Explore the most popular river 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.

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

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.

Gate was closed today. Bummer!

Great place to hike! I enjoyed it very much

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.

Went on this hike recently. Had some issues figuring out where the waterfall was located. Got turned around a few times trying to refer to the alltrails map. We could see the falls so we ended up taking a little side trail off of the Backbone trail and made it up to the falls. Absolutely beautiful, with lots of running water and a few tiers to it. We even climbed up the side of it further and there were more trails on top of the falls. Really great hike, would recommend!

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.

the , teal fun, not to strenuous!!! thanks for the heads up,Jen.

awesome Jen, thanks

awesome thanks to a wonderful friend, JENNIFER

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

Awesome day hiking. loved it.

This was an awesome and challenging hike! Be aware that the initial path is very overgrown with some kind of tall grass and I would recommend wearing hiking pants. I had shorts on because it was very hot out and I was fine but my legs got a bit chewed up by all the overgrowth, while my sister had spandex leggings on and she was much better off (and much sweatier). We cut off about half a mile by taking a shortcut a little past the pond instead of doing the full loop. It was a great workout and some very pretty views and the pond was a nice reprieve after all the uphill. As other reviewers have said, take the left at the fork!

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

very good hike. stars easy but if doing the whole loop it will be challenging...cool pictures spots n ocean view

Anyone know how far into the trail is the hike? anyone know?

Old dilapidated mansions, newts, swimming holes and rock climbing.

Beautiful scenery and a great easy hike. We truly enjoyed.

2 months ago


Loved the hike but signage in this park is very confusing. First-timers may find themselves a little lost but that’s not necessarily a bad thing in a place like this!

Nice hike and great for kids ... last stretch was a good work out and wish the waterfall had more water flowing down. Get there early to get parking or you may get blocked in like i saw today for some folks. Canyon was nice and cooled towards the middle but get great views and sun once on the ridge.

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