Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 412 reviews

Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak is a 5.8 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
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1607 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular Echo Cliffs where rock climbers ascend shear cliffs, a house sized boulder delicately balanced on a small rock beneath, a giant split rock where kids can dash between the sheer walls, stunning giant sandstone formations, and breathtaking views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point. Highly recommended.

hiking
3 hours ago

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16 hours ago

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2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

Great day hike ! Went to the peak first but wished we went the long way first . After the peak it took us a minute to find the trail but with AllTrails app it was easy . Beautiful scenery , descent workout . Me and my wife had a great time ! We ran out of time and there's a lot more we want to see . Will definitely do it again . We only brought 64 oz of water each and was barely enough . So bring enough water . Highly recommend it . Good hiking !

hiking
4 days ago

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6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

I've done this a few times and it's simply an excellent trail loop. Here are my observations and thoughts.

I park at the Backbone Trail entrance (east) and take the Mishe Mokwa trail up to the peak. I stop for a quick snack at Split Rock then push all the way to the water towers. If you take the little trail up behind the towers (it's very short) you will find a nifty place to sight see, eat and hydrate. Every time I've stopped here, I was the only one there. Careful up on that rock as you are quite "exposed". You won't be walking away from a misstep up there.

Next stop is Inspiration Point. The view to the south is the same as Sandstone without all the people and alot more room to "stretch out". There is a plaque dedicated to a young scout named William R. Plants.

Next stop is of course Sandstone. Expect a little simple scrambling to get to the actual summit from the Backbone Trail. There is plaque honoring W. Herbert Allen and a book you can sign.

Now you need to make a decision if you run this trail counterclockwise. Continue down Backbone Trail to the east back the car or go back the way you came. If you want a little bit more challenge and/or just want to be on the trail longer, go back the way you came. It comes out to about 8.5 miles and 2000ft gain as an out and back from the Backbone/Mishe trailhead.

A few notes.

- A good 1/3 of the entire loop has alot of sharp'ish stones as the trail surface. Minimalist trail running shoe wearers just be aware of that.

- WATER! Take more than what you THINK you need.

- Trekking poles prove very useful for me on this trail.

- There can be alot of insects around Split Rock. Consider some insect repellent or just bail out of there if you need too. Might be worse when there is more available water for them to breed...

- At the water tanks, Inspiration, Boney and Sandstone Peaks and the Backbone Trail in-between there is little or no shade. If you aren't wearing sunblock or are accustomed to sun exposure, you will get cooked.

- I have yet to see a rattlesnake on this trail, but I have seen a few female Red Velvet Ants. Not nearly as nasty as a rattlesnake, but can still put you or your dog in a world of hurt.

hiking
7 days ago

Just hiked this a few days ago. our friends forgot to bring their own water, so BRING WATER!

9 days ago

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10 days ago

hiking
11 days ago

Love this trail and need to hike it more often. The 360 degree views from Sandstone Peak are amazing.

hiking
11 days ago

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13 days ago

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16 days ago

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17 days ago

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18 days ago

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18 days ago