The Solstice Canyon Loop in Malibu is a great, short hike. Plus, the waterfalls aren’t the only thing to see! It’s just 3 miles, and you get views of almost everything, including the ocean, the hills, a waterfall, and even history!
About Solstice Canyon:
Distance: 3 miles
The Solstice Canyon Park actually opened on the 1988 summer solstice.
The Solstice Canyon Loop Address is: Solstice Canyon Road, Malibu, CA, 90265
At the Solstice Canyon Loop, there are roughly 20 parking spots. When we arrived on the weekend, we snagged the last one. There are other parking lots nearby, but you might be walking further. Also, something to keep in mind is there is a large bee population and bees nest at the Solstice Canyon Loop Trailhead.
We decided to take the single-track trail up first and walk down the path second. Since it’s a loop, you can do either; taking the steeper course first gets the hard part out of the way. Follow the TRW Loop up. You’ll notice this part of the Solstice Canyon Loop is single-track, narrow, and many overgrown bushes are on the trail. You will be batting away small shrubs. The Northeastern in me was worried about ticks! There is not much shade on this part of the hike, so if it’s hot, you will sweat. It was hot the day we went, and I think I went through a liter of water in the first 2 miles (LOL, but I sweat a LOT).
After climbing for a while, you’ll see an old building called the “TRW Space Lab.” It’s now the headquarters of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy!
Once you reach the paved section, continue across and head up the single-track trail. A little while later, you’ll come to the “T junction,” and you want to head right on the Rising Sun Trail. The Rising Sun Trail is named after the Rising Sun Vineyard, started by settler Matthew Keller. This is important because you visit his house during the Solstice Canyon Loop hike! You’re on the Rising Sun Trail for about a mile and a half. Around 1.3 miles on the trail, you’ll begin returning to the lush area.
You’ll do one stream crossing (which isn’t usually too full) and head into the Tropical Terrace Ruins. From there, you can turn right and view the waterfall. But you can also view the Tropical Terrace Ruins.
What are the Tropical Terrace Ruins? Paul Revere Williams, a famous African-American architect, built the Tropical Terrace. The house sat unmaintained and fell to the 1982 Dayton Canyon Fire. You can see this photo on facebook on what the Tropical Terrace Ruins used to be like.
After you’re done exploring, you’ll head down the paved road. From there, you’ll continue heading about the mile back. There is a large community of black hooded parakeets there. They are initially from South America and either escaped or were released. But they thrive in the Santa Monica Mountains.
You can cross over and view the Keller Ruins when you get to a bridge. They are considered the oldest stone building in Malibu and were destroyed in a fire in 2007. Finally, continue heading back as you came, and you’ll hit the Solstice Canyon Loop Trailhead and bathrooms. Then you’re back.
The Solstice Canyon Loop is a great scenic option if you are looking for a fun but not overly challenging hike.
You can see more hikes here.
Questions for you:
Have you been on the Solstice Canyon Loop?
What is the most scenic hike you’ve done?