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longer than indicated. full sun exposure towards the top.

This was an awesome hike. the views are great and even the "non-view" areas toward the back half offer entertainment.

This loop is great! Started around 8:30am and did both the Balanced Rock and Tripeaks spurs - Tripeaks was well worth the scramble through the heat. Make sure to take note of the trail on your way up as it can get a bit tricky finding the trail on the way down. There's a lot of skree so you'll definitely need solid hiking shoes/boots.

Route: I went counterclockwise and was relieved to have the continual downhill from Sandstone Peak to end the hike. Also meant that I was more on the valley side earlier when it was less hot.

NOTE: Bring plenty of water (with the extra exploring I did I went about 7.5 miles total and almost went through 3L camel back). I wouldn't bring a dog - way too hot for them!

Vistas: I just moved here so this may be uninformed, but I was hoping to have more isolated vistas from which I couldn't see all the houses in the area and some of the development in the valley. Still a great hike and would definitely recommend because when you aren't on top of something that is supposed to be a vista, you actually are pretty isolated and it's quite nice.

Difficulty: Different types of terrain, but this is definitely moderate, easy if you've done your fair share of hiking and are relatively in shape.

Detour tip: To make this hike a little longer I took a 1 mile detour (0.5 miles in and out) on the Tri-Peaks trail and got to a spot that was even more isolated with a learning of alot of rocks and boulders to lay around and chill on.

Sun: Some shade but still lots of sun so don't skimp on the sunscreen and water, especially if you have a dog. Passed several people whose dogs looked dehydrated and one couple who was carrying theirs.

Length: about 3.5h taking it easy with the detour, could easily be done in 2.5h, if not a little faster if you're moving steady.

I did the full trail and I really liked it. There was shade at many parts of the trail but still lots of direct sun. I saw a rabbit and a few lizards. I recommend to go in the morning or late afternoon during summer.

Where the trail ends the real fun starts : boulder jumping and climbing, canyoneering....

I loved this hike! Lots of shade to cool under and it’s a quiet hike. This place is beautiful! No one was on the trail when I went so all I was able to hear was the animals in the bushes, birds chirping and lizards moving around. The first time getting here I didn’t know there was a $5 day fee. I ended up just getting a annual pass all year so I can go back here. The camping spots are very pretty. Some have huge spots available with great shade!

Beautiful trail, lots to see even on a cloudy day! Split 5 litres of water between 2 fit adults, so don’t forget the H20 and ty to get on the trail early!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail with lots of great places to stop and admire nature! I would rate it a "medium" instead of "easy" since it's mostly uphill/downhill. We will definitely be hiking here again!

Awwsome hike in to Spruce Grove CG. The campground has a lot of trees so it's great for hammocking. Overall the CG is clean and the outhouses were pretty clean for what they are. I still prefer just digging a cat hole over any outhouse though. There is water at camp (though the water level is low) and should be treated before drinking. Saw a few deer come through camp along with multiple squirrels as well as a small black bear (hanging your food or a bear canister is a must). Also, make sure that you bring bug spray as all of the biting menaces are out in full force.

A steady but steep incline up to 360 views from the summit, awesome hike and workout!

No shade. Go early morning or cool days. Can't give review of full trail. My dog overheated even in his cooling vest and stopping for water in shade. I def wanna return and see the views without him.

Bring snacks and lunch. Beautiful views and canopying trails at times. Green and majestic vistas. Recommend hiking shoes for climb or decent. Amazing and challenging. Wear sunscreen.

challenging uphill climb, rewarding vistas, and cool breeze from the ocean. amazing.

Amazing trail. Hike to mt Ellen highest point. Beware rattlers.

This is one of my favorite trails in LA since there are so many ways to experience it with it's different off shoots. You can take this lush trail to Balance Rock, Tri-Peaks, Inspiration Point, and to Sandstone Peak which is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains! The hike is a decent workout and is very doable with gradual elevation.

Parking:
This trail has it's own trailhead but I usually access this trail from the Sandstone Peak trailhead.

- @justroc @just.trek

The perfect day hike. Gorgeous views and nothing overly strenuous. It was a big overcast which obstructed some of the views but made for a great hiking climate. I arrived at the trailhead around 9am and there was plenty of parking and less people on the trail than when I was finishing up around noon. I took my Labrador and he was loving the entire hike, so I’d say this trail is great for active medium+ sized dogs. This is one I’d do again!

This six-mile loop is easy/moderate, and has beautiful views throughout. There is no cell signal once you’re in the mountains, so don’t rely on GPS to get you all the way to the Mishe Mokwa Trail parking area. Also, there are no bathrooms or water nearby, so plan accordingly.

hiking
1 month ago

My group hiked this on 6/14. We began the trail from a turnout on a the highway instead of the circle x ranch entrance. We began around 12:30am and we made it to the grotto around 2:00am, the hike back was pretty fast. We made it back to our cars around 3:30am. This route added 1mile each way to the trail. SkyHighHikingGroup. We get together and hike at night. For all the busy bodys and late night owls. We are based in Los Angeles. Great hike, good workout. There was water in the grotto, hike was easy but the return did make most of us break a sweat. Recommend.

Very scenic, quiet and peaceful hike. It was about 6.5 miles. That includes walking to Split Rock, walking to Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak.
The trail to Split Rock is awesome. Amazing views, great many flowers and trees and greenery. We took our time. Stopped for lots of pictures. The amazing Balance Rock is something to just stare at. AMAZING! once you get to Split Rock the hike because a little bit tough since it has gradual incline as you loop around to Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak. From Sandstone Peak back to the car is not the most pleasant only because there is a lot of rocks on the trail. But if your a hiker, that’s part of the hike.
We went on Saturday got there @8am. Perfect time. Lots of parking and very very few people on our trail. Most people just go to Sandstone Peak and back so this trail is longer but definitely worth the serenity. We had lots of overcast. We would watch the mountains in front of us appear and disappear. Got some sprinkles and walking into the fog was awesome. One of my favorite hikes. Few bottles of water is enough for me but if hot definitely would talked more plus hat! Enjoy. Be safe. Clean up after yourself.

The back side is well shaded recommend doing that half during the peak of that. We started mid day and went the backside to the front and it was not too hot by the time we were in the sun again.

backpacking
2 months ago

This is such a beautiful trail despite the heavy traffic during the day and being so close to the city. Arrived 5:30 pm on a Friday afternoon with a friend to give him a taste of backpacking. Very few cars in the parking lot and only one other gentleman with cooler heading down to a cabin for the weekend. After a quick detour to Sturtevant Falls we head up the upper trail where we see our last person hiking down the mountain. Beautiful views of the canyon and a few spots where I get signal to text my family where I am. As we approach Cascade Picnic I am left without signal and daylight fades quickly through the dense foliage. We end up hiking in the dark since my friend was having a hard time walking up with his pack. Just as I start getting uneasy about hiking in the dark.. the wind brings a familiar smell.. smoke from a campfire. We get to the campground and its basically all our with one a couple up towards the end of the 6 campsites. I quickly set up camp and collect wood to for a small campfire. The sound of insects and a stream puts me to sleep. The next morning I wake up early to the rhythmic pattering of the early morning trail runners. Soon after a parade of early bird hikers, runners, and their dogs stroll on by consistently.

This is a gorgeous place to test out new backpacking gear or simply feel like you are further Way from the city than you really are. You will run into a lot of traffic on the way down the mountain depending on time you leave so prepare to make way through the narrow sections of the trail.

Great hike! Took my friend and I 3 hours to complete with breaks here and there. The mountains look amazing!!! Lots of rocks and flies! Only saw three people during our hike. Water and snack are a must ...

great trail. beautiful scenery. side trail to balancing rock--easy to get off course on way back, but rest of trail really well marked and maintained. hot by mid morning in June

Very cool hike with some amazing views inland over the Santa Monica Mountains, Channel Islands and South Bay. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to trail run or take it slow all the way. I went to Balance Rock - if you do this trail you have to check it out. You’ll see a little sign shortly after taking a right onto Mishe Mokwa, a couple hundred yards from Split Rock. I finished the hike in 4.5 hrs. It’s roughly 7 miles if you do Balance Rock. My group took our sweet time. You can do this in 3 hrs if you’re a little more focused on the task at hand. Bring at least 2 liters of water if you do this during the summer months. I had to ration out .5 liters because my crew wasn’t entirely prepared - no biggie but easily avoidable. Proper hiking boots are definitely recommended. Sunscreen and hats as well.

5/29/18. Trailhead Map says it’s 6.9 miles up. Started GPS where I parked and got 7.2 up. You have to walk through the entire campground to get to the trail head. That sucked on the way back...

Started at 8:05am with a 30# pack. Stopped to take a lot of pictures along the way. Got to the turn around at 11am. You’ll see a wooden sign at the end. Left the turn around at 11:30am and got back down at 1:30pm. I didn’t expect to do the entire thing but brought 10 x 16.9oz bottles of water for weight and just in case. When I finished I had 3 bottles left. It was a hot one. Expected temp was 87F for Temecula but felt a lot hotter since most of the time you’re under direct exposure of the sun. #sunscreen :(

If I were to do it again, I would have stopped when the views stopped. I am guessing around mile 5 you start to go into woodsy terrain with not much to see as far as views. It was cool to see the change in foliage though. It was nice because it was at least somewhat shaded. I kept climbing expecting to see a view from the top. There is no view at the top :(

Only passed 1 person on the way up and a group of 3 on my way down.

Ok i went today and got there at 1:30pm and finished at 5:30pm. I took my Osprey bag pack with a full 2.5 liter water pouch. I also brought two addition water bottles. It wasn’t enough for two adults and a dog. It felt like 10 miles instead of 6. My German Shepard struggled the last two miles of the loop trail. The trail to Split Rock was great and moderate but later it became strenuous!!!!! My poor dog protested until the end. I recommend to do half the trail because the last 2.5 miles is annoyingly rocky! Be sure to bring proper hiking shoes, hats, and sun screen... most importantly water!!!!! Must stress water. At least 2 liters per person. Be prepared to be exhausted and tanned!

2 months ago

Great hike. But it didn’t feel like an easy one. There’s lots of climbing towards the end to get to the grotto

Vistas for days! It truly is one of the most beautiful hikes of those that are accessible to LA area. I hike to Sandstone Peak first and get the elevation gain ascent out of the way right off - this is the only moderately challenging portion in my opinion. Great hike that truly feels “away from it all.” No traffic or highway views/noise like some other LA hikes.

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