hiking

views

nature trips

walking

dogs on leash

wild flowers

birding

wildlife

trail running

kid friendly

mountain biking

no dogs

waterfall

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river

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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.

Definitely on the moderate side, not easy. It's August so it very warm and there is very little shade, and the waterfall is bone dry. There are several moderately steep climbs and some rocky terrain where I needed to concentrate on my footfalls. The hardest part is definitely the first hill, it's the longest and steepest. If you can conquer that one, the rest will seem easy. There are enough flat spots between the climbs to catch your breath and get your heart rate back down a little. All in all a lovely hike and a great workout. I will absolutely be back in early spring, hoping to have an actual waterfall.

A beautiful trail with amazing mountain and ocean views.

Nice shaded hike. Relatively unmanaged so expect shoes and socks full of stickers. Some cool weird sculptures at the entrance. We went all the way down the back side of the hill but not much to see but some homes. I gave this 4 stars because it’s a good shaded hike for the middle of a hot summer day when you just gotta hike.

Tuff trail the elevation is a teal thing

The beginning of the trail to the waterfall is easy. If you decide to continue up the trail to the left you’re at an incline until you reach the Deer Valley Loop. That’s another mile-ish loop and then you go back down the way you came.
There isn’t much shade on the trail, only when you reach the abandoned structures along the way.
It’s really woodsy in some areas with streams, and there are lots of birds & lizards. Overall very beautiful, and quiet on the harder trail.

Fire road!

A little harder than moderate at some of the road diversions. Warm and sunny! Loved it. You can see the ocean from some spots.

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

Very simple hike. Very little shade. Watch where you step

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!

Great hike!! The ruins are quite interesting. Nice that they have a write-up on the home that used to be, complete with pictures. The falls were very nice, even though a bit light, as there has been no rain lately.

We wanted to take the entire loop, so we made the decision to follow other hikers’ advice and start out on the Rising Sun Trail. Taking this way gets the steep incline portion out of the way in the first leg of the hike, which really helped to make the rest more enjoyable.

At first we thought the falls were closed, because of an early sign saying “area closed”, but this is misleading. There is another way to the falls just behind the ruins, as this was essentially their back yard.

The way back alternated on a paved road and hopping over the tiny stream, and it was really nice...easy.

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.

Loved it so much nature to see and explore and not a hard hike at all.

This is a pretty neat hike. There are a lot of different trails here, so just make sure you know which one you're going up. The trail to the far left is my favorite. It has plenty of shade, but it's a bit of an incline, particularly at the beginning. I've run into snakes here and they didn't make any noise, so always know where you're stepping.

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.

Challenging but amazing view of ocean and many towns from top!

Where the trail ends the real fun starts : boulder jumping and climbing, canyoneering....

Beautiful mountain views on this trail! Had all intentions of doing an up and back (from midpoint in the loop) on his one, but 2 1/2 hours in, I headed on back - about 3 miles in, the maintained trail becomes an unmaintained trail. Not a bad thing as you can still follow the “trail,” but trekking this one by myself I did not feel comfortable scrambling the steep rocks up to the top of the mountain.
The trail ascends fairly quickly and steadily with few breaks in the incline and little shade initially. The trail itself is wide and well trafficked (I only saw a group of 4, and another group of 2 coming down, but it’s a Tuesday)…as you head towards Danielson’s Monument it becomes a single track with some coverage. As you pass the monument the trail becomes unmaintained and you’ll be scrambling up a steep incline with washed out ravines and large rocks. I would read the other reviews for info on the second half of the loop if you attempt that.
My mileage total was 6.8 and it took me about 4 hours. Hike would be better in cooler weather for sure!

Great hike but not a lot of shade on the way up. The incline isn’t too steep here, but when you factor in the heat it feels like the trail never ends. I would recommend going either early it be morning or later in the evening. I went at noon like a moron. Happy hiking!

We really enjoyed this hike! Not a lot of shade so I’d recommend going on a cool day. Tracking on Strava it said 6.9miles and 2,028ft elevation gain.

Nice hike, not too difficult but definitely a good workout. The trail is pretty narrow and there's lots of horse poop all along the 4+ miles. Had to keep stopping my dog from trying to eat it. Eew! My dog did get a tick on this hike so use bug spray and check yourself and your furry friends after.

Strenuous hike for sure . 4.5 miles uphill towards the top and then 4.5 down steep path. Past Danielson Monument it gets a little rugged, loose rocks and narrow path/trenches . Make sure to leave very early and bring lots of water as it is an unshaded hike for the most part. Also lots of branches as the trail is not maintained so be prepared for some scratches. Hardest hike I’ve done but worth it for the view.

Beautiful trail, lots to see even on a cloudy day! Split 5 litres of water between 2 fit adults, so don’t forget the H20 and ty to get on the trail early!

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!

Easy stroll. Good to see and hear sea lions.

Great trail!

Terrific hike. Beautiful ocean views and enough difficulty to make you feel like you had a solid workout. Started at 8:30am on a Sunday and saw only 4 others on the hike. Serene.

Great hike. Beautiful, rather easy. Kids loved it. Not long.

It’s very nice once you get to the top. Definitely do it in the morning because it gets hot going up

Nice loop hike with some good views and not a ton of people and plenty of parking (arrived at 8:30 am on a Sunday). I would definitely recommend turning left (clockwise) to start off the hike, even though I went right (counterclockwise). Going clockwise will give you more shade towards the end of the hike when it’s hotter. The path does have a lot of loose stones/rocks in some areas so make sure to watch your step.

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