Past Meetup

(Trekker Series 4) Circle X Ranch - The Grotto Falls

Hosted by Los Angeles Hiking Group

Public group


Location visible to members


Due to Ventura County Fire, this event has been cancelled and replaced by a hike to

Switzer Falls and Bear Canyon water holes.

This is the link to the new event.


Organizer: Mike Cheng

Location: Malibu, CA

Hike difficulty: Level 4/10 (with extensive bouldering)

A beginner hike: No

Distance: 4.5 miles (This is a partial loop hike.)

Elevation Gain: 850'

Time: 4 hours

Trail condition: Single file trail, big boulders, mostly shaded

Water: Minimum 2 liters

Guest: 1

Dog: no

Toilette: at Circle X Ranch ranger station

Parking: Circle X Ranch parking lot. Parking space is quite limited. Carpooling is a must.


Direction: Pacific Coast Highway to Yerba Buena Road. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Circle X Ranch Ranger station.

What to bring: hat, sunscreen, gloves, energy bar, lunch, snacks, water, and the usual stuff.


Trail description:

This 5-mile partial loop hike visits a unique destignation around Malibu. From the parking area for Circle X Ranch (, we plan to walk down the access road down to the tailhead, which descends to a narrow bolder-filled canyon that houses the mysterious grotto. Along the way, the trail passes in and out of shade as it follows a small creek down the mountain.

The trail comes to a sudden end as the creek, the west fork of the Arroyo Sequit, passes through and beneath large rocks. Continue downstream, passing over big boulders. The water can be seen between the boulders some ten feet below.

There are several ways where you can get down between the rocks and explore the grotto. Continuing over the rocks, to the point where the creek makes its exit. At the base of the grotto, water tumbles off a rock like a shower head, dropping twelve feet into an enclosed pool. Here a ring of shallow water around a tall boulder creates a semi-circular cave.

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2013 Activities:

Trekker Series: On the 1st Saturday of the month and will be 6 miles or less.
Explorer Series: On the 2nd Saturday and will be 7- 8 miles.
Adventurer Seires: On the 3rd Saturday and will be 9 miles or more.

Mountaineer Series with elevation gain of 4000' and more will be scheduled for 3rd and 4th quarters for seasoned alpinists.

Exploratory hikes are available off schedule. To participate, you must be a strong and seasoned hiker. Please email me if you are interested.

Waiting list priority: People who hike with me or with Los Angeles Hiking Group frequently will be given priority when they are on the waiting list.

No show policy: If you sign up for an event and no show, you will either lose your waiting list priority or not be able to sign up for the next event.



If you have prior medical condiction or a family history of illnesses pertaining to heart, lungs, brain, etc. that can be aggravated by heat and physical exertion, this is not the hike for you.

If you have never done a hike of this distance or difficulty before, this hike will be very difficult for you. It may well be your death march. The mountain is not going anywhere. We will schedule this event again in the future. Do it when your mind and body are ready.

Hiking is a recreation, not a suicide mission.

Release of Liability:

The organizer (me) of this trip is a volunteer and is not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/hike/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests.

By signing up for this trip, or any other event organized by me, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the organizer (me) of this hike from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

In addition, you and your guests are acknowledging that you agree to the Meetup terms of service especially paragraph 6.2:

Profile Photo:

Members interested in joining this hike must have a profile photo showing his/her face. This is a requirement of the L.A. Hiking Group. Without it, you will not be allowed to sign up.