dogs on leash



wild flowers

nature trips


trail running


kid friendly

mountain biking


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.

A well balanced trail that is not very steep. The trail has short rocky areas you will need to climb. Fantastic views and nice rock formations along the way. Get there early as parking is limited.

Awesome trail. Shady most of the way up, dense forest/shrubs, well-maintained trail, few people, great views on the way up. Only downside is that it ends at a road as opposed to a peak.

Despite being overcast and cloudy, I thought that overall it wasn’t a bad hike. The ruins and waterfall weren’t too impressive, but the trail itself became challenging once it got steeper which contributed to being a great hike. There was a set of beautiful stairs along the trail (one of my favorite parts of the hike). Definitely recommend doing this hike if you want to have somewhat of a challenge that’ll make you sweat but also if you just want to do a quick hike that doesn’t take all day.

Nice hike. little bit of a workout at the beginning, but once you get to the top, totally mellow. Great views

Celebrated my BF birthday with this trail. Fun & Amazing beauty.

Fantastic hike! We decided to start the loop towards the left, following Backbone trail to the Sandstone Peak. The path was mostly uphill but you get instantly rewarded by beautiful views.

After the trail branches off to the Tri Tips, we followed Mishe Mokwa trail back to the parking lot. MM trail was mostly downhill and led through forest-y patches.

I loved the hike and I was happily tuckered out after finishing the 6 mi loop. However, I took one star off for Mishe Mokwa trail that seemed underwhelming after Backbone trail.

Recommend having an app like this or AllTrails for reference on the hike. We missed a turn off the trail- a bit tough and uphill to recover. Saw quail on this venture.

Cool ruins right off the Solstice. If only about 45 minutes to spare - good hike. If more time and able, take the Sosomoto by the Keller house at end of Solstice. Adds lots of quality and feels like a real hike. Rugged and narrow path. Good workout. Eventually connects to the Deer Valley loop - really good views here.

I'd really call this a walk more than a hike. I've been here many times and usually see dolphins. It's also a great walk to take out of town guests to show off the beauty of the SoCal coast.

I decided to take the long route to get to Sandstone Peak because it was my first time there. The route was uphill and downhill at most stretches, but not too crazy if you're conditioned and/or well prepared. The trail loop was easy to follow (using free trail pamphlet, no GPS).

The only problem I encountered was that there are some areas that look like continuous trails, but they actually don't lead anywhere on the map.

I got lost coming down from the Tri Peaks because of following a bad trail. It's best to stick to the trail that leads up from the Mishe Mokwa trail (sign) to Tri Peaks (should say 0.5 miles from that sign to TP) instead of getting back to MM by following the river because it looks like a shorter route on the printed trail pamphlet. It's a bad idea since there's an actual trail that leads nowhere down there!

Overall, this is a crazy trail loop that needs to be explored. I started at 8:30am and didn't get back to the lot till about 3:00pm due to wandering off course to explore.

11 days ago

Began at Backbone TH just 0.4 miles below the Mishe Mokwa TH. Just two cars at the TH. Read that it was a popular trail but only saw 4 solo hikers, two groups of three, and a couple. Got to take in the spectacular 360 degree views from the peak all on my own. Was a little intimidated by some reviews that said the trail was hard to follow, but I found with basic common sense and trail recognition skills it was very easy to follow. Loved seeing this side of SoCal and plan to do more hikes like this on future visits. Great hike!

waterfall wasn’t very impressive. for first timers the markers can be confusing. overall good trail.

13 days ago

My kids loved it! We went clockwise and the views were beautiful on the way down.

Awesome views, heavy traffic but worth it.

Love this trail! Breathtaking views, highly recommend. Beware of major inclines. Totally worth it at the end.

Great trail. Took around 4.5 hours with my 11 yo. Some challenging steep sections. Definitely take the left / lower path on the fork. Otherwise you’ll have a really steep climb! The pond is very lovely. Take a break from the set trail and explore the rocks at the back side off the pond. You can climb up to get the very best views of the hike and sit on the huge rock overlooking the pond to take a break. Like others we used the app throughout to make sure we were on the right trail and pretty sure we would have taken some very wrong turns otherwise.

20 days ago

Good workout but the view is well worth it once you get to the top. On a clear day, views are 125mi+

trail running
20 days ago

Great little trail. First mile out is pretty flat before you hit the climbing for another half mile. You reach a fire road and have the option of entering some single track routes, but you have to look for them. Route is about 60% shade. Definitely coming back to explore the other single track routes.

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