Sostomo and Deer Valley Loop Trail

MODERATE 72 reviews

Sostomo and Deer Valley Loop Trail is a 6.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1745 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

29 days ago

Best overall hike in the area.

hiking
2 months ago

We were on the trail by 0800 on the third weekend in September, parking lot had plenty Of spots but was full by the time we finished at 1000. We hiked up Solstice Canyon Trail passed the Keller House ruins and connected onto the Sostoma trail which ultimately connected to the Deer Valley Loop Trail. We added on the Rising Sun Trail on our way back down which peels off the Solstice Canyon Trail at the impressive Roberts Ranch Ruins and waterfall. The Roberts Ranch property was curiously designed by the same architect, Paul Revere Williams who designed the LAX theme building. In total 7 miles with 2000 ft of ascent. The lower trails were populated with families with the Deer Loop Trail uncrowded having seen just three trail runners. Beautiful views of the ocean higher up on the trail, and some scenic creek crossings and small waterfalls. Trails were well marked though trails higher up overgrown.

3 months ago

This loop is an extension to the main and populated trail of Solstice Canyon.

Parking is a private free lot which can accommodate up to about 30 cars, if it's full there are some open shoulders on the outside for overflow.

On a 7am Sunday morning traffic was relatively light. Come around 10am the main hike seemed pretty packed, especially around the points of interest.

Deer Valley Loop will add on about 2.5 miles. This segment of the hike doesn't receive many visitors, leaving the trail somewhat overgrown. If you choose to add miles onto your hike by going up, make sure you wear pants or be on the lookout for poison oak. I only saw them up here and sometimes they were on both sides of the trail.

After about two miles in along the main path is Robert's Ranch house and to its right is a small, serene waterfall. I must say I'm glad this area is monitored as the buildings are free of graffiti and trash. It is a bit of a bummer that you can't "technically" sit next to the waterfall but it's a lovely sight either way.

Keller cabin is located on the Deer Valley Loop. From older pictures I think it use to be a more touristy spot, but seems very overgrown now since not too many people make the trek anymore.

I did this hike counter clockwise on both loops. It is the harder way to go since the inclines for both is steeper and leads to a gradual descent. If you are looking for a workout make sure you go that way.

I loved how well maintained the hike was, the litter I collected all seem like they were discarded the same day. The views, the buildings, and the history makes this hike a necessary activity for anyone visiting the Santa Monica mountains.

hiking
5 months ago

The second loop was really overgrown and at times was hard to walk through. I was wearing shorts and a tank top and my arms and legs got cut up a bit from brushing past all the plants that were overgrown and in the trail path. Luckily we did this hike early in the morning and the marine layer kept us cool and protected from the sun.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike the upper deer trail loop is overgrown so we turned back but the rest was beautiful .. good challenging hike

hiking
6 months ago

The approach trail on the right side is moderately challenging and is pretty clear. Pretty good views. The sostomo trail was super overgrown and not worth the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

It's a lovely hike! Was a nice break from a heavily trafficked Solstice Canyon trail. Haven't seen a person till I got back down (and it's on Sunday)! The trail is more challenging comparing to the Solstice Canyon. It offers some nice lush shaded parts alongside some meadows, and few little waterfalls. You will also enjoy the views of the Pacific. Inclines make a good workout. Water and sunblock are must! I think spring is the best time to hike it, especially since we had decent rainfall this winter. Everything is very green, tons of wildflowers around. Very nice!

trail running
8 months ago

This ended up being a 9 mile hike. Went to the top did both loops 3 hours total. Stopped to take pictures along the way. Beautiful views and interesting scenery a few water crossings and a couple small waterfalls. Great hike parking is limited and trail is overgrown and quite technical. It was a great challenge. Sunrise trail to Deer Valley trail was pretty empty. The rest was moderately trafficked. A lot of uphill to this hike little shade. Bring water and food enjoy the view and experience

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail with great views. When you reach the top of Deer Valley Loop be sure to take the utility road to the top for a great view of the coast.

hiking
Monday, December 12, 2016

Lots of ups and downs. Had a great time doing this hike.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One of my favorites in the area. 6 good climbs and I recommend doing the top loop counter clockwise because you get a long stretch facing the ocean at the end.

trail running
Friday, September 23, 2016

I really liked this trail, the beginning and end are mainly in the sun but once you get up the mountain on the back loop it's much cooler and you get the ocean breeze. I'm a beginner trail runner so it had great inclines that I could run up some then walk. I would definitely do this trail again, once you get to the top the views are amazing

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

There's a couple different options to take on this trail - both will offer great views of the canyon, and both will include some pretty steady inclines. I did the trail that is shown on the map clockwise (both loops). The 2nd loop towards the north will take you to the peak and will offer an awesome view of the canyon and ocean beyond. The trail clocked in at a bit over 7 miles and took 3 hours. Overall a good length. I give this hike 3 stars due to the exposure on the trail (you're in the sun most of the time), so be sure to bring plenty of water if you're going to do this in the summer months. Enter the parking lot at the Solstice Canyon sign - parking is free - that will take you directly to the trailhead.

hiking
Sunday, June 12, 2016

This trail was great! They were easily marked and some cool things to see along the way. I had the AllTrails app on me and had no problem seeing my position on the map along the way with or without service. I didn't the trail was very difficult, but some of the inclines were pretty steep at times. Perfect distance for a day hike. Also there are a few tables and benches around to eat on by the parking lot

hiking
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Really don't understand how anyone could get lost on this hike. It's one of the most well sign-posted trails in the hood and there's a free paper map that the Park provides right at the start. Plus, it seems a lot of the confused reviews seem to be for the Solstice Canyon trail, not be Sostomo & Deer Valley loop trails which is what this should be about. regardless, it was still an enjoyable scenic hike with plenty of different terrain and as someone else's review aptly described in, has a lot of up-down-up-down trajectory rather than just your traditional up-up-up then down-down-down path. I really didn't think it was that difficult to navigate even without a map and I wouldn't rate it as hard either. More of a moderate, not unlike some other parts of the backcountry trails in the SM mountains. Lug soles/hiking shoes would definitely help you here though.

backpacking
Sunday, June 05, 2016

Excellent day hike for folks who want to commit to going the distance. The combined loops along with all the other scrambling we did here made our total distance about 7.6 miles, and it took us about 6 hours. I stopped to take a lot of pictures along the way.
Check out the old hunting cabins, the streams, the ocean views, etc. for a total experience. The elevation climb was very intense at times. Dog-friendly but make sure your pooch is young and in good shape.
The bad: trails are not marked well and I got pretty turned around (lost) in there. Also, encountered several bee hives.
I recommend bringing a lot of water, bug spray, sunscreen. Have fun.

hiking
Sunday, May 29, 2016

This trail isn't as complicated as some reviews suggest. Once you turn onto Corral from PCH, it's a short distance to where you turn left to head to the trail head. You can park anyway along that path. We fortunately found parking. You can also park on Corral just outside the turnout a little further up the road. The trail has bathrooms after a real short distance. Then, you can follow my recorded path for the 6+ mile hike. You go a ways up for some beautiful views. We also saw a deer and plenty of lizards and birds (woodpeckers and some colored birds). We just missed a rattlesnake (whew) that some other hikers were talking about. In all, if you follow my recorded path below the reviews, you'll get a pretty solid workout. I'd say make sure you have 3 hours, though it could probably be done in 2 1/2 or even a little less.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

We went hoping to do a 7 mile loop and ended up getting lost three times- this trail is very poorly marked. Ended up finding an unmarked trailhead going up the mountain and did that for a couple of hours till we decided it wasn't going anywhere and turned back around. Unfortunately the waterfall isn't there anymore because of the drought. There are far prettier (and marked) trails in Malibu.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

This trail is misleading with no end in sight. It says it's 1.3 miles long but it's a trail from hell if you're unprepared (which I was). You might think there's an end in sight, but I ended up turning back after 2 hours of hiking.

hiking
Monday, September 14, 2015

I'm with Soren N on this one: Beware of the un-posted trail length. We took off on this one with too little sunlight left, feeling somewhat familiar with Solstice and thinking that the "1.3 mile" loop trail sign meant just what it sounds like: a loop that is 1.3 miles long. We caught a killer sunset over the ocean, but never knew whether to turn back, if we were about to land on some private property, etc. Regardless, it's a pleasant trail with a healthy amount of inclines, if you're just looking for a glute work out ;) More than half of the trail is without canopy, so I'd definitely recommend this to be a fall or wintertime hike.

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