Solstice Canyon is the former Roberts Ranch, opened as a public park on the summer solstice, 1988 (bonus points for anyone who figured out why it was named Solstice Canyon). As Roberts Ranch, the site housed a spectacular home, a private zoo that featured giraffes, camels, deer, and exotic birds, a space satellite testing facility, and the oldest surviving stone house in Malibu.
This is a 6.5 mile hike, with a total elevation gain of 1100 feet. You'll get a workout. We'll be on several trails- some shaded, some not, so prepare accordingly. The work will be rewarded with a variety of environments, a 30 foot waterfall, ocean views, the ruins of that amazing house, and for the keen-eyed, sightings of Darth Vader and the Virgin Mary.
The Roberts House is one of the more incredible sights you'll encounter in the Santa Monica Mountains. Fred Roberts, a grocery store magnate, built the house in the '50s, with instructions that it not only be incorporated seamlessly into the magnificent canyon, but be fire resistant. The finished house weaved through the cliffs, trees, water features, and plants already on the site, and an elaborate system of pipes, pumps, and pools was designed to fight the fires that inevitably sprang up. In 1982, after Roberts' death, and the house lapsing into disrepair, one of those fires undid all the planning and work, leaving only some of the stubborn structure, and a life-sized blueprint of the building.
We'll take a break at the Roberts House, and everyone can explore to their hearts' content. I assure you, you'll want to. The hike as a whole is one you'll want to do again and again- it's that good.
From PCH, turn inland on Corral Canyon Rd. and proceed north for about 0.2 mile until you arrive at the entrance to the Solstice Canyon Park. Proceed along Solstice Canyon Rd for about 0.5 mile until you arrive at the second parking area. Corral Canyon Rd is between Malibu Canyon and Kanan-Dume Rd.