The 5 Best Malibu Hiking Trails

Malibu is situated between mountain ranges and scenic vistas that are facing the Pacific. Malibu is often called the recreation lover’s paradise.

That is no surprise since Malibu’s beaches and hiking trails are popular destinations in their own right.

Malibu has something to offer for everyone, from heart-pounding treks to strolls up in the mountains.

Best Hiking Trails in Malibu

Chamlee Wilderness Park

Charmlee Wilderness Park

Chamlee park is highly accessible and easy to find. It has a land area of more than 500 acres with a trail that stretches to more than 8 miles.

This trail is very family-friendly with a great view of the ocean and a gorgeous sunset. There is signage that marks the park’s entrance and, you only have to pay the $4 parking fee.

The park is also dog-friendly, but hikers are advised to keep them on a leash. The trail is well maintained, and the viewpoint overlooking the ocean is only a short 15-minute walk from the trailhead.

Most of the trail is relatively easy and is great for recreational hikers as well as families. Chamlee has a network of trails and mostly are rated as moderate. These trails are easy enough even for recreational hikers.

The park is accessible all year-round, and park rangers lead some treks. These hikes are free of charge, except for the parking fee is open to all age groups. If you are looking for a friendly hike, walk with your family, then Chamlee is the correct spot for you.

Saddle Peak Trail

Saddle Peak Trail

Saddle peak trail is a 5.5 kilometer out and back trail located near the Topanga area. It is rated as moderate and is accessible the whole year.

The best way to access the Saddle Peak trailhead is through the Backbone Trail. The trailhead is located near the intersection of Stunt road and Schueren road. There is also a trail marker that reads Saddle Peak Trail.

This trail leads to the sixth highest peak in Santa Monica’s mountain range. It features a 450 feet ascent from the trailhead. NormaUsuallywould only takes less than 30 minutes for a hiker to reach the top.

The views are quite scenic as you traverse along the trail, but the peak of the trail is truly picturesque. The peak offers a panoramic view of Orange County, Santa Monica Bay, and Point Dume.

On a clear day, you would be able to see the Channel Islands as well as the Catalina Island just sitting above the horizon. Saddle peak is perfect for either sunrise and sunset trail activities.

Solstice Canyon Trail

Solstice Canyon Trail

The Solstice Canyon trail offers an easy trek alongside a creek located inside a vast canyon. The main attraction on the 2,6-mile trail is a waterfall that sits next to some ruins.

This trail is rated as easy and is very family-friendly. This is a great venue if you want to go on a picnic and a short stroll.

Canyon trail is fairly easy to follow, and it jumps off from the Solstice Canyon Educational Shelter. The trail leads to the ruins of Roberts Ranch House, also known as the Tropical Terrace.

This house was built by Paul Willimias back in 1952 and is surrounded by a creek and waterfalls. However, the house burnt down in 1982 and is now under the National Park Service.

If you move forward to just beyond the ruins, you will see a waterfall that flows down the creek. There are also several rock pools around the area. This hike has a total elevation of 300 meters. Dogs are also welcome on this trail.

Backbone Trail

Backbone Trail

The Backbone trail stretches to more than 67.79 miles across the Santa Monica Mountains. It is open to hikers, mountain bikers, as well as horseback riders. Its western end is at the Point Mugu State Park, and the other end on the east side is the Will Rogers State Historic Park.

The Backbone Trail has existed since the 1980s. The route allows you to traverse over the Santa Monica Mountain peaks. The long-distance trail has a total elevation change of 984 meters.

There are also short loops available along the trail, which allows you to access some scenic views of Ventura County. There is also a trail that leads you to Carlisle canyon with views of caves and crevices that stretches out along the sides of Echo Cliffs.

The trail follows a well-maintained single-track trail that is composed of dirt roads. It was initially designed to accommodate climbs and descents along well-graded hills that are full of switchbacks,

Camping on this trail is only restricted to designated campgrounds.

Escondido Falls Trail

Escondido Falls Trail

On days that the Escondido falls is flowing strong, it is undeniably one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Los Angeles area. To reach this area, you have to take on a 3.8-mile hike that begins near the Pacific Coast Highway.

The dirt path that leads to the trail is not easy to miss since there is a sign that reads Edward Albert Escondido Canyon Trail and Waterfall.

The trail descends towards a field of mustard and fennel, where a small creek flows. After crossing this area, you will now need to trek upstream towards the Escondido Canyon.

The trail remains level as you pass through a forested area wherein wildflowers bloom. You will then need to ascend another 150 feet to the foot of the lower section of the Escondido Falls.


Hiking in Malibu involves trekking through bodies of water, so you should wear high top water shoes. There are also Malibu beach hikes that you can enjoy. Your choice of the trail is a matter of preference.

Whether you like to traverse mountain ranges or opt for walks along the beach, the region has something to offer you.

The best Malibu hikes are those that take you to panoramic views of the area. Ensure that you always carry your best hiking watch with you since it is relatively easy to lose track of time when you are on the trails.

The 5 Best Malibu Hiking Trails

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