Solitary Solstice

Solstice Canyon Hike in Malibu

Malibu’s Solstice Canyon often teems with visitors, and for good reason: its leafy ravine leads to a year-round waterfall and the captivating ruins of a home lost to a 1982 wildfire. See the sights but lose the crowds on a 3.2-mile out-and-back hike. Five hundred feet above the canyon floor thoroughfare, the lesser-traveled Rising Sun Trail traverses coastal sage scrub that will soon be gleaming yellow with spring’s mustard plants. During the thigh-pumping ascent be sure to turn around now and again to see the gleaming Pacific between the canyon’s ridges. The trail levels out to trace Solstice’s eastern ridgeline and then descends to the hike’s main attractions. Explore the remnants of the burnt home’s bathtubs and fireplaces, now surrounded by overgrown weeds, and spend a moment with the graceful waterfall. Here in the hollow of the canyon, winter gives way to spring, with the season’s last rust-colored sycamore leaves falling on bright green springtime grass. Happy solstice.

TIP: Careful climbers can scramble above the waterfall. Clamber over the boulders to the right of the fall to reach small pools and peaceful grottos perfect for solo exploration.

From Pacific Coast Hwy., turn inland on Corral Canyon Rd. The park entrance appears immediately on the left, and a short road leads to the trailhead’s parking lot. Check out a trail map. From the parking lot, take the TRW Loop Trail to the Rising Sun Trail by ascending the signed stone stairs on your immediate right. At a junction after 0.1 mile, head right to hike the Rising Sun Trail. Dog-friendly!

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