Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 586 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
1322 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.

4 days ago

Great hike, beautiful changing views. rocky trail so wear good shoes. lots of elevation change to challenge you.

hiking
6 days ago

beautiful views!

hiking
7 days ago

Awesome hike! Great views and lots of elevation changes to keep me challenged. Trail signs would benefit from some arrows but it was still easy enough to follow. Definitely worth going up to sandstone peak!

hiking
12 days ago

Took the 6 mile with loop via Mishe Mokwa (actually ends up being almost 7 if you hike to all the lookout points). Nice leg workout for the majority of the trail, with occasional no incline segments where you can regroup. There is a picnic table at split rock if you’re looking to have a peaceful snack. The path to Balance Rock is not maintained, I attempted to take that course but with the overgrowth and time it would’ve taken to get through I decided to turn around halfway to it. Still visible on the back side on the way to split rock though. The back side of the mountain is pretty much non eventful, just a steady incline. Once you get to the turn (near tripeak trail) you start to gain elevation once again. Next comes the turn off to Inspiration Point (sign present directing you). This provides nice panoramic views and is a precursor to what you will experience once you get to the top of Mt. Allen (SandStone Peak). The turn off to SandStone Peak is about a mile from Inspiration Point, the trail isn’t super well marked to get up to the peak but you’ll see where others have traveled and make your way. There is a Mt. Allen “Monument” at the top with a register book in the slot. The views here are the best and you are rewarded with a 360 degree view. Hopefully the marine layer burns off by the time you get there (it didn’t for me unfortunately). The path back down to the parking lot is on the right and marked, be careful and take your time- the path down is quite a bit of loose rock and a easy place to fall or sprain a ankle. Overall a great hike and a great workout. Bring lots of water if doing the loop because there’s no water sources and zero cell service for most of the path. As always, AllTrail app tracked me throughout the whole trip (even though I paused and forgot to restart for a small segment).

hiking
12 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the Los Angeles area. This is a great trail to take your dog off the leash as you usually don't see a ton of people. I recommend the winter months as it can be very hot with little shade in the summer time.

hiking
18 days ago

Still one of my favorite trails in the area! I love the views and the variety along the trail. Since I start the trail to the right, I reach Sandstone near the end of my hike and it’s a great reward to sit for a bit taking in the view.

Amazing views. Just enough up and down. You feel yourself leaving geologic zones. Love the creek, split rock, lake view, and thickets.

hiking
26 days ago

Absolutely spectacular. Definitely worth it.

hiking
26 days ago

Clear views of LA & surrounding areas especially after some wind & rain.

hiking
1 month ago

Celebrated my BF birthday with this trail. Fun & Amazing beauty.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike! We decided to start the loop towards the left, following Backbone trail to the Sandstone Peak. The path was mostly uphill but you get instantly rewarded by beautiful views.

After the trail branches off to the Tri Tips, we followed Mishe Mokwa trail back to the parking lot. MM trail was mostly downhill and led through forest-y patches.

I loved the hike and I was happily tuckered out after finishing the 6 mi loop. However, I took one star off for Mishe Mokwa trail that seemed underwhelming after Backbone trail.

1 month ago

I decided to take the long route to get to Sandstone Peak because it was my first time there. The route was uphill and downhill at most stretches, but not too crazy if you're conditioned and/or well prepared. The trail loop was easy to follow (using free trail pamphlet, no GPS).

The only problem I encountered was that there are some areas that look like continuous trails, but they actually don't lead anywhere on the map.

I got lost coming down from the Tri Peaks because of following a bad trail. It's best to stick to the trail that leads up from the Mishe Mokwa trail (sign) to Tri Peaks (should say 0.5 miles from that sign to TP) instead of getting back to MM by following the river because it looks like a shorter route on the printed trail pamphlet. It's a bad idea since there's an actual trail that leads nowhere down there!

Overall, this is a crazy trail loop that needs to be explored. I started at 8:30am and didn't get back to the lot till about 3:00pm due to wandering off course to explore.

hiking
1 month ago

Began at Backbone TH just 0.4 miles below the Mishe Mokwa TH. Just two cars at the TH. Read that it was a popular trail but only saw 4 solo hikers, two groups of three, and a couple. Got to take in the spectacular 360 degree views from the peak all on my own. Was a little intimidated by some reviews that said the trail was hard to follow, but I found with basic common sense and trail recognition skills it was very easy to follow. Loved seeing this side of SoCal and plan to do more hikes like this on future visits. Great hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome views, heavy traffic but worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Love this trail! Breathtaking views, highly recommend. Beware of major inclines. Totally worth it at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Not much parking, so get there early.

The views were amazing. We did the route backward (clockwise) and got to the peak in the first 1.5 miles, making the back 2/3 drag on after a while.. but it was worth it to not get stuck behind the crowds going the normal direction.

Good mix of rocks & manicured trail. Boots are nice but this is totally doable in tennis shoes. Took us about 2.5 hours of actual moving time to make the 6.2 mile loop.

1 month ago

Absolutely stunning views through the entire hike, especially near sunset.

2 months ago

Super fun hike. The views are incredible.

hiking
2 months ago

The best hike I’ve been on in LA

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