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What No One Tells You About 7 Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

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Are you looking for the best hiking trails in Malibu that provide some fresh air and picturesque views?

How exciting are the mountains once you hike on the best trails of Malibu?

Well, many nature enthusiasts have trouble searching for the best hiking trails in Malibu!

But there are many better places to explore the best hiking trails in Malibu that we will talk about in this article.

We compiled the list of the best hikes for exploring the outdoors in Malibu that will surely help you out.

Top 7 Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Studded with breathtaking beaches, pristine forests, outdoor parks, and splendid hiking trails, Malibu has a lot to offer where you can capture majestic views in your memory.

Malibu has a seemingly endless variety of incredible routes to discover.

It is a hiker’s dream destination for many reasons and has something for everyone.

Tucked between mountain ridges and views of the Pacific, Malibu is a haven for recreation and nature enthusiasts.

So, let’s dig into detail about these miraculously beautiful hiking trails in Malibu which will take you away from the city chaos and land you in a wonderland!

1. Mugu Peak Trail

Mugu Peak Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Mugu Peak Trail – Approx 6.5 miles
Time – Approx 3:30 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – Approx 62 miles
Elevation: 1225 feet

Studded with rolling mountains, sprawling native grass meadows, and spectacular coastal views, the Mugu peak trail is the top hiking trail in Malibu.

Point Mugu State Park stretches from Newbury Park in Ventura County through some of the most majestic parts of the Santa Monica Mountains, to the Pacific Ocean.

Along the California coast, Mugu Peak towers over the Pacific Ocean boast some of the drop-dead beautiful vistas from the top.

However, It is a strenuous trek, It’s one of the favorite places to hike in Southern California.

If you are a regular hiker you must hike this trail as it is a 180-degree view overlooking the Pacific at Point Mugu and makes your effort worthwhile.

Pro Tips:

Mugu Peak Trail view - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
View from Mugu Peak Trail

I would not recommend this to any beginner as it is really inclined.

If you have a good physique and great potential, this is one of the best hiking trails in Malibu.

Please check with rangers before heading here to make sure the trail is open.

Winsome Facts:

Mugu Peak Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Mugu Peak Trail path

The trail has two ways to reach the peak, one is Chumash Trail, which is shorter, and the other one is La Jolla Canyon Loop which is an 11.75-mile trek.

Along with flora and fauna, you might get some sporadic cacti.

An American flag flies over Mugu Peak, giving witness to spectacular views up and down the coast.

This is not for family-friendly trails and no dogs are allowed on Mugu Peak Trail.

2. Point Dume Cove Trail

Point Dume Cove Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Point Dume Cove Trail – 1.5 mile
Time – 1 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – 32 mile
Elevation: 198 feet

Looking for a short hike that leads to the beautiful mountain where you can see a striking beach outlook?

Then Point Dume Cove Trail is perfect for you!

A dome-shaped headland jutting into the Pacific at the northwest end of Santa Monica Bay is one of the most heavenly spots in SoCal.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be treated to the most enchanting views of Point Mugu and the Santa Monica Mountains.

However, this trail is not dog friendly, this is one of the best hiking trails in Malibu with families where you can bring the little ones.

This is a heavily trafficked trail especially on the weekends so not that great if you are looking for seclusion. Better to consider it for weekdays.

Summertime should be better if you’re trying to catch a sunset hike.

On this trail, you will come across different types of terrain like sand along the way and some wooden boards so just keep a note of which shoes to wear here.

Pro Tips:

Point Dume Cove Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Point Dume Cove Trail Path

If you hike during winters, make sure to bring a jacket because it is a bit windy out in Point Dume Cove Trail.

I think if you follow a normal pace, it probably shouldn’t take you more than 50 minutes to get to the top.

Winsome Facts:

The trail is full of natural moments – beautiful wildflowers, sunset sensations.

In addition, you can witness sea lions and whales from the summit.

3. Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak 

Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Moderate
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak  – 3.2 miles
Time – 2.30 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – Approx 39 miles
Elevation: 1030 feet

Dotted with stunning sandstone formations and breathtaking natural vistas, the Backbone Trail is one of the most visited hiking trails in Malibu.

It’s one of the best hiking trails in SoCal offering an easy escape from the urban jungle to surprisingly wild places.

This trail also hikes as the Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak and Mishe Mokwa Trail Loop, which is a 9.2 kilometers heavily trafficked loop trail located near Malibu.

Perfect if you’re looking for something in that sweet spot of not too difficult but still sweat-breaking.

The Backbone Trail, which actually runs 70 miles along the length of the Santa Monica mountains can be taken in a small chunk here. 

However, it is not a beginner-friendly trail, known as one of the best hiking trails in Malibu.

Pro Tips:

Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak  path

Make sure to bring good hiking shoes or boots as this is a very rocky trail.

Dogs are allowed for this trail but must be kept on a leash.

There is no shade in this area so a morning or evening hike is best to enjoy the scenic views and not overheat on the hike.

An offline map is recommended along with you as multiple users have reported that this trail is not well marked and there may be poor cell reception in this area.

For more information visit here.

Winsome Facts:

The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. 

 4. Escondido Falls Trail

Escondido Falls Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Point Dume Cove Trail – 3.8 mile
Time – Approx 2.30 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – 34 mile
Elevation: 191 meter

Imagine the flourished flora and surreal hiking trails which will land you in a wonderland known as Escondido Falls!

Escondido Falls Trail, typically having two waterfalls, is good for all skill levels, located near Malibu, California.

When Escondido Falls is flowing hard, it is one of the best waterfalls in Los Angeles.

The waterfall has an easily accessible lower level that is 50 feet high and an elusive upper level that is 150 feet high and is impressive in optimum condition.

Before hitting the first fall is easy but after that, it gets a little steep so just keep that in mind.

The Escondido Falls Trail in Escondido Canyon Park is a dog-friendly hike not far from Los Angeles. 

This is one of the most popular hiking trails near Malibu. 

The parking area is right off the Pacific Coast Highway and the trailhead is just across from Escondido Beach. 

Since It is one of the best hiking trails in Malibu, It is usually heavily trafficked.

Tips:

Escondido Falls Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Escondido Falls muddy Trail

Hiking shoes are recommended if you plan to get to Upper Escondido Falls. 

There is a paved driveway leading to the parking lot where you have to pay a $ 12 fee to park in the small lot. 

Please arrive as soon as possible to obtain the parking area for your vehicle.

Winsome Facts:

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 a leash.

5. Grotto Trail

Grotto Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: moderate
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Point Dume Cove Trail – 3 miles
Time – Approx 1.50 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – Approx 28 miles
Elevation: 171 meter

The heavily trafficked Grotto Trail is one of the most scenic Malibu hikes offering a number of activity options.

The Grotto Trail is a short half-mile trail that begins at the Zion Lodge.

This hike is a wonderful place to refresh your bouldering skills and get a solid workout with a little rock climbing.

Shady and breezy areas made this trail enjoyable. The only thing is that it gets very slippery, especially downhill with all the gravel.

A short waterfall at the base of the grotto has water tumbling off a rock like a showerhead that falls into an enclosed pool and makes the place the best waterfall hikes in malibu.

Dogs are allowed along the trail, but not allowed on the last mile through the grotto.

Tips:

Grotto Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Grotto Trail path

Be sure to pack your hiking boots, and I recommend wearing long pants to avoid getting scraped up as you climb the big boulders.

Keep a walking stick and a water bottle along with you.

There is not much cell service on this hiking trail.

Winsome Facts:

If you plan to dive into the small waterfall in the Grotto area, you will have to climb through the rocks, but it is worth the effort.

Dogs are allowed along the trail, except for the last mile of the trail.

It is one of the best hiking trails in Malibu with waterfalls.

6. Malibu Lake Vista Trail 

Malibu Lake Vista Trail - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Difficult
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Solstice Canyon Loop – Approx 4.1 miles
Time – Approx 2 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – 38 miles
Elevation: 350 feet

Have you ever thought about the way you enjoy it incredibly so that it reboots your body and mind?

The scenic vista point at the top of Lake Vista Trail offers a spectacular view in which you will be soaked in the beauty of the place.

Since the scenic beauty of the views of Lake Malibu and the surrounding mountains is unmatched, you must be reluctant to leave the place.

The Malibu Lake Vista Trail is accessible from the historic Reagan Ranch Prep Area in Malibu Creek State Park.

If you are looking for dog-friendly hikes, It won’t work on this.

Tips:

Make sure to wear good-quality hiking boots.

Keep a hiking stick and a water bottle along with you.

Horses can also use this trail.

Winsome Facts:

The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. 

7. Solstice Canyon Loop

Solstice Canyon Loop - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year except for rains
Distance of  Solstice Canyon Loop – Approx 3 mile
Time – Approx 1:30 hrs
Distance from Los Angeles – 31.5 mile
Elevation: 670 feet

Looking for a great venue to stroll where you can see striking waterfalls and some historic ruins?

Then, the Solstice Canyon Trail is a perfect choice that is a partially paved and partially dirt trail through the center of Solstice Canyon.

It begins with a wooded and shady hike to the ruins of Roberts House Ranch, a mid-century Malibu masterpiece built by Paul R. Williams that burned down in 1982.

The dilapidated house is believed to have been a relaxing haven until it was burned down by wildfires in 1982.

The National Park Service is protecting the remaining foundation.

This wide trail is one of the most family-friendly hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains.

As you head up the mountain, a dirt road climbs through several curves to reach the top, where you can look down the canyon to a majestic view of the Pacific.

Pro Tips:

Solstice Canyon Loop path - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu
Solstice Canyon Loop path

Carry a water bottle and energy bars along with you.

Parking at the trailhead is free but limited.  Try to get there as early as possible.

Winsome Facts:

The trail is best for rugged strollers and hiking enthusiasts. 

Since it is an easy hike, it is considered one of the best hiking trails for families.

Solstice Canyon Loop - Best Hiking Trails In Malibu

Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash.

Conclusion:

Through this in-depth article, you will grasp every information regarding the best Hiking Trails In Malibu. 

In this post, I have shared a total of 7 hiking trails that will help you, numbers 3,4, 5, and 7 are the most favorite among the people.

You might find ways to have a very good adventure on your hike to Malibu.

Whatever be the visit, hiking the trails of Malibu is essential as it brings us closer to nature.

So tighten your laces, pull up your socks, and get ready for the best Hiking Trails In Malibu!

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