Grotto Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Malibu, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. 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

walking

running

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
bugs
over grown
1 day ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
rocky
4 days ago

Super good trail! If you want to get to the actual water fall cave you gotta rock climb down and then back up! Would be not good for dogs or kids but it’s fun and nice.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
9 days ago

Good hike & the scenery is beautiful

hiking
no shade
over grown
10 days ago

Not friendly for kids and seniors. If you’re up for rock climbing, this is a good trail for you. The first mile in is very easy, mostly down hill with some parts are overgrown. Then you will have the climb down to the waterfall. Definitely not a big waterfall to amaze you, but its still kind of rewarding after all that climbing. It’s a good trail in general but I wouldn’t want to do it more than once.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
11 days ago

This was a short hike. Lots of over grown wear protective clothing. The hike was good because you are going up hill at times with some rocky stepping. Be careful. We didn’t make it all the way because we heard a cat growling so we turned back. Lots of bugs! Make sure to wear a mask! There was some great views of the Malibu mountains!

hiking
over grown
scramble
11 days ago

Fun trail but overcrowded. This is kid friendly but keep an eye on the little ones: as you begin to scramble the rocks to reach the grotto there are rocks that have large openings. Stay on the right when going down to the grotto. Also be careful on the last part as you descend towards the grotto it is very steep and slippery. The rocks you’ll have to scramble are slippery too and I was wearing hiking shoes. I saw a lot of kids wearing vans slip on the boulders/rocks. The hike back will definitely keep your heart pumping!

hiking
bugs
over grown
11 days ago

Definitely a pretty hike! So many flowers and there were tons of ladybugs and butterflies. It’s a pretty steep hike so expect to be tired when you get back to your car! It’s also pretty crowded and there’s rock climbing involved so keep that in mind too. The grotto is very nice though and feels so good after hiking for a while!

hiking
bugs
12 days ago

Beautiful! Tons of bugs though. Unfortunately it was a bit too crowded for me, that isn’t surprising on Memorial Day. The trail is quite narrow, so it was very hard to stay distanced from people, especially being and in and out trail. There were a few very large groups (families of 10 or 15) that were crowded the actual grotto, so I didn’t make it all the way down

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
13 days ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
13 days ago

Great hike! Short but still great incline and still gives you a great workout. Arrived at around 7:30AM and the top parking was already full, by the time I was heading out there was tons of groups heading in, overall worth it!

hiking
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

A little busier than we would have liked, and not everyone was following social distancing which was frustrating. Easy enough to bring non-hikers, lots of fun to explore the caves and pools by the falls!

hiking
over grown
14 days ago

LOVE THIS TRAIL! Definitely not for beginner hikers (sorry) it’s short but it’s not easy. You will be hiking up many inclines and bouldering through rocks. Hiking through high out grown plants/weeds and hanging from trees to make sure you don’t fall off the cliff. When you reach the end of the trail, there’s a rope to help you get down to the falls which are beautiful. There’s two smaller falls with a fun cave to walk through. Coming back is just as hard as getting there. Happy hiking! :D

hiking
2 months ago

Big waterfall in winter. Bigger than Sturdevant and in the middle of the trail. Don't fall off a cliff. Trail is easy. But it can be non-easy at the end if the trail, if you choose. And, if you choose you can find a photoesque view with three very small waterfalls, in addition to the Grotto waterfall (which is actually two waterfalls).

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