Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 770 reviews

Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak is a 5.6 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
5.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,368 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

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
20 days ago

This was an awesome hike. the views are great and even the "non-view" areas toward the back half offer entertainment.

hiking
21 days ago

This loop is great! Started around 8:30am and did both the Balanced Rock and Tripeaks spurs - Tripeaks was well worth the scramble through the heat. Make sure to take note of the trail on your way up as it can get a bit tricky finding the trail on the way down. There's a lot of skree so you'll definitely need solid hiking shoes/boots.

Route: I went counterclockwise and was relieved to have the continual downhill from Sandstone Peak to end the hike. Also meant that I was more on the valley side earlier when it was less hot.

NOTE: Bring plenty of water (with the extra exploring I did I went about 7.5 miles total and almost went through 3L camel back). I wouldn't bring a dog - way too hot for them!

hiking
22 days ago

Vistas: I just moved here so this may be uninformed, but I was hoping to have more isolated vistas from which I couldn't see all the houses in the area and some of the development in the valley. Still a great hike and would definitely recommend because when you aren't on top of something that is supposed to be a vista, you actually are pretty isolated and it's quite nice.

Difficulty: Different types of terrain, but this is definitely moderate, easy if you've done your fair share of hiking and are relatively in shape.

Detour tip: To make this hike a little longer I took a 1 mile detour (0.5 miles in and out) on the Tri-Peaks trail and got to a spot that was even more isolated with a learning of alot of rocks and boulders to lay around and chill on.

Sun: Some shade but still lots of sun so don't skimp on the sunscreen and water, especially if you have a dog. Passed several people whose dogs looked dehydrated and one couple who was carrying theirs.

Length: about 3.5h taking it easy with the detour, could easily be done in 2.5h, if not a little faster if you're moving steady.

25 days ago

I did the full trail and I really liked it. There was shade at many parts of the trail but still lots of direct sun. I saw a rabbit and a few lizards. I recommend to go in the morning or late afternoon during summer.

1 month ago

A steady but steep incline up to 360 views from the summit, awesome hike and workout!

hiking
1 month ago

No shade. Go early morning or cool days. Can't give review of full trail. My dog overheated even in his cooling vest and stopping for water in shade. I def wanna return and see the views without him.

hiking
1 month ago

Bring snacks and lunch. Beautiful views and canopying trails at times. Green and majestic vistas. Recommend hiking shoes for climb or decent. Amazing and challenging. Wear sunscreen.

hiking
1 month ago

challenging uphill climb, rewarding vistas, and cool breeze from the ocean. amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail. Hike to mt Ellen highest point. Beware rattlers.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite trails in LA since there are so many ways to experience it with it's different off shoots. You can take this lush trail to Balance Rock, Tri-Peaks, Inspiration Point, and to Sandstone Peak which is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains! The hike is a decent workout and is very doable with gradual elevation.

Parking:
This trail has it's own trailhead but I usually access this trail from the Sandstone Peak trailhead.

- @justroc @just.trek

1 month ago

The perfect day hike. Gorgeous views and nothing overly strenuous. It was a big overcast which obstructed some of the views but made for a great hiking climate. I arrived at the trailhead around 9am and there was plenty of parking and less people on the trail than when I was finishing up around noon. I took my Labrador and he was loving the entire hike, so I’d say this trail is great for active medium+ sized dogs. This is one I’d do again!

hiking
1 month ago

This six-mile loop is easy/moderate, and has beautiful views throughout. There is no cell signal once you’re in the mountains, so don’t rely on GPS to get you all the way to the Mishe Mokwa Trail parking area. Also, there are no bathrooms or water nearby, so plan accordingly.

hiking
1 month ago

Very scenic, quiet and peaceful hike. It was about 6.5 miles. That includes walking to Split Rock, walking to Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak.
The trail to Split Rock is awesome. Amazing views, great many flowers and trees and greenery. We took our time. Stopped for lots of pictures. The amazing Balance Rock is something to just stare at. AMAZING! once you get to Split Rock the hike because a little bit tough since it has gradual incline as you loop around to Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak. From Sandstone Peak back to the car is not the most pleasant only because there is a lot of rocks on the trail. But if your a hiker, that’s part of the hike.
We went on Saturday got there @8am. Perfect time. Lots of parking and very very few people on our trail. Most people just go to Sandstone Peak and back so this trail is longer but definitely worth the serenity. We had lots of overcast. We would watch the mountains in front of us appear and disappear. Got some sprinkles and walking into the fog was awesome. One of my favorite hikes. Few bottles of water is enough for me but if hot definitely would talked more plus hat! Enjoy. Be safe. Clean up after yourself.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Took my friend and I 3 hours to complete with breaks here and there. The mountains look amazing!!! Lots of rocks and flies! Only saw three people during our hike. Water and snack are a must ...

2 months ago

great trail. beautiful scenery. side trail to balancing rock--easy to get off course on way back, but rest of trail really well marked and maintained. hot by mid morning in June

hiking
2 months ago

Very cool hike with some amazing views inland over the Santa Monica Mountains, Channel Islands and South Bay. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to trail run or take it slow all the way. I went to Balance Rock - if you do this trail you have to check it out. You’ll see a little sign shortly after taking a right onto Mishe Mokwa, a couple hundred yards from Split Rock. I finished the hike in 4.5 hrs. It’s roughly 7 miles if you do Balance Rock. My group took our sweet time. You can do this in 3 hrs if you’re a little more focused on the task at hand. Bring at least 2 liters of water if you do this during the summer months. I had to ration out .5 liters because my crew wasn’t entirely prepared - no biggie but easily avoidable. Proper hiking boots are definitely recommended. Sunscreen and hats as well.

nature trips
2 months ago

Ok i went today and got there at 1:30pm and finished at 5:30pm. I took my Osprey bag pack with a full 2.5 liter water pouch. I also brought two addition water bottles. It wasn’t enough for two adults and a dog. It felt like 10 miles instead of 6. My German Shepard struggled the last two miles of the loop trail. The trail to Split Rock was great and moderate but later it became strenuous!!!!! My poor dog protested until the end. I recommend to do half the trail because the last 2.5 miles is annoyingly rocky! Be sure to bring proper hiking shoes, hats, and sun screen... most importantly water!!!!! Must stress water. At least 2 liters per person. Be prepared to be exhausted and tanned!

2 months ago

Vistas for days! It truly is one of the most beautiful hikes of those that are accessible to LA area. I hike to Sandstone Peak first and get the elevation gain ascent out of the way right off - this is the only moderately challenging portion in my opinion. Great hike that truly feels “away from it all.” No traffic or highway views/noise like some other LA hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views the whole time! I would rate this loop as “strenuous”. Bring lots of water and spf. There are also some very rocky downhillls. Ocean views are glorious! Have fun!!

3 months ago

It was challenging for our pooch but over all the trail was great and spectacular view ... the formation of the rocks were picture perfect and would love to come back more often!!! Next time best to bring extra water esp when the weather is warm... luckily hikers were kind enough to share to us their water... after seeing us had to carry our voluptuous med sized dogs :-) pack some lunches .. great idea to stop for a picnic... there are some tables when u reach halfway. Pay attention where you park... there are 2 parking lots and we could not find our car

3 months ago

Good view. Can get really hot in sunny days

3 months ago

Ok- this is a beautiful landscape to hike in, and I am glad I did it...however, a couple things of note: the map at the trail designated this as strenuous, not moderate, and it is 6 miles—
There are LOTS of paths that are like river beds without water, and almost no flat ground to walk on for the last 2 miles downhill of the hike. There are several places where you have to actually climb up and through boulders to continue on.
Sandstone Peak is not an actual path...it is actually an incline of rocks, sandstone, and a few large steps...at the top, it was gorgeous, but not for anyone afraid of heights...or falling...there are no guard rails, paths, etc. Again, I am glad I went, but small kids would have struggles, and it was tough!!

3 months ago

Great hiking trails for family and your paw babies.

4 months ago

awesome hike great views totally worth it.

4 months ago

Neat trail!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful early spring day for a hike, and a beautiful place to take one. Red sandstone monoliths contrasted nicely with green coastal shrubs, some of which were blooming. We saw a couple of dozen other hikers on this trail, and the trail is dog friendly. The views are amazing and reminded me a little of hiking in Arizona with the red sandstone contrasting with the greenery of the plant life and the bright blue dessert skies. The parking lot was flooded from recent rains, and was nearly full to capacity when we arrived-but there was also parking on the street leading into this hike. This area also appears to be popular with rock climbers and rappelers as we saw both.

4 months ago

Really enjoyable. Great views, not too much elevation change.

hiking
4 months ago

Great Hike Amazing view from the top.

4 months ago

Good hike with solid elevation. Seemed really long on a hot day. Views are great but some high clouds blocked the ocean view for us...

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