Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

MODERATE 715 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
2 days ago

Nice hike and great for kids ... last stretch was a good work out and wish the waterfall had more water flowing down. Get there early to get parking or you may get blocked in like i saw today for some folks. Canyon was nice and cooled towards the middle but get great views and sun once on the ridge.

hiking
8 days ago

Love this trail!! I do it multiple times a week and I still feel like I see something new and that I am challenged every time.

hiking
9 days ago

This place is pretty cool lots of little spots to stop and check out. Trail splits to different side of mountain we took right side wich leads back to parking lot.

hiking
9 days ago

This actually was an amazing hike in the later part of the day...nice and cool and then the sunset over the ridge. My kids and I (3yr old daughter and 7yr old son) did the whole thing including the hillside going up from the mansion with ease!! Def. a family hike...but careful on the later parts...its a steep ridge so keep the kiddos close :)

Trail is easy to moderate at best. Ruins are cool but not super impressive. The waterfall is mainly just a trickle. Probably a good hike for families.

26 days ago

We went with kids (8 yo and 11 yo) and everyone enjoyed it. The waterfall was great and the creeks were cool.

28 days ago

Beautiful, challenging enough. My dogs did get ticks for the first time though. Make sure your pups have tick prevention (lime disease).

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Despite being overcast and cloudy, I thought that overall it wasn’t a bad hike. The ruins and waterfall weren’t too impressive, but the trail itself became challenging once it got steeper which contributed to being a great hike. There was a set of beautiful stairs along the trail (one of my favorite parts of the hike). Definitely recommend doing this hike if you want to have somewhat of a challenge that’ll make you sweat but also if you just want to do a quick hike that doesn’t take all day.

hiking
1 month ago

waterfall wasn’t very impressive. for first timers the markers can be confusing. overall good trail.

1 month ago

My kids loved it! We went clockwise and the views were beautiful on the way down.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Beatiful trail!

1 month ago

it's a very easy and fun hike with lots of information. there is a crazy homeless guy that will seranade you as you hike next to the fenced off waterfall. I will go back when the rains come.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail! Some cool history and ruins along the way. I would suggest going clockwise- your reward after going up switchbacks is a beautiful view of the ocean.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy to stay on the trail, if you do it clockwise - the signage is very visible. Rangers patrol this trail and will ticket if you bring your dogs up to the waterfall area behind the house.

2 months ago

Great trail running spot. Take the Rising Sun section up the side of the hill and then enjoy the views as you wind down the canyon toward the waterfall.

2 months ago

watch out for the snakes =(

2 months ago

Beautiful and covered on the left side of the loop. little waterfall and cool home remains towards the end. right side of the loop goes up but not too difficult for a novice hiker

hiking
3 months 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.

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