Explore Malibu - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
16 hours ago

Definitely MODERATE, not easy. Very pretty but lots of rocks so watch your step!!

Too many rocks on the trail but the trail is really clean and the views are amazing! It gets a bit dangerous towards the top. You’ll have to climb the rocks so be careful! As for parking, there’s a parking lot across the entrance of the trail and it’s free.

hiking
19 days ago

Like everyone else said, this hike has some pretty scenary but the end is a huge disappointment. I guess I should have read the reviews more carefully but you really just end up at a gate at the precipice of Malibu lake... So close, yet so far. Wish it would have ended up at the lake so I could check it out.

I would rate this as really easy. Mostly flat with one part that has a 10 minute incline you have to hike.

One way took me about an hour.

great trail, shaded and really pretty at the beginning too, wasn't very steep either, took 4 hours, was 97 degrees outside which I don't recommend doing it when it's this hot, closer to 9.5 miles. probably one of my favorite hikes that I've done so far!

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

hiking
21 days ago

Amazing hike - highly recommend, if you can make the whole thing.

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.

Decent hike with what would be amazing views at the peak (was cloudy when I got to the top), but I arrived at 7:30 am, the marine layer may be better burned off if you start an hour later (8:30 am).

Someone mentioned it before, but definitely park in the turnout about 100 ft past the trail head (I was the first car there but by the time I got back there were about 3 behind me so I assume it’s safe to park there).

Trail runs about 9.7 miles (the distance mentioned in the main description is incorrect). The first 5 miles is more or less all uphill with the retuning..... you guessed it, all downhill.

Overall the hike took me about 4.5 hours (3.5L of water in 87F weather), while seeing a minimal amount of people (which is great!)

Feet hurt towards the end as it’s a narrow/rocky trail, but worth it especially you are down for a good work out (2,400 calories burned)

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....

Intense yet beautiful!! Worth every step of the way up!!!

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!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! I loved the challenge, length and beauty of this hike. So much to see. It was foggy in the morning, sunny by the end.

We hiked counterclockwise and really didn't have too much difficulty finding the trail back to Malibu Creek SP. When you reach the bottom of Mesa Peak Motorway/Piuma trailhead (where the toilet is), go left down the well worn trail. There will be a couple of small trails to the right - take one of them. It will take you down to the road to the water treatment plant. Turn left, look for small sign that says trail. Across from it is a small sign that says Backbone Trail. Follow the many trails down to the creek and cross it. Hike up in the direction of Malibu Creek SP on one of the many trails. When you get to the next paved road, turn left through the road gate. Continue on that trail until you reach the Camp Gilmore junction. The trail is across the way. It sounds like a lot, but it's not really too bad.

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.

Fantastic hike. The first mile or two you gain a lot of elevation, but after that it's not too bad. Very enjoyable and I'm already planning to hike this one again.

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
2 months 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.

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Just finished up the Backbone - linking together sections over the last few months. One of the best ways to experience Coastal Southern California.

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