Explore the most popular kid friendly trails in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

walking
14 hours ago

Not a hike, but it is an enjoyable walk. Easy to do if you want to do a quick, simple trail and don't have time or something in the Santa Monica Mountains

Did this hike on Saturday, May 26th at 10am. Lower lot was full and we did not know about upper lot. We parked close to PcH by gas station. No restrictions to park. If you do this hike and eat there before 9-10am I would recommend checking upper lot.

Stayed left to remain on Solstice Canyon Trail. Paved a good part of way and good shade at start. Gurgling brook below. TONS of birds we could hear singing. Nice foliage and interspersed wildflowers.

Got to ranch ruins and the teensy little waterfall. I did Eaton Canyon a month ago and that is 50 times more impressive as waterfalls go. This is a trickle that’s hard to see.

Way back we took Rising Sun Trail and that was much prettier to me. A narrower trail with less people but no shade. Wildflowers seen more frequently and all along trail. Lots of various wildflowers. Lovely canyon views and eventually opens to gorgeous view of ocean.

This lead us back to upper parking lot and eventually where we parked

hiking
6 days ago

great hike with great views.

i am writing this review for those parents that are looking for trails to take your kids. This trail is perfect! I have a 8 and 6 year old and they enjoyed this trail. Bring snacks or pack a lunch there is plenty of spots to stop and give them a snack or take a picture. The ruins will be their playground and the waterfall will not disappoint. Although they cannot play in it.

We went in the paved side from the parking lot up to the ruins of the ranch. From there we climbed up the switchies to the top of the hill and were rewarded with that VIEW and an easy, gorgeous walk down. Awesome trail and a butt burner.

this was not an easy trail.. more like 5m out and back.

Great place to hike! I enjoyed it very much

Great family hike!

great mountain views. no shade. good hike for staying fit

1 month ago

nice trail didnt finish it though I was the only one hiking it this morning so I decided to cut it short . will definitely hike it again and finish it for sure ..

walking
1 month ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! We arrived around 7:50am, which was perfect for parking. The scenery was incredible and there were a couple of challenging moments but overall pretty easy and chill. To be honest, we were a bit confused at certain forks in the trail, but that’s just because it was our first time. Will definitely return!

The was a beautiful hike. I loved being able to enjoy both the mountains and the water, the view was gorgeous the entire hike! Bonus-looking at the ruins of the old mansion that was burned down during fires and a small waterfall. We saw a lovely group of deer up on the mountains which was a pleasant surprise! Will definitely go back again! Moderate Hike with some steady inclines (we did the loop).

Very beautiful and scenic trail in Malibu. Parking is really hard to find in the designated trail parking area. However, you can find “precarious parking” just 2-3 minutes from the trail entrance. If you want to park “precariously”, don’t enter the road that leads to the initial parking. Continue going up on the road you entered from the Pacific Coast Highway. Other than parking, this is a beautiful and relaxing hike. Not intense at all. The Rising Sun trail does have a pretty steep incline, but definitely doable.

Take the alternative loop back instead of simply turning around at the waterfall. It’s a challenge but you WON’T regret it! The views are incredible. Be on the lookout as this is a natural reserve and rattlesnakes (as well as others) reside here.

Beautiful and relaxing. It’s definitely an easy hike. Great for kids and dog friendly. Saw a couple of quails running on the trail for a while. So close to Malibu Seafood for after hike lunch.

Love this trail!

Did this hike today , I wouldn’t say easy but not hard. It was hot , little shade. My dogs needed a few breaks for water. Water fall was beautiful from what we heard more water than usual. I will do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

No Shade ! Blazing hot. Please add filter to app to filter on shade!

Beautiful views. Lots of different trails to take. Few things though, it has absolutely no shade so I recommend going early in the morning or on a cloudy day. Also the creek was absolutely dry. And if you take your dog, beware of ticks. Found a few on my dog, one during the hike and one after during her bath.

1 month ago

Nice quick trail with a beautiful stream and waterfall. At the end u can climb to ur heart’s content... depends how daring u r. We all enjoyed it kids included...

Done this trail a few times. It had water year round 2017. Nice technical trail once you get to the creek. Great half-day hike.

Beautiful! Perfect hike for kids, waterfall and old mansion at the end are great motivation for little hikers!

Awesome day hiking. loved it.

just missed a dozen whales by an hour. seals, hawks, gulls, pelicans, raven, sunset with channel islands in the background.

easy hike. windy af.

Great hike with lots of wildlife!

The view from the top of the ocean was breathtaking!!

hiking
2 months ago

Favorite trail to take with kids. Just hard enough to keep them challenged without too much complaining, fun boulder scrambling opportunities. Bring a lunch and wear a bathing suit if it's been a wet year, kids love to splash around in the water.

hiking
2 months ago

China Flat semi loop w/Semi Peak. 6.1 mi total. Started 1400 King James Court and went up China Flat trail, then to Simi Peak trail. On the way back we to took Suicide Trail back to China Flat. It was a sunny but really nice day. Not too warm and every once in a while got just a tad chilly. But really it was perfect. This would be really tough on a hot day, there is just a couple of small spots with shade. Beautiful views.We were able to see mountain tops with snow (one of which should be Mt. Baldy but i can't tell) and also channel islands.

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