Mishe Mokwa to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 100 reviews

Mishe Mokwa to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop 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
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1961 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The Mishe Mokwa Trail is a beautiful, well-maintained trail that takes you through a variety of landscapes and showcases the scenic views of the Santa Monica Mountains. When combined with Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peaks, the view is improved considerably. This trail takes you from Yerba Buena Road (via Backbone Trail from the second parking lot) to the Mishe Mowka Trailhead and climbs north-west to the shaded Split Rock. Along the way, you'll pass Balanced Rock (on your right). From here, you head west to the (unmaintained) spur to Tri-Peaks. It's 0.5 miles to the summit of Tri-Peaks (3010'), and it's a lot steeper and more rugged than you've come across so far, but it also opens up to arguably the best view on this hike. There's also plenty of rocks to scramble around on, and if you're lucky, a nice breeze to enjoy. When you're done, head back down to the main trail, and make sure to follow the trail markers pointing you towards Sandstone Peak. It's not hard to get turned around here as the trail loops to the east, so if you're headed in the right direction, you should be passing two water tanks to your right. This portion of Backbone Trail continues to climb as you pass Inspiration Point, Boney Peak (in the distance), and then arrive at Sandstone Peak. The climb to the summit (3111') is fairly intense at this point in the hike (5.5 miles in, if you scrambled up to Tri Peaks and back), and it can be a little crowded depending on when you make it here. But you'll be able to read the crazy things people write in the registry, and add your own commentary when you get to the top. When you're done taking in the sights from the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, scramble back down and make sure you take your immediate right to continue east towards to the trail head. From Sandstone Peak, the trail will begin a steady and sometimes sharp decline, as you lose close to 1000' of the elevation you gained getting here in 1.5 miles. If you parked in the second lot, make sure to pass the first marker (signifying the Sandstone Peak Trailhead), and return to the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, before turning right and heading back to Yerba Buena Road.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Great trail with so much to see and the views will take your breath away at each of the three peaks....definitely worth the effort all the way!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! It was a bit too hot yesterday and we were absolutely exhausted after the long hike. I saw lots of people with their dogs on the trail and just a quick reminder to bring lots of water for them too. The trail for the most part has no shade and the blazing heat is bad for their paws.

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1 month ago

1 month ago

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1 month ago

The views on this hike are fantastic, well worth the exertion for a novice hiker like me. We started out early, got there at 6 a.m. and were the first ones in the lot, but it was worth it to avoid the worst of the heat. Because of time constraints, we had to skip the Tri-Peaks leg of the loop (a good reason to come back), but Sandstone Peak didn't disappoint. Make sure you hit Inspiration Point, it was one of the highlights of the hike.

2 months ago

2 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

I do this trail often. Sometime clockwise, which means it's brutal right off the bat and then easy after Sandstone Peak, or counterclockwise, which offers a more gradual ascent, but a steep downhill from Sandstone on the way back.