Summary: This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular Echo Cliffs where rock climbers ascend shear cliffs, a house sized boulder delicately balanced on a small rock beneath, a giant split rock where kids can dash between the sheer walls, stunning giant sandstone formations, and breathtaking views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point. Highly recommended.
Trailhead: The trailhead is 1 mile east of the Circle X Ranch, which is located 5 ½ miles from Pacific Coast Highway on Yerba Buena Road in Malibu. Alternately, from Westlake Village, exit on Westlake Blvd from the 101 Freeway, and follow it south for several miles as it merges with Mulholland highway. Turn right onto Little Sycamore Canyon and it will become Yerba Buena Road as you cross the county line. Proceed on Yerba Buena Road for about 4 miles to trailhead (about a mike before you hit the Circle X Ranch Ranger Station). (Lat:34.11161 Lon:-118.92643)
Trail Guides for Mishe Mokwa Trail - Sandstone Peak:
101 Hikes in Southern California
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
On The Trail - Malibu to Santa Barbara
by Cathy Philipp (Cathy Philipp Publishing)
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers
Ranger Contact: Santa Monica Rec. Area - 805-370-2301
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted 104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 21 Submit your own review
Reviewed by af on 3/15/2012
i had the best time of my life :,).. so beautiful *sigh..
Reviewed by sm on 3/5/2012
Very nice hike. Beautiful on the way and beautiful when you are the top. Very nice rock formations. Split rock is great place to relax and take a break. Bit of a tough drive to get there though.
Reviewed by Jason on 1/22/2012
So here we are in late January doing the Mishe Mokwa trail! Beautiful day, started sunny, then got cloudy halfway through. Advice: Venture off to Inspiration Point and TriPeaks along the way, they are quite brief excursions. If you like trail running, there are some points along Mishe Mokwa that our flat with some nice soft soil. The initial ascent is super tough though, even as a hiker, so take it slow and let the forefoot do the work. Anyway.. scenery? Gorgeous and green. I saw 4 species of flowers too! The clouds started to roll over the peaks and it was AMAZINGLY awesome. Def do this if you're decently in shape. If you're not super duper exercise-arrific, there is a shorter route that's only 1.5 m to the peak. Not that coo
Reviewed by Joe D on 1/4/2012
Great hike today! Had been meaning to do it ever since February of '09 when I reached the trailhead and it began to rain. Hiked with my wife, friend and his 5 year old son. We had anticipated only doing half of it but the little guy wanted to do the whole thing. Beautiful scenery and mountain views. Make sure to do the little spurs at Inspiration Point and Sandstone Peak for some truly incredible views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. Especially from Sandstone peak (Tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains) where you have a 360 degree view of everything. And in January everything is so green. Definitely the best time to go! Would definitely hike this again!
Reviewed by Shaun S on 12/10/2011
Now hiked up twice. Amazing hike! Get's your blood pumping which makes sandstone peak seem like an accomplishment. Good hike for someone trying to stay in shape or get in shape. Calves and thighs definitely get a nice workout. Dirt and a section of some pretty loose rocks so I suggest some ankle support but running shoes will suffice. Bring water. 12/10/11 wore shorts and a T. I love California!
Reviewed by Lisa R on 11/27/2011
Took a group of 8 yesterday. Great conditions. Definitely take the Mishe Mokwa Trail to the Backbone and then hit the two high peaks at the end. Previously went directly up to Sandstone Peak and it is unrelentingly uphill. The other route makes for a much more pleasant day. Took two novice hikers but generally fit people who handled it well. recommend a walking stick for downhill due to loose rocks on trails. Near split rock we saw a swarm of millions and millions of ladybugs - coating every surface (including the trail). Be sure to do the Insp. Point side trail, too!
Reviewed by MB on 7/30/2011
THis was a great hike, we hiked this trail over a year ago, this was our first hike 'ever' wouldnt recommend for first timers. But this had breath taking views I would hike again.
Reviewed by Sean S on 6/18/2011
Great hike! I didn't realize how far of a drive this was (I'm so used to Temescal being 10 minutes from my front door), but the drive is WELL worth it. It stayed overcast until we got to the top and then the clouds parted revealing a stunning view. I will definitely return here (and with a pen so I can sign the register!)
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