Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

MODERATE 1046 reviews

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, 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
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
797 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

historic site

PLEASE NOTE THIS TRAIL MAY BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS. Please see park website for the most up-to-date information. https://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/solsticecanyon.htm 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.

Amazing trail , park rangers were giving citations for dogs off leash / and dogs by the waterfall towards the end of the trail

hiking
3 days ago

Good hike. Beautiful scenery. Mostly dog friendly, leash required.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
scramble
5 days ago

Some parts are very overgrown with the yellow flowers and get whipped in the face ! The first part of the loop is fine mostly wide paved roads the 2nd half of the loop going uphill after the ruins of the 2nd house when you keep going uphill very steep and narrow and very overgrown. I took my 5 and 8 yr old and was getting a bit worried but we made it back . Did see a snake too

hiking
6 days ago

Both parking lots were full when KB and I arrived around 9am on a Sunday, so we parked on PCH. Blooms were craaaaaay. Easy hike. Lots of people.

hiking
7 days ago

Breathtaking hike! I am somewhat out of shape but was able to complete the loop by taking breathers as needed. You are without shade for approximately 30 minutes of the entire hike. The flowers are amazing and there are lots of opportunity to take some great photos. If you want the view of the ocean, it is best to wait until the marine layer lifts. On the flip side, that means you will be dealing with a full parking lot and lots of people. I would go back frequently if I lived in the area.

hiking
7 days ago

Amazing trail! Wildflowers are spectacular in April. Only complaints are too many people, and that it’s paved for 1/4 of the hike. Lots of nature and animals/bugs- worth the trip to Malibu!

hiking
over grown
7 days ago

Great time to see the wildflowers, especially Mustard. The Deer Loop is a bit overgrown so be aware that you’ll have to push through some bushes, but makes for very lush, beautiful scenery!

1:30 4.2miles

hiking
7 days ago

This may be my favorite trail in LA. I’d recommend going in alongside the creek to the waterfall and then crossing over the creek for the return route. It climbs quickly and you’re rewarded with stunning views of the ocean on your way back to the parking lot. The reverse route has a longer, harder climb and the ocean views are behind you.

hiking
8 days ago

If you do this hike for the waterfall you will be disappointed(at least I was). It's a small waterfall that you can't get close enough to touch the water. There's other hikes with much better waterfalls in Los Angeles. The views were great though. Especially this time of year with all the wildflowers blooming.

hiking
off trail
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

This was amazing!

hiking
no shade
rocky
13 days ago

hiking
bugs
14 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Amazing wildflowers and with great ocean view. Easy trail, it would be nice for run too.

hiking
bugs
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Really beautiful hike! You get to see the ocean, walk through beautiful flowers and theirs butterflies and birds everywhere. Theirs a washroom which is a huge plus! You got to see the remains of a house that burnt down in 1950. Their was also a waterfall on the property. You don’t get shade at one point for probably a mile. Bring lots of water! Parking can be a nightmare is the only downfall. Theirs parking at the beginning of the trial head but very limited. You can park farther down, you just have to walk 0.2 miles to the trailhead.

hiking
20 days ago

Wildflowers are amazing right now!

recorded Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

hiking
over grown
21 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Wild flowers!!! Lightening yellow!

hiking
no shade
24 days ago

beautiful wildflowers emerging from the remains from the fire. great hike, a few slightly challenging hills, but very manageable. the waterfall at the top of the loop is a perfect spot to cool off.

hiking
no shade
26 days ago

Wildflowers are out and about! Nice trial, with enough uphill to make you feel like you earned the views, but not too strenuous. Very popular, lots of people, kids, and dogs but everyone was respectful (besides some trash and dog poop). Parking is a pain, so either get there early or go to the overflow lot (keep going straight past the main entrance and you should find it). ALSO, don't use the "directions" option straight from the app, it will take you to the wrong place. Type in Solstice Canyon Loop Trailhead into Google maps instead. As of today (3/26) the wildflowers were fantastic! Lots of variety: lupin, a few poppies, indian paint brush, flox, blue dicks, mariposa lilies (lovely!), vetch, popcorn flower, and many others I couldn't identify. and TONS and TONS of mustard. It can't all be natives, I guess.
Also, the extra offshoot off the loop that's part of the trail on the map isn't very necessary. It takes you to one more chimney ruin, but don't feel like you will miss anything if you skip it.

hiking
27 days ago

Amazing wildflowers and ocean view! Absolutely breathtaking! Felt like a religious experience. Highly recommend.

hiking
28 days ago

Went before the fire - gorgeous loop with great variety and a little history.

hiking
28 days ago

Went before the fire - gorgeous trail with great variety.

hiking
1 month ago

Following the Woolsey Fire, this beautiful trail is closed indefinitely. All access by car was blocked as of 3/12/19.

hiking
closed
rocky
washed out
1 month ago

The trail was closed (due to the rains last week), but we saw quite a few people up there nonetheless. I have always loved this trail. We park at the main entrance and walk up a little ways past the bathrooms and such. You end up at the house that had been burned in the fires long ago, and can walk along the side to the waterfall. Although everything had obviously been charred due to our most recent fires, the rain has created the most lovely yellow wildflowers and the waterfall was more amazing that I had seen it. If you cross over the tiny stream, you can continue up a loop (1.9 miles) that will eventually end at the parking again. We have taken friends kids (8 years plus) that have done the whole hike. There is a decent amount of inclines, but lovely spots to take your time and enjoy the lovely scenery.

hiking
closed
muddy
washed out
2 months ago

After 3 weeks of off and on rain, trail was muddy & washed out, but lots of new greenery, wild flowers, wild grasses, and the creek flowing nicely and waterfalls in rare form. Simply gorgeous!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Love this, just shame I can’t bring the dogs. Warning - a hard scramble toward the top between the 2nd and 3rd waterfall. But good views and a real challenge. One of my favourites.

3 months ago

I did this hike before the fires and really loved it

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