Sandstone Peak (Santa Monica Mountains) - Los Angeles, CA

Sandstone Peak in Malibu

Trail Distance: ~6 miles
Elevation Gain: ~1,500'
Terrain Rating: Moderate
Hike Time: 3 hours

TrailheadSandstone Peak Trailhead, about 1 hour from Santa Monica. Free parking lot (the drive up is a bit windy).

Sandstone Peak is the tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, located near Malibu. There are multiple ways to access the peak. We decided to take the longer Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak. The hike itself is diverse and interesting for the area, weaving via rock/dirt trails up to shaded brush trails. It's great for an early spring/fall day when it's not too hot.

Starting from the parking lot, go counterclickwise (right) towards the Mishe Mokwa Trail. Keep following the MM Trail as you see more signs. Once you reach some shaded area 1.5 miles in, you'll see Balanced Rock. It's a split rock and a nice point for a water/heat break. It is a big longer from here winding around the mountains until you make the ascent up to Sandstone Peak.

Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, CA

To get to Sandstone Peak, you'll need to climb up a set of stairs and then hook left to the top. The peak is jagged and doesn't have a ton of comfortable seating areas for large groups if it's a crowded day. To return back to the cars, go back down the stairs and take a right turn towards the parking lot. It's only a little more than a mile back to the parking lot.