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Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

EASY 803 reviews

Solstice Canyon Loop Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. 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

over grown

rocky

no shade

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
1 day ago

This trail was nice but nothing special. The main trail was a fire road and the side trails were overgrown. The waterfall area was nice. FYI dogs are allowed everywhere expect near the waterfall. If your a brand new hiker or with a family it will be nice.

recorded Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

hiking
no shade
over grown
5 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Did this hike in March of 2018. Great way to get away from the busy city and awesome views of the canyon and the ocean!

hiking
12 days ago

This is trail should be rated easy, there is nothing difficult about this trail.

hiking
bugs
13 days ago

Awesome trail and great scenery. Enjoyed the smell of fresh sage in the air. I went with the family so it took a little longer but still a beautifull experience.

hiking
bugs
over grown
private property
13 days ago

isF

hiking
over grown
15 days ago

The hike overall was nice with lots of beautiful flowers. However, I wasn’t able to complete the loop due to overgrown vegetation. At times, I couldn’t see my husband who was about 4 feet ahead of me.

hiking
bugs
no shade
16 days ago

This was a great early morning midweek trail. I got there around 7:30 and was the first to park. When I left around 9:15 the lot was almost full already. Early bird definitely gets the worm. I didn’t see the dirt path going up or else I would have followed the advice below and done that side first. It wasn’t bad though that early in the morning though. The wildflowers were still in abundance. Just so many different kinds everywhere. The ruins were pretty cool but a bummer you couldn’t get close to the waterfall. The trail was very well maintained. I wish all the SoCal trails were this well manicured. It makes hiking a breeze.

hiking
19 days ago

The best tip I can give is to do the trail “backwards.” Start going up the rocky/dirt path right by parking rather than starting by walking on the cement path. This way you do the elevation and exposure in the sun first, and then get rewarded with the shady, waterfall area and walking path on the way back when you’re tired and maybe a little sunburnt! We also didn’t follow anyone the whole trail and no on passed us because everyone was going the other direction. We started around 10:15am Parking is a challenge, but you can park along the road a little ways from the trailhead.

hiking
bugs
over grown
23 days ago

Short 3 miles that you can do it easily in a couple or three hours depending on your pace. Some areas on the hills are overgrown, but walkable. Get some mosquito repellent if you don't want to be bothered by them once the sun light hits the area and the marine layer dissipates. Dogs on a leash and heavily trafficked after 9pm. Get early to secured a spot on the limited parking lot.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a wonderful first day in CA trail. Wildflowers everywhere. Easy, well kept made it a most enjoyable day.

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

We reached just before 10 am on Sunday and got a parking spot at the entrance which has the sign of the canyon. This is an additional parking which has about 5 parking spots. If you drive up about 0.3 miles to the main entrance, it has a bigger but limited parking which can accomodate around 20-25 cars approx. It was full when we reached, but people keep coming and leaving at different times due to variety of trails in this canyon. We started with the rising sun trail but many people were returning about 0.5 miles into that trail coz it is really overgrown at this time. Since we had a 5 yr old with us, we decided to go back and take the easy tropical terrace trail which is 2.2 miles out and back. It is paved most of the way with some shade in intervals. A stream runs along all the way parallel to the trail. Mustard and other wildflowers are flowering. It is incredibly beautiful but there are lots of bees and bugs due to the flowers. It is super easy and totally kid friendly. The ruins of the old house at the end and the little waterfall are very refreshing. There is a lot of place to just sit and have a bite before you head back. There are restrooms right beyond the parking lot which are cleaner compared to other trailhead restrooms I have visited. It was a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. We had a great time!

hiking
no shade
over grown
1 month ago

Fun day hike

hiking
no shade
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was beautiful and fun. The flowers have blossomed so there’s lots of bright yellows. We went to the waterfall where u reach a rail blocking u off. We went under the rail and continued on up the waterfall where it led to a prettier waterfall. The ruins of an old house makes it look like a scene out of the jungle book. Would def recommend this hike. We went all the way up until we could get views of the ocean and then took the back hike back to the parking lot. The top part was a little more difficult only because the plants have started to block the path so there were a few times we ran through them but it added to the experience

hiking
1 month ago

Thanks to all the rain We got this year the trail is amazing! Wild flowers are over 6’ tall!! Amazing. Must do before they die out.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

Mountains, ocean, wildflowers, waterfall... #ofcourse this trail is popular but we found people to be well behaved and the views/smells are fantastic. Kind of liked that part was overgrown because it felt like a wilderness expedition! Definitely coming back for the views, really enjoyed myself.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

This was such a fun trail for myself and daughter. My only complaint would be the people who disrespected the signs. To hike all the way up there and not be able to enjoy the view of the waterfall because others climbed over the fence and blocked the view was disappointing. The Rising Sun loop on the way back was absolutely worth the climb. Beautiful views!

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

I would recommend this trail as a relatively easy loop with great views. There is an ocean view on this hike for a portion of it. I recommend doing it in a way (counterclockwise) so you end with the waterfall (feels sort of like a reward). I saw kids, dogs, and older individuals on the trail so it feels accessible to many. My only complaint is that it is pretty overgrown at a lot of points, so I would recommend wearing pants if you can. Might also be better to do in the morning when it is cooler because there is limited shade in portions. Overall, nice!

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