Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

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One of the places I have always wanted to visit and to hike was the epic trails of Malibu. They have sprawling green hills, amazing views of the coast line and even plenty of waterfalls. For some reason I had never found myself out there, but I corrected that this last weekend by spending all of Saturday conquering three of the area’s best trails with four other members of the team. The first of these trails that we went to was Solstice Canyon.

IMG 0330 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

Solstice Canyon is one of the area’s most popular hikes and has many different trails, making your time there as long or as short as you would like. For us we went on the Solstice Canyon Trail that takes you to the old burned down house and the waterfall then returned on the rising sun trail which gains a fair amount of elevation before dropping you back at the start.

IMG 0310 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

When we went on a weekend and got there around 9AM, both the parking lot and the overflow lots were full. We ended up being able to park on a small turn out about a quarter of a mile above the overflow, so while this added about a half mile to our journey it was nice that they had so many different parking options, being that it is right off of PCH. Plus, you can’t beat the view from where we parked our car.

IMG 1011 1024x768 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

This hike is really beautiful and if you do not add the rising sun trail it is easy enough for almost any member of the family. There is a nice little creek that your follow most of the way, lots of shade from the trees that line the road and a different pieces of urban decay that you can see. About a mile into the hike you reach the old burned down house that was built in the fifties and was burned down in the 80s.

IMG 0315 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

It must have been a real mansion when it was in its heyday as the grounds of the house seem very large and are fun to walk around and explore.  There are all sorts of things to see ranging from the fireplace to a bathtub and even what resembles an old dam. It is a really cool place to explore.

IMG 0318 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

From there you can proceed up to the waterfall which isn’t more than 100 yards from the old house. It is a really nice waterfall, about 30 feet tall with a fair amount of water in it when we went. This is a great place to have lunch before heading back, you can see the full group in the below shot.

IMG 0363 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

From there we went up the rising sun trail which is a good amount of elevation in the first half mile. It will take you up over the old house and you can see the ruins from above as you continue to wind up about 700 feet of elevation.

IMG 0372 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

When you plateau you will have a good view of the ocean and surrounding area, there are some extravagant houses here, before heading back to the parking lot. Make sure you realize that this portion of the trail has absolutely no shade. If you go during the summer months you will have a really hard time getting out of the sun if you need to, so just add that into your preparations.

IMG 0388 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

Solstice Canyon is a hike that should be on everyone’s list. It has enough things to see that it is even a great choice for families to take their kids too. Check out the rest of the pictures and get directions below.

Duration: 2 hours and 22 minutes
Length: 4.6 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 982 ft
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate depending on trails
Trail map: Click Here

Get Directions

 Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

About Josh

My name is Josh and I am a fan of the outdoors. On the weekends you will find me hiking or trying to complete any of the numerous adventures I have on my list. I live in Southern California and love the deversity that allows me to have in my daily life. I am part of the OutdoorPros Adventure Team. I also love photography and you can find me blogging on my California Travel Blog.

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  • Marlena

    Hey Josh, just did this hike today and wanted to say thanks for the recommendation! I really love waterfalls and wanted to do a waterfall hike and had plans to go to Point Dume, so I stopped at Solstice Canyon and brought my mom along on this hike. It was very easy and a neat little canyon to venture off into. I was also much more fascinated by the blueprint of the house then I ever thought I’d be. When I read your review online I had only really cared about the waterfall, but when I got there in person I found the blueprint to be really neat – how crazy that those fireplaces and stoves are still there! It’s not an incredible hike by any means, but definitely a nice little Malibu hike – great for families!

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    • Josh

      Ya I would agree, the house is really crazy to still see what they have there! Thanks for the comment, was there any water in the falls?

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      • Marlena

        Yeah, there was a good amount of water in the falls, actually! When I first got there, I thought that the lower part of the falls was all there was, but we hopped the rocks a little further and found the upper/taller part of the falls. It was pretty. The water looks a little funky and dirty, but still pretty, especially for its proximity to LA.

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