New Years Sale! Get a year of AllTrails Pro for only $19.99
Get Started

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
5 days ago

Great views of sandstone and exchange peaks! Saw several waterfalls. My 7 yr old could finish the trail. Great family friendly hike.

hiking
12 days ago

Fantastic water... four falls down at the bottom right now. Plenty of bouldering. The lowest pool isn’t as deep as it used to be - the drainage into the creek is flowing more unfortunately. Great trail conditions - the grass is still short enough so no need to bushwhack yet.

Nice walk during cooler season. little down climbs on rocks to get better view of the falls. Some shaded areas. Great for kids.

Very short trail with minor elevation change suitable for all fitness levels. Very minor scrambling to get to the falls if its flowing. Lots of dogs on the trail and accompanying trash that goes with a crowded trail. Dont expect solitude. The views are marginal, frankly there are better trails out there.

hiking
rocky
scramble
20 days ago

I’ve had this trail on my list for a while but I was waiting for the right conditions. Today did not disappoint! It was warm and the grass was new and green. The trail damp but not muddy. The creek flowing but not overflowing. The trail is short but it’s a decent descent down into the canyon on a loose, crumbly trail. While you might be tempted to trail run it, it’s probably better not to. A short way from the trailhead you get your first eye candy. You cross the creek at the top of an impressive little waterfall along the trail. Then go around another few bends and over a few hills and see two more tall falls on two off shoots of the creek in the distance. The creek follows the trail through a variety of fire damaged vegetation but everything is making a great comeback. Once you seemingly get to the end of the All Trails route you begin the steep boulder scramble down the creek to the actual Grotto. While you might be tempted to go up the steep left trail leading up and around the boulders, you can safely take a route on the right side of the creek for a quick climbing adventure to the climatic trail-end. The Grotto was perfect today. The pool was deep and cold but wade-able. I walked the perimeter of the cave easy enough although next time I’ll bring water shoes. The falls were flowing well (although I have no frame of reference for this one). I shared the spot w a large family for a good while and then the crowds started coming in. This is definitely a trail for the REPEAT seasonal list. If you’re interested in a moderate trail w some technical moments and some impressive water features, this is an excellent choice. While I might not feel comfortable bringing my 2yr old solo on this one it’d be totally doable w a 2nd adult. There WERE smaller children at the Grotto when I arrived.

hiking
1 month ago

Short trail with lots of varied terrain. Took our 3 kids which made it slower going but they had a blast bouldering near the grotto. Inclines weren’t that challenging on the way back and it was mostly downhill to the grotto. Beautiful surroundings and would be ok in the summer since there is a lot of shade. Will definitely be back to explore some more and tack on some additional trails.

hiking
no shade
rocky
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 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
4 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
5 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
5 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in LA.

hiking
over grown
rocky
6 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
6 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
6 months ago

hiking
over grown
7 months ago

hiking
9 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
9 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!

10 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

Load More