Dan and Hannah Hike Solstice Canyon in Malibu, California

Tuesday has become hiking day when we winter in California.  (How’s that for a pretentious verb – winter!  Je m’excuse.)  Monday we pickle in Santa Barbara, then Tuesday we hit the trail.

Today, we motor down The 101 to Oxnard, then south to the Pacific towards Malibu.  With daytime temperatures heading to 80F in late February, we have all the sunshine we could ever love.

Sol map

Our expectations for the hike are modest as the Internet has prepped us for a simple 2.4 mile round-trip to a petite waterfall behind some ruins.

Sol 1 sign to sol canyon


Sol map of trail

We set out on the Solstice Canyon Trail and returned by way of the Rising Sun Trail

Once parked with ten other cars in the lot, we hit the gently rising paved road towards the ruins of Roberts Ranch and it’s mini-waterfalls.

Sol 1 paved trail with H

Since the Roberts Ranch house was built in the 1952 and destroyed by a wildfire roaring down the canyon thirty years later, the paved, now potholed road for vehicles makes sense rather than the dirt trail we were expecting.  Passing the vestiges of the Woolsey Fire from just over a year ago (November 2018) in the trees and scrub brush, we reaffirm that, in the end, Mother Nature wins; she is a remarkable regenerating soul of life and greenery.

Sol 1A D on trail

In 30 minutes we arrive at the brick fireplaces of the remains of the Roberts Ranch.  In this winter of mini-drought, the falls trickle behind the house.  (In the 50 winter days we’ve been in California we’ve had one thirty minute shower.)

Sol 2 Roberts Ranch

All that is left of the Roberts’ Place

Sol 2A more of ranch

May the Roberts’ Place Rest in Peace

Fortunately, we return by way of the Rising Sun Trail that climbs by switchbacks high above the creek bed in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The trail takes us out of the sycamores and oaks of the creek to the bushes and grasslands on a cloudless day; lizards dart across our path as we see far fewer hikers.

Sol 3 rising sun sign

Sol 3A map of trail

Sol 4 rising sun trail

On the Rising Sun Trail


Sol 4A looking down to valley

In the Santa Monica Mountains on the Rising Sun Trail above the Solstice Canyon Trail (center of this picture)

In 90 minutes we are back at the trailhead, completing our third hike in Malibu this winter.  For our other Malibu hikes, click here for the Zuma Canyon and click here for the Escondido Falls.

Click here for more information on the Solstice Canyon Trail.

Sol 5 ocean front homes

Waterfront in Malibu, California.  Homes of $7 million!  $15 million.  So close that you can reach out your window and touch your neighbor’s place.

Sol 5A ocean view home

Returning to Carpinteria along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu

Lunching above the Malibu Bluffs beneath Pepperdine University in late February 2020, we are totally unaware what is growing in China that will turn our world upside down.  For the time being, we are living our California Dream.

6 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah Hike Solstice Canyon in Malibu, California

  1. What a unique hiking area. We too love trails that offer extra highlights like ruins and waterfalls. Yesterday we pulled up photos of our February AZ trip after making elaborate plans as to how to protect our blooming mini orchard from freezing. I fear the peaches and plums are kaput since last night’s low was 19 with more icy nights forecasted. Ya gotta love May.

    • 19 for you all! We had snow for three hours on May 9!! We are finding local trails we didn’t know about. Why just this morning we hiked the Braveboat Headwaters Trail in Kittery Point, six miles from home. 44F was excellent hiking weather.

  2. Those beach houses don’t look so fancy, but can’t see much – but $7 mil+ for one
    that is so close to water & can touch your neighbor !! I don’t know…….

  3. Location! Location! Location! We stay in a little ranch when we are in Carpinteria. It’s on Zillow for $1.3M! You’d think you’d be buying more privacy at those prices!

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