Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

MODERATE 913 reviews

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is a 3.2 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
3.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
797 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
15 days ago

The beginning of the trail to the waterfall is easy. If you decide to continue up the trail to the left you’re at an incline until you reach the Deer Valley Loop. That’s another mile-ish loop and then you go back down the way you came.
There isn’t much shade on the trail, only when you reach the abandoned structures along the way.
It’s really woodsy in some areas with streams, and there are lots of birds & lizards. Overall very beautiful, and quiet on the harder trail.

19 days ago

A little harder than moderate at some of the road diversions. Warm and sunny! Loved it. You can see the ocean from some spots.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike!! The ruins are quite interesting. Nice that they have a write-up on the home that used to be, complete with pictures. The falls were very nice, even though a bit light, as there has been no rain lately.

We wanted to take the entire loop, so we made the decision to follow other hikers’ advice and start out on the Rising Sun Trail. Taking this way gets the steep incline portion out of the way in the first leg of the hike, which really helped to make the rest more enjoyable.

At first we thought the falls were closed, because of an early sign saying “area closed”, but this is misleading. There is another way to the falls just behind the ruins, as this was essentially their back yard.

The way back alternated on a paved road and hopping over the tiny stream, and it was really nice...easy.

27 days ago

Loved it so much nature to see and explore and not a hard hike at all.

1 month ago

Great trail!

1 month ago

Great hike. Beautiful, rather easy. Kids loved it. Not long.

hiking
1 month ago

fun hike. free parking lot

hiking
1 month ago

Visiting from SC, this was a perfect loop trail to tackle with my 7 and 10-year-old boys. We loved the ruins, the hollow “slide” tree near the ruins, and the awesome views of the Pacific. Then a quick trip to the beach to cool off!

hiking
1 month ago

This super lush and scenic Malibu hike is actually just up the street from the Corral Canyon trail and very close to the DELICIOUS Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market.

So let's just get this out of the way since my friend and I wasted a bunch of time trying to find the free parking lot that's at the beginning of the trailhead. Just before the 76 gas station, take a right onto to Corral canyon road and take it all the way to the very end until you see a large (not small) parking lot. This is the actual trailhead. Anyways, we took the pathway that descended into the canyon and it was very level and doable and then we came upon the burned down houses and the small yet cozy waterfall area. I finally found the sign for the "Rising Sun Trail," definitely take this trail as this was my favorite part of the hike as it ascends up the canyon and loops all the way back around to the parking lots. It's quite the workout especially with staircase portion that gets you huffing and puffing. All kinds of beautiful greenery throughout the journey. It took about 3 hours.

UPDATE:
I just did Solstice for my second time but this time around I took the Rising Sun Trail FIRST from the parking lot trailhead. The entrance is not obvious at all so when you get to the main entrance trailhead, look to your right and find the stairs to venture on the Rising Sun trail. It was a nice gradual ascension into the canyon and then after about 1.5 miles it starts to descent into the shaded canyon into the tropical terrace. From the Tropical Terrace ruins, you can take the paved road all the way back to the trail to make the whole journey a loop.

- @justroc @just.trek

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful, scenic and just challenging enough to make it a workout.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a wonderful moderate hike. Perfect for a quick get away. The loop is nice. There are some wooded areas, creek areas, and even get hit by a life saving ocean breeze once near the top. The views are fantastic. The flowers in the spring make for perfection.

2 months ago

Great hike! Done it about a dozen times and it never gets old. Well-maintained, great waterfalls, and super peaceful. Do not go on the weekends but go during the week early.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with the family. Not difficult at all!!

hiking
2 months ago

Great place to hike if you’re looking for a moderate intensity hike. Parking is extremely limited so be prepared to either park on PCH or up the hill

hiking
2 months ago

this Trail is a very good two in one Trail. first part of the trail and why fire type Access Road which is both Earth and also paved. you reach a ruin which appears to be some type of multi-use camping area. however the falls at the end of the trail is back above the room so you have to climb some pre-made steps to get to the falls. the journey is .6 miles from the trailhead. the second part of the trail is where things get interesting you cross the creek and immediately began a Switchback climb up to the rim

2 months ago

At first I thought it was too easy while we walked the paved path. Once we made it to the old house and waterfall we continued our loop up hill and enjoyed the moderate hike. The views were fantastic and just hot enough to break a sweat. We got lucky on parking right at the entrance of the trail but could see that parking was an issue as it got later. It was a little crowded but people were very polite. Overall glad we took this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Very fun! Push it if you like it more strenuous or chill and enjoy the views if you like that. Either way you’ll love this hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this trail! Parking is tight and I recommend parking outside the park entrance, lots of space along the road. The ruins are pretty, great scenic views, and there is shade along the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike with lots of shade. There are two small parking lots, lower and upper, however we waited 15 mins and there were no spots, so had to park down by PCH and walk up. From the trail head, the first 1.15 miles are easy and goes to the waterfall, from here you can turn around and head back the same way, for a nice 2.5 miles nature walk. Otherwise, go right and take the Rising Sun Trail which will be a challenging incline for another 1.5 miles, this will complete the Solstice loop. Less shade and more climbing on the Rising Sun Trail, but you will be rewarded with ocean views from the top of the canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on Saturday, May 26th at 10am. Lower lot was full and we did not know about upper lot. We parked close to PcH by gas station. No restrictions to park. If you do this hike and eat there before 9-10am I would recommend checking upper lot.

Stayed left to remain on Solstice Canyon Trail. Paved a good part of way and good shade at start. Gurgling brook below. TONS of birds we could hear singing. Nice foliage and interspersed wildflowers.

Got to ranch ruins and the teensy little waterfall. I did Eaton Canyon a month ago and that is 50 times more impressive as waterfalls go. This is a trickle that’s hard to see.

Way back we took Rising Sun Trail and that was much prettier to me. A narrower trail with less people but no shade. Wildflowers seen more frequently and all along trail. Lots of various wildflowers. Lovely canyon views and eventually opens to gorgeous view of ocean.

This lead us back to upper parking lot and eventually where we parked

2 months ago

i am writing this review for those parents that are looking for trails to take your kids. This trail is perfect! I have a 8 and 6 year old and they enjoyed this trail. Bring snacks or pack a lunch there is plenty of spots to stop and give them a snack or take a picture. The ruins will be their playground and the waterfall will not disappoint. Although they cannot play in it.

2 months ago

good

hiking
3 months ago

We went in the paved side from the parking lot up to the ruins of the ranch. From there we climbed up the switchies to the top of the hill and were rewarded with that VIEW and an easy, gorgeous walk down. Awesome trail and a butt burner.

3 months ago

Stunning

3 months ago

Great place to hike! I enjoyed it very much

walking
3 months ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike! We arrived around 7:50am, which was perfect for parking. The scenery was incredible and there were a couple of challenging moments but overall pretty easy and chill. To be honest, we were a bit confused at certain forks in the trail, but that’s just because it was our first time. Will definitely return!

hiking
3 months ago

The was a beautiful hike. I loved being able to enjoy both the mountains and the water, the view was gorgeous the entire hike! Bonus-looking at the ruins of the old mansion that was burned down during fires and a small waterfall. We saw a lovely group of deer up on the mountains which was a pleasant surprise! Will definitely go back again! Moderate Hike with some steady inclines (we did the loop).

hiking
3 months ago

Very beautiful and scenic trail in Malibu. Parking is really hard to find in the designated trail parking area. However, you can find “precarious parking” just 2-3 minutes from the trail entrance. If you want to park “precariously”, don’t enter the road that leads to the initial parking. Continue going up on the road you entered from the Pacific Coast Highway. Other than parking, this is a beautiful and relaxing hike. Not intense at all. The Rising Sun trail does have a pretty steep incline, but definitely doable.

3 months ago

Take the alternative loop back instead of simply turning around at the waterfall. It’s a challenge but you WON’T regret it! The views are incredible. Be on the lookout as this is a natural reserve and rattlesnakes (as well as others) reside here.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful and relaxing. It’s definitely an easy hike. Great for kids and dog friendly. Saw a couple of quails running on the trail for a while. So close to Malibu Seafood for after hike lunch.

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