Serrano Canyon is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Dense wooded canyon, breathtaking valley, lovely seasonal creek This hike starts out moving north on the pleasant Sycamore Canyon trail for about a mile and a half, where you come to the junction with Serrano Canyon Trail. The Serrano trail takes you east into a densely wooded narrow canyon, with a lovely seasonal stream criss-crossing the trail numerous times, and abundant wildlife. As the trail begins to gain elevation and move north away from the stream, a stunning vista begins to emerge. Gently rolling grasslands set against the steep outlines of Boney Mountain. Simply wonderful! The trail traverses the grassland, passing an abandoned aluminum shack, our suggested turn around point. Most guide books suggest that you continue through the valley, eventually connecting up with Old Boney Trail, which drops back into Sycamore Canyon, forming a loop. I tried this route and found the trail beyond the valley very overgrown and ridiculously steep. I wouldn't recommend it.
I love this trail when I'm in the mood for duration rather than elevation. I only saw 3 other people on the trail once it split off toward Serrano canyon. It's shady a good deal of the way, and once you get up into the valley (the wide bowl under Boney Peak) it's perfectly quiet except for birds and the sound of the breeze through the dry grass. It took me 2.5 hours with a couple of stops to enjoy the quiet.
This is a beautiful hike and the 'easy' definition is right on for this hike.
Serrano Valley is an amazing place to hike or horse back ride. The trail can be accessed from the East Gate on Serrano Road off Cotharin, from Sycamore Fire Road, from the Sycamore Campground off PCH and even from Encinal Canyon (longgggg). Plants and wildlife is just coming back from the Spring Fire of 2013.
This is a gorgeous hike!
I hiked it at the end of summer and am planning on hiking it again now that everything is so lush and green!
When you get to the valley the trail will fork off to the left or there is an option to continue straight. Stick to the trail on the left as the other trail is a dead end. It does bring you by some old farm equipment which is pretty interesting but you'll have to backtrack a bit to get back to the trail.