This hike will take us about 8 miles round-trip with 1800 feet of elevation gain on winding trails to dramatic rocky overlook with striking views of the Pacific, Stunt Ranch State Park, Calabasas Peak, and Old Topanga and Cold Creek Canyons. There are also longer vistas northwest into Ventura County and east to the San Fernando Valley. The route passes through riparian forest, open fields, and interesting sandstone formations.
Our hike begins on the Stunt High Trail, a winding single-file track that provides a varying but moderate uphill ascent in a southwesterly direction for about 2.5 miles. Early in the hike, there are beautiful wooded areas and a small stream, and then increasing views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Stunt Ranch State Park as we ascend. We eventually reach the Backbone Trail and soon begin an easterly ridgeline walk high above the Pacific. This route will take us along and above spectacular tilted and pocketed sandstone formations, with dramatic views of the mountains and ocean as we proceed. There will be some very light rock-hopping. We will take a short break at Saddle Peak and return the same way.
The route begins on a canyon floor but ascends to and proceeds along open ridgeline. Since we start in a fairly sheltered location and reach exposed areas open to the Pacific and surrounding valleys, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions.
From the 101 – exit at the Las Virgenes Road exit and go south (toward the ocean). Drive 3 miles to Mulholland Highway and make a left turn. Continue 4 miles to Stunt Road and turn right. Go one mile, and park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
From the PCH – turn up Malibu Canyon Road and drive 6.5 miles to Mulholland Highway. Turn right and continue 4 miles to Stunt Road. Turn right and drive one mile. Park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Dogs are not allowed on any morning hike.