100 Classic Hikes in Southern California
by Allen Riedel (The Mountaineers Books)
© Allen Riedel/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Hot Labor Day hike to the burned house and then up the western ridge. Great ocean views. Decided not to go up the east ridge on the way back, the trail looked pretty similar. Very crowed (holiday weekend) and too much pavement to merit more than 3 starts. Milage signs are WAY OFF for the western loop.
I've been back twice since this amazing New Year's Day hike in Solstice Canyon. This hike is permanently in my top ten hikes in SoCal. It's only about 30 minutes from Santa Monica on the PCH so it's really close to home for me. The first mile or so is pretty well traveled, so expect to share the trail with others, though most everyone I've encountered on this trail has been super friendly. They also allow dogs, leashed of course, so there will be furry friends there too. Give yourself some time to explore the ruins of the Roberts' home. A great place for photogs like me. :-) Just behind the ruins is an amazing waterfall (in winter - after a good rain) though you'll have to wait in line for that perfect shot. ;-) You can even rough it up around the sides of the water fall to see another lovely fall and pool a little further up. At this point there is a nice trail that goes up to the Deer Valley loop which is a nice 3-4 mile add for your outing with amazing views. If not, do the Rising Sun trail on the way back to the parking lot. You'll climb quite high and get unrivaled views of the Pacific with Catalina Island taking center stage on the view. I love to sit up there and have a picnic during sunset while watching the island and Pacific on a clear day. This is truly a crown jewel in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and a must visit for locals! :-)
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