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Mishe Mokwa to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak is a 6.8 mile heavily 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.

Length 6.8 mi Elevation gain 1,692 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Over grown

No shade

Description
Waypoints (19)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

These trails sustained significant damage during the Woolsey Fire. 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.

There are two parking lots for this trail, but I recommend the second for the description of this trail.

This trail has great views year-round, but try heading here the day after a rain for some truly mind-blowing vistas. Start early - there's some shade on the northern part of the loop, but most of the southern stretch is unshaded and can get hot during the summer months.

From Pacific Coast Highway, take a right onto Yerba Buena Road (right near the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties). On the corner of Yerba Buena and PCH, you'll find the Neptune's Net restaurant; just look for the motorcycles, you can't miss it. Take Yerba Buena up past the Circle X Ranch. A dirt parking lot is on your left after rounding a bend. Skip this lot and park at the next one you see (on the right). Cross the road, snag a map, and head up to the trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (514)
Photos (3351)
Recordings (442)
Completed (1655)
Marilyn Zepeda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Very hot.

View Marilyn's Recording
Gabe Rockets
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingNo shade
View Gabe's Recording
Jaime Sandoval
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Hard, scrambling downhill at one point, had to turn back, beautiful sights though

View Jaime's Recording
Rhett Robotham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great hike- not many people, almost all had masks on when passing. I would go early to avoid the heat- it gets hot in the canyon- and hopefully by the time you get to tri peaks and onwards the marine layer will have cleared... or doing this to catch sunset at inspiration point would be lovely. Please pick up any trash you see, I grabbed a mask that unintentionally must have gotten caught on a branch. Also it smells like urine in between split rock - so maybe don’t walk in there like I did. There’s still plenty of evidence from the fires - but nice to see things growing back. Pot a potty at sandstone trailhead :)

Rockinghorse Winner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2020

Great vistas, multiple peaks, challenging inclines. Just a great hike!

Omri Horowitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingOver grown

As others have said, this trail is beautiful! Didn’t see too many people. Did see lots of wild rabbits, and one snake.

Brianne Lydia Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingBugs

Absolutely amazing. The view from inspiration point was priceless. Definitely recommend.

Bob Green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 30, 2020
Hiking

Just did this on an overcast Sunday. Late June. Beautiful flowers and foliage deep in the canyon 1/2 way through or so. No ocean view but still a great hike. Be aware that the reviews mentioned a lot of ground bees - this was overstated in our view - at least this weekend.

Grace Hummingbird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

brings lots of water. super fun hike overall. no shade, bunch of trails overgrown but pretty. did this on a cloudy sprinkly day and it was awesome to see the clouds run in and out. also did another 1 mile up to tri peak and it was totally worth it :)

View Grace's Recording
C Sara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingNo shade
View C's Recording
Irene Melchor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Hiking

This trail is sooooo beautiful!

Lena Art
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

Incredible hike, it has it all: peaks with views, uphills and downhills, desert like portion of a hike, oasis with greenery and trees. When I arrived in the morning the fog was so thick I wanted to go back, glad I didn’t. It cleared up when I got to Sandstone peak and I was rewarded with a beautiful view of fog formation over the valley. No shade, can get really hot. Wear proper hiking boots. Restroom is only at Sandstone trail, no restroom at Mishe Mokwa trailhead.

Cass Carlopio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Santa Monica mountains. Gorgeous views, nice loop. It’s warm in the middle of the day so bring water. We did the hike for the second time in the last month yesterday, and didn’t experience the same swarm of bees we did last time. We were limited in time and managed to do the whole loop in under two hours but we were moving fast. Leave at least 3 hours so you can really appreciate the scenery.

Alexander Vonhungen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
Hiking

This is my favorite hike in the LA area and I try to do it at least once or twice a year. It really took a hit from the Woolsey fire but the flowers and vegetation finally feel like they are back.

Alexandra Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade

Lots of (non-aggressive) bees & bugs throughout this trail - bring bug spray. Bring min. 2L water as there is minimal shade. Overall, beautiful trail.

Cindysue Compton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
Hiking

Love this trail! So much to see hit 4 lower peaks all had something different to offer at the top. I would highly recommend this trail. The parking lot is nice and there are open restrooms there.

Emma Rosenberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

My favorite hike I’ve done in/around LA area. Absolutely Stunning views—and I went on an overcast day. I can’t imagine what it would be like after it rains! I did get stung by a bee near tri peaks. Be careful!

Joseph Friedrich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
Hiking

This trail is gorgeous. Such a beautiful escape from crazy Los Angeles right now. Be warned, just as you pass the bend past Tri Peaks, there is an impressive swarm of bees that has laid stake to a 50 foot stretch of the trail. Luckily, myself, my three companions and our leashed dog all passed through the swarm without being stung or bit. If you have a bee allergy, I would certainly stay away until this clears. Otherwise, the trail was safe beautiful and accessible. I would highly recommend it.

View Joseph's Recording
AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

Fun trail, super hot in late May and for summer. Bring LOTS of water, even though it’s only 6ish miles you will be thirsty! Camelback recommended. Lots of ups and downs, great views and not too crowded on a Sunday

View AllTrails's Recording
Robert Kay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
Hiking

This is without a doubt the prettiest trail in the Santa Monica mountains. At one point you feel like your in Hawaii. Then a fairytale with all the flowers. Then you make the peak and get epic views of the beach and the conejo valley. It’s 8 miles total including doing some of the backbone trail from tri-peak and is not hard or easy. It’s just incredible. The bees are amazing and it’s always an experience. Only downside is it’s crowded.

Edson Palucha
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 30, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky

Bees! Lots of them. They aren’t aggressive but they are on the trail.

View Edson's Recording
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