Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

MODERATE 459 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
21 minutes ago

A lot of people say this can be done in 4hrs but you'd be stupid to do it. There's enough to see and side trails to explore you can (and should) take all day with this one.

16 hours ago

Great hike. Breathtaking scenery.

2 days ago

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22 days ago

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23 days ago

Beautiful trail! Took us 4 hours to complete the loop. Amazing views. Weather was perfect. I can see how this would be difficult on a very hot summer day since there isn't much shade for most of the trail. Had a short snack break at the table near split rock. Looking forward to returning to this trail in the winter or spring.

hiking
23 days ago

Overall a great hike though I agree with several other folks that it's more of a moderate plus plus... definitely more difficult that other moderate trails I've taken.

Getting to the trail head... I used Waze and it took me to the Backbone Trail parking not the main area... luckily once you go up Backbone, you join the main trail pretty quickly.

I was a little turned around and went to the left which took me on the short route to Sandstone Peak which was awesome. Unfortunately, with the payoff so early in the hike, it made the back portion along the Mishe Mokwa drag on a bit.

Also, by going in reverse, I really got turned around and ended up straying from the main path several times (down Backbone and Tri Peaks) which added a couple miles to the journey. Normally I wouldn't have minded the diversion, but it was 100 degrees and my water supply was running low. I've since learned my lesson.... I now bring more water that I think I'll need and I invested in a Garmin. :)

Overall I highly recommend.

hiking
23 days ago

Pretty nice hike. Breath-taking views at the peak but the path is a little obscure so use your best judgment once you hit the final scramble.

The entrance kind of sucks for smaller cars since its very uneven and rocky. A small car can still make it if you take your time. And its very short (unlike the drive to get to AZTEC FALLS!). People kind of make it sound worse than it actually is.

After half a mile or so up the hike, you'll have to choose between taking the Sandstone path or the Mishe Mokwa path (red pill or blue pill). Its a loop so technically it doesn't matter since you'll be covering the same mileage.

But here's the difference - taking the Sandstone path is a shorter path to get to the peak, HOWEVER, the incline is much more drastic than taking the more gradual incline of the Mishwe Mokwa path. Me? I mistakenly took the Sandstone path - no ragrets though because beating everyone else to the peak and having the view to myself for a couple hours was worth it. In all honesty, its not so bad.

If you reached the antenna, congratulations! You climbed to the wrong peak because as you look to the left, you'll see the TRUE peak (I made this mistake so its okay if you did or will as well)! But we're not here to talk about the phony peak, we're here to talk about the mt allen peak!

At the REAL peak, you'll notice a plaque dedicated to Mr. W Herbert Allen who did much for the Boy Scouts of America (4-H ALL THE WAY BABY!). Beneath the plaque is a rectangular slit covered by a...cover that hinges upwards. Inside are notebooks and pens for you to write your life experiences. Me? I wrote people who done me wrong. LOL JK (or am i?)

After you're done taking in the scenery, breathing in the southern california air, and taken plenty of instagram selfies, its time to take on the other parts of the hike.

Returning down to the main trail and onto the backbone, you'll eventually come across Inspiration Point! I stood there debating if i should take it one since all i really wanted to do at that point was to eat sushi. I decided, the heck with it, what's another mile? PLOT TWIST! it only took a few yards to actually reach Inspiration Point. Once you reach the block with a plaque that describes how this place was created by an eagle scout (still 4-H BABY!), there's a circular plaque on the top surface that if you turn it based on the direction the arrows point to, a cave will open and lead you to an 80s arcade. JUST KIDDING! but the plaque is still pretty cool.

Continuing on, at this point i'm really hungry for sushi, you'll traverse for another 2 or so more miles until you return to your car.

Overall, this hike was pretty neat and cool with all the sweet historical stuff. I am disappointed that there aren't any plaques dedicated to any 4-H individuals. House 4-H abides by these words: HEAD, HEART, HANDS, and HEALTH! (Game of Thrones anyone?)

23 days ago

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24 days ago

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24 days ago

24 days ago

Fantastic loop with plenty to see. Ocean on one side valley on the other. Plus plenty of extensions to modify your day!

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24 days ago

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27 days ago

Awesome! Beautiful scenery and wildflowers. One of the best in the LA area.

hiking
30 days ago

Beautiful hike! Started at the suggested spot for sandstone peak and took the peak trail up, rather than wrapping around the backside on the Mishe Mokwa trail. It's a steeper ascent, but I prefer getting the steepness out of the way when my legs are fresh. Once you finish sandstone peak and enjoy the view (there was a snake by the sign in box, FYI), stick to the backbone trail to finish out toward Tri Peaks, Balance Rock, and the rest of the Mishe Mokwa trail. It is worth it to complete the full loop, by the way! The views are breathtaking and, if you're lucky, you can take a break past Balance Rock and watch some awful rock climbers try to ascend a wall across the valley.

Others are not exaggerating about the parking lot. I was glad I brought my CR-V rather than my fiancé's Fit - you could do some damage to your vehicle trying to go up that entrance. There are a couple spots on the road for parking but if those are taken, there is a larger lot about a 10 minute walk away if you're coming in from the Westland Blvd side. Enjoy!