. For as popular of a trail as it is that's kind of concerning. Not a huge technical deal but I'm docking a star because dang son that's a kind of rough descent.

3. Inspiration Point is wide open comparatively, nice and breezy, and a great spot to have lunch. Only a fraction of the people go there, which is silly because it's like .1 of a mile off the trail. Stop there for lunch and to catch a breather. It's worth it.

4. Start early. If you start in the morning you'll catch shade through the first half of the loop and then be done before the hottest part of the day.

If you start early and go on a weekday I think that it'd easily be a 4 or 5 star hike. If you're doing the full loop and you're anything like me, bring water. Lots of water. I went through around 4 liters in 7 miles.

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Best hike in the Santa Monica Mountains!

hiking
1 year ago

Great trail with options to hike further. Rocky, hilly, and never boring with some beautiful views!

Great

hiking
1 year ago

This is one of the best trails I've done in Southern California. My wife and I started out at about 11am and did the loop all the way to sandstone peak and back down. We made it back to the car right after sunset, but we were bookin it in a few places. I'd recommend getting a little earlier start, maybe around 8 or 9, just so you can really take some time to take in the views. There are some absolutely gorgeous moments and views on this hike, especially if it is a clear day. You look out and see the ocean on one side and then turn around and you can see the whole San Gabriel Valley and all the way south to San Diego and north to Oxnard. Also I'd make sure you wear some sort of hard soled hiking boot. I was wearing my Merrell trail runners and there were just a lot of rocks to walk over. We took a light lunch to eat half way through and then hit Santa Monica Pier on the way home. AMAZING HIKE! A MUST DO!

hiking
2 years ago

This trail has so many amazing views. You can see the ocean, Channel Islands, Malibu, Ventura, and Westlake all on the Mishe Mokwa trail portion. The south east part of the trail is very green with lots of shade, where as the north and northwest potion of the trail is exposed, with boulders, cliffs, and peaks. If you detour to tri-peaks, an additional one mile, there are some caves you can explore. As day hikes go, it's somewhat physically demanding, so stay hydrated, and definitely wear the proper gear, especially good shoes as parts of the trail you walk on rocks and broken shale.

2 years ago

hiking
2 years ago

hiking
2 years ago

hiking
2 years ago

Great hike. If you stay right on your way toward balanced rock instead of left toward the backbone trail, it is a better pace. It starts with poor tree cover in the first mile or so, then it is pretty covered for the backend of the lop and most of the backbone trail. Make sure you check out the profile though, the gain is deceiving. It actually goes up and down the whole way, with (in my opinion) the beginning the lost challenging. Good workout.

hiking
2 years ago

Hiking to Tri Peaks was awesome. There was some area burnt but it is recovering already. We saw some rescue helicopters practicing rescue one the next peak over in the distance. It was fun. The ocean was calm.

hiking
3 years ago

I did this trail about a month a go and it was awesomely amazing!!! I had never done more than 5miles so this was a great one to step it up. I ended up doing the whole loop trail and met some nice people along the way ( I went alone ) .

I would advise to get there as early as possible to avoid the HEAT and bring lots of water. Great views of the ocean and over all soundings .

Live it up! Happy Hiking Hikers!!! Xoxo