Grotto Trail

EASY 206 reviews

Grotto Trail is a 2.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
561 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Directions from Thousand Oaks, CA: Travel US 101 / Ventura Freeway east to Highway 23 / Westlake Boulevard. Head south on Hwy. 23 to Mulholland Highway. Turn right (west) and proceed to Yerba Buena Road to reach Circle X Ranch. Park at the Ranger Station on Yerba Buena Road and walk down to the Group Campground where trail begins.

hiking
4 days ago

My group hiked this on 6/14. We began the trail from a turnout on a the highway instead of the circle x ranch entrance. We began around 12:30am and we made it to the grotto around 2:00am, the hike back was pretty fast. We made it back to our cars around 3:30am. This route added 1mile each way to the trail. SkyHighHikingGroup. We get together and hike at night. For all the busy bodys and late night owls. We are based in Los Angeles. Great hike, good workout. There was water in the grotto, hike was easy but the return did make most of us break a sweat. Recommend.

23 days ago

Great hike. But it didn’t feel like an easy one. There’s lots of climbing towards the end to get to the grotto

hiking
1 month ago

great hike with great views.

1 month ago

Great family hike!

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 ..

2 months 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...

2 months ago

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.

hiking
3 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.

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful little trail. Driving to the trailhead itself offered gorgeous views of the mountains, canyons, and distant oceans.

The river beds were all dried up, but there is some flowing water when you get down to the grotto. The trail itself is pretty easy, but more towards the moderate side considering some of the loose rock on the somewhat steep inclines down into the canyon.

Although I was wearing long sleeves and pants, I did find a tick on my dog and one burrowing in my side when I got home, so please check yourselves if you do this hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Fun trail , would say it’s a little more then easy but isn’t moderate. Great work out .

4 months ago

cool trail Little Rock climbing towards the grotto which made it even more fun, didn't come across any kinds of wild life unfortunately

hiking
4 months ago

Went hiking with my wife, a buddy & my husky and found that the grotto was great location for first time hikers. It was a bit windy and we got there early to beat that samo traffic (arrived @840am). Road to ranch is a bit windy and you’ll need to be mindful the cyclist’. Will be going again soon!

hiking
5 months ago

Pretty trail. Plenty of shade. Decent variety of elevation so no single section is uphill or downhill for too long. Dogs are allowed until you get down into the riverbed.

7 months ago

kid friendly (age 4&6) make sure to stay to the left once you hit the rocks or else you are stuck walking through the rocks all the way to the grotto... pretty fun alot of climbing over rocks

hiking
7 months ago

Hake, if you say that dogs are not allowed on this trail and the description above says that they are allowed on a leash, who do I believe?

9 months ago

Fun times

hiking
9 months ago

very easy. scenic flat. some boulder hopping and a small rope climb if you want to go to the end

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail. A little hot when there is very little water to cool down in. the cave was worth it to see though.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail! Really fun, cool rocks to climb on

11 months ago

Very beautiful and super fun. We brought our 5 and 3 yr old and they did fine until we got to the climb down to the grotto. That was definitely too tough for them but we were able to slowly get down to the grotto and it was worth it! Also the end is too tough for dogs that are not great climbers so don't bring them. In fact, dogs are technically not allowed but tons of people had them anyway. I'd do this trail again for sure!

scenic driving
11 months ago

the ride up here is worth the trip alone! windy mountainside roads with sparse traffic and beautiful scenic views. only thing is that these roads become extemely narrow and for half a mile of road are littered with heavy rocks off to the side that have slid down the side of the mountain but not dangerous. it is just a road you take slowly and enjoy the experience.

hiking
Sunday, June 18, 2017

I think this trail was easy getting to the waterfall. The way back was a good work out. Well worth it! I would rate this hike to be moderate.

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

So goreous and the water is refreshing to walk in after hiking in the heat

hiking
Thursday, June 08, 2017

Short hike with a great pay off!

The terrain is very easy with minimal inclines, good for all ages. The grotto faces away from you so once you get to the destination you'll have to do some rock scrambling to get to the front. This part might be harder for some. At times you'll have to inspect the whole area for the best course of action because there isn't a defined trail. If you do this on a wetter day you really have to watch your footing, the rocks get very slick. Poison oak grows very close to the trail so have long pants on.

I have to take off a star because there was trash at the destination. :(

hiking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

Great day. Great hike. Don't get to tierd on the way down, because it's all uphill on the way back. Never knew I could boulder scramble. Light mountaineering required to get to your destination. Slightly uncomfortable for me, but what a feeling of accomplishment afterwards.

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

Definitely a fun and beautiful trail. It's pretty easy going down until you're about 100m from the grotto. Then you're rock climbing the rest of the way down and then back up to get back to the trail. I would imagine this being fairly easy as well however, I had my five month old strapped to me and wasn't comfortable scaling the rocks.

hiking
Friday, May 26, 2017

Beautiful Scenic Trail~!! Can't wait to come back. We found the grotto but weren't able to scramble down to the actual waterfall. I read that there's a rope available to do so, but we obviously missed it. So we have to come back and try again. Plus it may have been a tad difficult with our little trail pup. We drove out early in the morning on a cloudy, rainy weekend. Parking was easy and plentiful but that's probably because it was a somewhat rainy day. The views are AMAZING and this is a seriously fun trail. Will definitely be back again~! :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

it's a nice easy trail. it features a waterfall inside of a cave. pretty neat

Monday, May 22, 2017

One of the best trails. Somewhat challenging for new hikers.

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