Mishe Mokwa Trail to Tri-Peaks and Sandstone Peak is a 7 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.
dogs on leash
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.
This was an amazing trail! I highly recommend it. The views are gorgeous, I was a little confused when I got there but I found it after like 5 minutes. Haha. I did this trail by myself as a "finding myself" kind of thing and I've 100% found my go to spot. This is by far my favorite.
Started early around 7am and we were the first ones on the trail started out by going right. Within the first 30 minutes of the hike we ran into 2 rattle snakes the second was twice as large as the first. As you can imagine that kind of changed the mood of the hike for about an hour. Also as the path winds up and down before the creek and split rock was seriously over grown with some large bushes covering the entire path a some points. At one point my 6'3 boyfriend had to crawl on his hands and knees to get past the overgrowth. Once you're past split rock and going back up the trail it clears up a bit. Definitely recommend going early because after reaching each peak and having a snack the path began to get crowded with most people going the opposite direction (meaning they took a left instead of a right at the start.) bring lots of water! Would definitely do it again, the views were worth it.
Beautiful trail with awesome vistas and spur trails. Can be fairly crowded.
Great all day hike. Stopped for a quick snack at inspiration point, did some bouldering, and the pup slept for days after!!!
It was awesome. Great views, great exercise.
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE HIKE
Took my son's girlfriend who was visiting from Alaska and she loved the hike as well as the views. It was cloudy and raining at some points of the trail so we didn't have clear views of the ocean, but still beautiful. Not too difficult but challenging enough. Lots of loose rocks near the top so wear be sure to wear proper shoes because you do slip a lot.