hiking

views

nature trips

walking

dogs on leash

wild flowers

birding

wildlife

trail running

kid friendly

mountain biking

no dogs

forest

waterfall

river

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area or SMMNRA, is a United States National Recreation Area containing many individual parks and open space preserves, located primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. The SMMNRA is located within the greater Los Angeles region, with two thirds of the parklands in northwest Los Angeles County, and the remaining third including a Simi Hills extension in southeastern Ventura County, California.

Echoing what other folks have said: be ready for around 2 miles of elevation right at the start. Definitely wear some thing to protect your legs due to all the tall weeds and bush. In general dress for sudden temp drops in colder non summer seasons. The pond is a gentle reminder of what the years of drought have done to the ecosystem in SoCal.

Did this trail at 8am this morning and the weather couldn’t have been better. It was a moderate hike that took us about 3 hrs but that was with a couple stops to take pics and to sit and relax at the top for a snack. I forgot to set the gps until .27 miles in. My watch tracked it as 6.32 miles back to the parking lot.

Definitely go counter clockwise. Amazing hike. Would do this again. The view from sandstone peak is incredible! Actually closer to 6.4 miles.

Great close by hike with beautiful views and fun walking through the ruined house and waterfall. We started early (7:45 AM) so trail was empty. We started counter clockwise on Solstice canyon rd . We finished the loop in an hour and 15 minutes so decided to do it again this time clockwise starting with the rising sun trail which is a harder uphill. Ended up having a picnic at the ruins on our way down. Great workout and fun hike! Trail got pretty busy around 10 AM .

A beautiful park with well maintained and clearly marked trails. Parking at the trailhead is very limited and fills up fast. Rather than waiting for someone to leave we parked at a scenic overlook just up the road from the park entrance and walked the approx 3/4 mile to the trailhead.

We chose to do the loop counter-clockwise. The Solstice Canyon Trail is an old road bed, largely paved, but very degraded in sections. We saw folks pushing baby strollers up to Tropical Terrace. It's more of a walk than a hike, but it is definitely up hill all the way. It's shadey and canyony. Quite lovely. It ends at Tropical Terrace, the site of an old residence. It's a beautiful setting with lots of non native tropical vegetation. This is also the site of the waterfall, barely a trickle on our visit after our long, arid spring and summer.

We chose the Rising Sun Trail for our return. This is truly a hike. It's a trail, not an old road. After a quick and easy stream crossing there is a long slog uphill, nearly to the crest of the ridge in front of you. It will get your heart rate up, but it's very doable. Sections have steps built into the hillside. Once the crest is reached, there is a long traverse with beautiful canyon and eventual ocean views. Then the trail descends back to the trailhead.

This is a beautiful hike easily done as part of a day.

12 days ago

easy two mile hike
I did this hike as a night hike. beautiful And peaceful trail. once you get to the grotto you will see a bit of water. I'm assuming that when it rains, must he amazing.
avoid parking by the campsite, you will get kicked out. you can park on on the top entrance or on mullohand drive will take you straight to the trail
visit my I g Skyhighhiking

Nice little quick hike. Seen sea lions and lizards

Good hike featuring a couple of historic sites and vegetation contrasting between desert/mountain/beach (similar to most hikes in the area). Not busy, dog-friendly, quick and easy. Waterfall was barely going, but it being still visible this time of year was a nice surprise!

Loved this trail. Very beautiful scenery!

27 days ago

A fun and relatively easy hike. You start in North Ranch and end in a vista and loop around. It gets really hot, so start early in the morning. While a nice hike, I like others in the area more for some reason (Wildwood/Sycamore Cyn/Lang Ranch Simi are).

Great hike and views. Wasn't very crowded either.

hiking
30 days ago

Great hike with family. Good incline, total hike felt more than 3.2 miles. Shade on lower part of trail. Beautiful views of the ocean!

Great hike, bring and carry water though.

Great hike. Lots and lots of snakes guys. Be careful

I love this place “ Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”

Nice views. Go early.

Dogs are allowed but be aware there are coyotes. I was with my daughter and two dogs. A coyote came up behind us and I think he was eyeing the smaller dog. Be careful!!

1 month ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. Challenging but doable with spectacular views. Looking forward to doing this hike again!

This was a fun hike. I left at 320ish in the morning and made it to the peak right before sunrise for some awesome views. If you go at night make sure you're comfortable with walking through spider webs, because it's pretty much spider webs all the way up. I had to wave a stick a stick in front of me the entire time.

Beautiful cliff views

Awesome hike! Be sure to go counter clockwise. You get the shade going up hill.

Scenic and historic- good incline!

Scenic and historic!

hiking
1 month ago

This route has three sections. King James Court ( a street name) to the top of Dead Cow/China flats trail. Top of Dead Cow into China Flats itself. China Flats up to Simi Peak. We left at 7:30am and out by 10:15 am on an 89 degree high day. Always good to start early out here and bring plenty of water when it's warm and more when it's hot. Ok for dogs if they are experienced hikers with proven (reiterate, proven) time over distance and elevation. If not, leave them home. You can always shorten this hike and just go to the top of Dead Cow (which is what this trail is locally referred to from King James Court to the first top out before you go into China Flats and return. Great views. Not sure where these guys are telling you to leave from Cheseboro Parking lot. You'll be miles off course. Leave from the cul-de-sac at King James Court or alternately from the map they provided.

Great hike with the family!

A great hike for when friends and family are in town visiting. That being said, if you're able and wanting to put in some more mileage elsewhere, you can get much better views that aren't as crowded.

I really enjoyed this hike. However, the grotto was actually hard for me to find! When you get to the bottom of the ravine, there’s a wide open shaded space. From here, it was unclear where to go. I tried two ways. To the right there is a small trail. I followed it for about a mile but it was overgrown by tall grass and seemed to never end. I circled back and went left from that open area. There are lots of rocks here. It didn’t seem clear that I was on a trail. Then suddenly there are large boulders. They can be challenging to climb but if you go up to right, you can more easily navigate down. Eventually you’ll see the grotto beneath you. To get to it, you have to go up to the right and scale more rocks. This then brings you back down to the ground level with the grotto! Woo! I got a little lost getting back out. Watch out for poison ivy!

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