Solstice Canyon - Spectacular Views, a bit of History and a Peaceful Waterfall.
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
What You Need To Know About Solstice Canyon - Hike this scenic & historic trail.
Plus my BONUS recommendations how to prepare for this waterfall adventure
WATCH the complete video on Solstice Canyon & Falls here
Or check out my journey to other waterfalls by visiting my channel, here.
Looking for a hike that is not only gorgeous but includes some history?
Discover the unbelievable views and interesting ruins left along this trail, which includes a peaceful waterfall.
Depending on whether you make this whole trek of this trail or just want simple hike to the falls, this hike can go from simple to somewhat extreme.
There are two routes you can take:
Solstice Canyon Trail - which is simple, flat and historic
Rising Sun Trail - which is extreme, uphill and scenic
And if you want both just make the full trek like we did.
We started with the simple Solstice Canyon Trail which was mainly flat and led into the valley towards the waterfall. Along this trail you are in the sunlight for most of the trip surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains. This path takes you through a woodsy area which includes a flowing creek fed into the peaceful falls. You can walk to the the historical landmarks; which includes the Keller House and The Roberts Ranch.
After approaching the waterfall, you can head up Rising Sun Trail to take in all the amazing views. Continuing onto this trail is a great workout, so prepare your booty for some work!
Below I have shared the Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Solstice Canyon
And before you head out, watch this video to see the adventure & learn more about the hike
Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Solstice Canyon
1. Where is it?
Located in the Santa Monica Mountains at: 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265
The entry to this hike is off Corral Canyon Rd / Roberts Rd which turns into Solstice Canyon Rd.
Its about a 50 min drive from Mid-City Los Angeles.
There are a few parking lots inside the park.
**Note be careful driving in as there is a very narrow road (1 car lane wide) that cars can drive both ways down.**
This is hike includes one of the most beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Pacific Ocean!
2. Need to Know
This hike is so much more than just a hike; there are views, historical landmarks, a waterfall, and you can even get a great workout. (Read on below for more details about the history, the workout and views.)
The trail is in the middle of the mountains, where the fires hit last year so there are trees and areas where you can see the damage.
There is also a small creek which flows from the falls.
I mentioned there are 2 trails that can loop into one which in total is about 3.2 miles.
The climb can be intense. If you take on this challenge up you will get to an elevation of ~800 ft.
The Keller House
3. The Historical LandMarks
The Solstice Canyon Trail includes the ruins from a few major landmarks to Malibu such as the iconic Keller House or monumental Robert's Ranch.
The Keller House is noted as the first house in Malibu, built in 1865. This house or cabin was made of stone and tin.
In 2007 the Corral Fires destroyed most of this house, you can see the remains in the photo above.
You will also come to the the ruins of Robert's Ranch.
Robert's Ranch was the retirement home or "Tropical Terrace" built for Fred Roberts, a local grocery chain entrepreneur and his wife.
They began the build of this dream home oasis in the 1930's, when Fred purchased the land and later hired famous architect, Paul Revere Williams to design and build their mansion overlooking Solstice Canyon and Waterfall.
Paul Revere Williams, who also designed the Los Angeles Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airpot, was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects.
Williams began his work on this home in 1952, using flame resistant materials. But unfortunately, the fire prone location was taken over and the home burnt down in 1982.
The ruins left today still stand (as seen in the photo to the right) and many still come to see on their visit to Solstice Canyon.
Remains of Robert's Ranch
4. The Falls
Along side the remains of The Robert's Ranch runs the peaceful Solstice Falls which flows into a creek that lines the side of the house.
There you can take a stone built staircase along this creek up to the top of Solstice Falls.
This is a smaller 30 ft fall that cascades into the creek which flows along side the staircase, the Ranch and into a ravine that sits below the earlier part of the trail.
This waterfall is in a very serene and calming location surround by rocks and greenery.
It is no wonder why Robert's Ranch was built here even given the fire risk. Imagine looking out your window every morning to see a beautiful waterfall, listening to the calming sounds of the flowing creek.
Check out the short clip below to see the waterfall.
5. The Trail
Besides the history and the waterfall, this trail has some of the best views from the Santa Monica Mountains.
On top the mountain not only do you get a stunning view of the mountains all around, you will even have the most amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.
Here is where the climb will take you to an elevation of ~800 ft. Its no wonder the views are so amazing; you're on top of the world!
This can explain why the climb can be quiet vigorous and you'll be climbing for a good amount of time.
The nice thing is when you come from the waterfall, the path has many spots that are lined with rock built stairs, making it less risky for slipping. This made for a pretty good booty workout! I was definitely out of breath!
As you climb to the top you will also be in direct sunlight for most of the time so make sure to wear sunscreen and/or a hat and know it can get really hot!
After you reach the top its another trek back down, and because it isn't super steep, you can run down for an added workout (like we did)!
Again this total loop from Solstice Canyon to Rising Sun Trail is ~3.2 miles long which took us about an hour and half.
BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ.
Before you go, remember the following:
A Hike for all ages - This a hike that all ages can enjoy! The Solstice Canyon Trail is pretty flat plus you can take in a lot of history. However the hike up Rising Sun Trail is a bit more strenuous and may require a more experienced hiker.
Pack Water - Especially if you are hiking up Rising Sun Trail, the incline is drastic and mostly in the sun so you'll want to stay hydrated. Note - there is a drinking fountain at the entrance.
Wear Sunscreen / Hat - Even though the trail has shaded parts, there are areas where you might get a lot of sun, especially when climbing up Rising Sun to the mountain top.
Bring a Camera - The old buildings and history are very cool, and the views are very picturesque. You'll definitely want some photos!
Look out for the Path - The loop up to Rising Sun Trail from the waterfall can be a bit confusing because there is some work happening. Make sure to look out as you will need to hop over the creek to continue on.
Drive Carefully - the road to the parking is VERY narrow only one car can fit so be very careful coming down this street.
For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here.
So head out, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!!
Check out the full video, on YouTube Channel, here
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