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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
no shade
rocky
1 month ago

Really enjoyed this hike!!! It’s been awhile since I have visited this trail and it’s a bit tougher than I remember ha ha ha. The beginning is mostly down hill to the Grotto which had little shade. On a hot day, lots of water is needed. Once at the Grotto, lots of places to climb and explore, very fun if you are into climbing!! Explored a bit and luckily there was a bit of water. I can only imagine what it looks like when there is plenty of water!! On the way back is a bit of uphill. Nothing too difficult but will provide a bit of exercise going up. Overall a fun hike with a nice grotto to reach!!

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is short but scenic. The latter half is going down the valley so be prepared for a workout going up. Some parts are shaded so these are good rest stop. Not a lot of bugs/gnats when we were there so tolerable. No need for a net.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

An amazing trail. If u keep going past the grotto there is more rock crawling and climbing. Highly recommend.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Nice trail, the last 100 yards down in to the grotto are mostly scrambling over boulders. when you approach the grotto from the top, head right toward the rock face, up and over the rock crevase to access the easiest way siren into the grotto.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months ago

Still burnt from the fire but pockets of shade. The water was a mile down and quite an extensive rock climb to get to the spring.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Great trail for all levels. You can come with flip flops and your towel to go swimming, bring a cart for your scuba gear, or wear hiking shoes to venture off the rocks along the coast. Absolutely beautiful!!

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in LA.

hiking
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

Yerba Buena is open but be careful when driving up, car coming the opposite way were coming into our lane a lot.We went towards the end of July and it was beautiful. When we arrived at the Ranch we got a map just in case and there is a restroom you can use. We started the trail through the parking lot into the pick nick area. Use the restroom before you head out and bring water and snacks. The trail is mostly to the right even when going through the boulders. I had my 11 month old strapped to me in a carrier instead of the backpack because i heard some of the path is narrow between the mountain. The carrier was perfect. At first it doesnt seem like there is water even at the first waterfall but when we arrived at the grotto it was flowing very nicely. There is poison oak along the trail just be careful and we didnt see any snakes or other animals. Enjoy!

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of birds and flowers out right now. Still water in the grotto and the sounds are wonderful. Leave it as you found it and enjoy. Climb down and inside the rocks to experience it.

hiking
over grown
4 months ago

hiking
over grown
5 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

DO NOT TAKE YERBA BUENA UP FROM PCH. A SECTION OF ROAD IS COMPLETELY WASHED AWAY. You gotta find another way around. We went early on a Wednesday morning (0930) and no one was there. You could hear all the birds chirping, the water rushing, and sooooo many wild flowers! The grotto part was definitely the better of the waterfall hikes in the area. Trail is more of a MODERATE than easy with several inclines. Be aware, on the way down into the canyon, the trail narrows and the side is steep making it prime spot for a bad tumble. Happy hiking!

hiking
7 months ago

I went in mid March and it was gorgeous! Three or 4 waterfalls! Make sure to wear hiking boots. Everything is so green here. Highly recommend!

8 months ago

this trail is open. we hiked it today.

Thu Oct 04 2018

easy two mile hike I did this hike as a night hike. beautiful And peaceful trail. once you get to the grotto you will see a bit of water. I'm assuming that when it rains, must he amazing. avoid parking by the campsite, you will get kicked out. you can park on on the top entrance or on mullohand drive will take you straight to the trail visit my I g Skyhighhiking

Sat Aug 25 2018

I really enjoyed this hike. However, the grotto was actually hard for me to find! When you get to the bottom of the ravine, there’s a wide open shaded space. From here, it was unclear where to go. I tried two ways. To the right there is a small trail. I followed it for about a mile but it was overgrown by tall grass and seemed to never end. I circled back and went left from that open area. There are lots of rocks here. It didn’t seem clear that I was on a trail. Then suddenly there are large boulders. They can be challenging to climb but if you go up to right, you can more easily navigate down. Eventually you’ll see the grotto beneath you. To get to it, you have to go up to the right and scale more rocks. This then brings you back down to the ground level with the grotto! Woo! I got a little lost getting back out. Watch out for poison ivy!

hiking
Sat Aug 18 2018

Definitely MODERATE, not easy. Very pretty but lots of rocks so watch your step!!

Fri Jul 20 2018

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

hiking
Tue Jul 10 2018

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!

hiking
Sun Jun 17 2018

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.

Mon May 28 2018

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
Mon May 21 2018

great hike with great views.

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