Solstice Canyon Loop Trail [CLOSED]

MODERATE 959 reviews

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail [CLOSED] 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

closed

historic site

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
closed
muddy
washed out
1 day 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
3 days 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.

1 month ago

I did this hike before the fires and really loved it

2 months ago

Nice easy hike on a quiet Sunday. Great if you like a little bit of history (see the ruins) and small waterfalls.

hiking
3 months ago

nice hike it has couple small waterfalls, around 1 miles is uphill and the rest is easy

hiking
4 months ago

Great close by hike with beautiful views and fun walking through the ruined house and waterfall. We started early (7:45 AM) so trail was empty. We started counter clockwise on Solstice canyon rd . We finished the loop in an hour and 15 minutes so decided to do it again this time clockwise starting with the rising sun trail which is a harder uphill. Ended up having a picnic at the ruins on our way down. Great workout and fun hike! Trail got pretty busy around 10 AM .

hiking
4 months ago

A beautiful park with well maintained and clearly marked trails. Parking at the trailhead is very limited and fills up fast. Rather than waiting for someone to leave we parked at a scenic overlook just up the road from the park entrance and walked the approx 3/4 mile to the trailhead.

We chose to do the loop counter-clockwise. The Solstice Canyon Trail is an old road bed, largely paved, but very degraded in sections. We saw folks pushing baby strollers up to Tropical Terrace. It's more of a walk than a hike, but it is definitely up hill all the way. It's shadey and canyony. Quite lovely. It ends at Tropical Terrace, the site of an old residence. It's a beautiful setting with lots of non native tropical vegetation. This is also the site of the waterfall, barely a trickle on our visit after our long, arid spring and summer.

We chose the Rising Sun Trail for our return. This is truly a hike. It's a trail, not an old road. After a quick and easy stream crossing there is a long slog uphill, nearly to the crest of the ridge in front of you. It will get your heart rate up, but it's very doable. Sections have steps built into the hillside. Once the crest is reached, there is a long traverse with beautiful canyon and eventual ocean views. Then the trail descends back to the trailhead.

This is a beautiful hike easily done as part of a day.

hiking
4 months ago

Good hike featuring a couple of historic sites and vegetation contrasting between desert/mountain/beach (similar to most hikes in the area). Not busy, dog-friendly, quick and easy. Waterfall was barely going, but it being still visible this time of year was a nice surprise!

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike with family. Good incline, total hike felt more than 3.2 miles. Shade on lower part of trail. Beautiful views of the ocean!

hiking
5 months ago

Scenic and historic- good incline!

hiking
5 months ago

Scenic and historic!

5 months ago

Great hike with the family!

hiking
5 months ago

A great hike for when friends and family are in town visiting. That being said, if you're able and wanting to put in some more mileage elsewhere, you can get much better views that aren't as crowded.

5 months ago

Amazing!!!

hiking
5 months ago

I haven't been hiking in a while, I joined my friend Yvette today and we had such a great time on this trail. Seeing the house ruins and waterfall and the view of the ocean made our day.

hiking
6 months 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.

6 months 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
6 months 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.

6 months ago

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

7 months ago

Great trail!

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

fun hike. free parking lot

hiking
7 months 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
7 months 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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.

8 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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
8 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

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