Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

MODERATE 616 reviews

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
777 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

This is an incredibly picturesque, mostly shaded canyon hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Solstice Canyon Trail is a popular, well-maintained route with some spur-trail opportunities for more adventurous travelers. Some of the highlights include the oldest still-standing stone building in Malibu, a small waterfall and creek, and several ruins - including the ruins of a moderate mansion. From the gate, follow the service road that runs along the right side of the creek. Bear right at the dirt road that takes you up to the 2 odd looking buildings that house the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. To the right of the second building, take the Rising Sun Trail. This trail heads up the ridge, with great views of the ocean, then drops down into the somewhat mysterious Tropical Terrace. This is actually the ruins of a home build in the 1960s, and burned in 1982. There are exotic plants, lovely pools, a 30 foot waterfall (if there has been rain recently), and a hidden statue of the Virgin Mary just before you cross the creek heading into the ruins. This is really a fun place to explore! You can carefully scramble up the rocks on an extremely steep trail to get above the waterfall to a number of lovely pools. The return route is a pleasant shady service road that runs parallel to the stream.

hiking
7 hours ago

hiking
22 hours ago

Very straight forward trail - just follow the signs. Lots of shade and can be pretty chilly in the early morning. When i got to the trail at 7:30am - the park ranger was just ahead of me to open the gate. There's a small space for one or two compact cars on the right side of the gate if you find yourself arriving early and the gate is still locked. There's a few actual parking spaces right at the gates and a handful towards the trail head - so I recommend arriving a little early. Saw 2 or 3 families circling the lot, fighting for a spot when I finished the hike at 9:30am.

The trail itself is well maintained with some incline as well as branching trails to other hikes. Lots of photo ops as you advance in the hike. Its a nice hike with moderate human traffic. At the peak of the trail (about half way), you get a stunning view of the California coast and beach. I suspect it to be very romantic if you had someone with you - alas, I came alone. Nonetheless, the view was still breathtaking so I held my own hands.

hiking
1 day ago

5 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

This hike was a pleasant surprise! I like the fact there there was a piece of history woven in! After you reach the remnants of the home (in which you really need to walk around what remains and read about it) and the small waterfall you continue up and around to get a nice view of the ocean /coastline this part really is what makes it a good hike as there’s a good amount of uphill hiking then as you descend you end up back where you parked. Nice workout and doesn’t take a lot of time! If you are in the Malibu/Santa Monica area you should definitely do this trail!

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

10 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

I've been to this trail a few times and I appreciate what the terrain has to offer. It is close to the beach and right off of the PCH. 

Solstice Canyon Trail is relatively popular because of the multiple additional attractions you can find along the trail. It is a nice short stroll with barely any elevation change. 
Some of the highlights include the oldest still-standing stone building in Malibu, a small waterfall and creek, and several ruins - including the ruins of Robert's Ranch House. We went on the solstice canyon trail up to Robert's ranch house. 

I went on the 2.1 mile trail up to the waterfall, great place for pictures. The trail is paved most of the way so walking is relatively easy. This is a pet-friendly trail and you will most likely see families with their dogs on and off-leash out there. As you walk I'm sure you will see some beautiful flowers, lizards and hear wildlife in the bushes. Depending on what part of the trail you walk you will have a decent amount of shade as you head up towards the waterfall. The waterfall is small but it runs year round (very rare find) and is nice although the railing around it is a little unsightly. There are connecting trails that go up the canyon sides so you can hike for quite a while. Those are steeper and more open. 

I would say this is a very do-able hike if you are in shape. I actually saw an elderly lady walking while I was on my way there. On my way back down I saw her, and her party still en-route to the waterfall so it's relatively easy to do.

Parking and entrance to the park are free. There is a small lot with about 5 or 6 spaces upon entering the park. If you go further into the entrance of the park there is a lot with about 20 spaces in addition to some parking off to the side of the of the lot. When I can't find parking in those lots I drive up the hill before you enter the initial parking lot and there is an area to park overlooking the beach and PCH. I actually prefer parking there for the picturesque views and walking down to add some steps to my hike.

If you're chasing Waterfalls this is a decent trail to start.

15 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

21 days ago

Did the loop in just over an hour. Enjoyed meandering around the ruins of the house and the little dead end that leads to a small waterfall. It was a foggy morning (and beautifully chilly) so no views of the ocean. Guess we’ll just have to go back!

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

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23 days ago

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29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago