After almost 2 months of traveling (Michigan, Ohio, Palm Springs, Las Vegas) I was ready to reacquaint myself with Southern California hiking. A friend had recently been to Solstice Canyon, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and recommended it (waterfall all year long!) so 4th of July weekend we headed to Malibu to check it out.
Here's where we were:
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The traffic was pretty terrible on the way (that's what we get for going on Sat afternoon of a holiday weekend), but once we got there it wasn't crowded enough to be annoying. There's a parking lot right when you turn off Corral Canyon Rd., but if you keep driving you'll soon get to another, larger lot that's right at the trailhead and near some restrooms. Parking is free.
The main trail is the paved Solstice Canyon Rd. You can get a nice trail map here.
We kept to the main trail and passed the ruins of the Keller House on the right. The stone house was built in 1907 and although it survived many wildfires in the area, it was burned down in the 2007 Corral fire. Make sure to go over the bridge on your right to get a closer look.
We hiked up to the Roberts Ranch House (which is in ruins, but still features 5, yes 5, fireplaces) . . .
Built in 1952, the house was designed by renowned architect Paul Williams. The house incorporated stunning natural features within its design, including waterfalls, springs and trees.
I really enjoyed this leisurely hike. The water and shade made the temps cool and refreshing even in the heat of summer. There were many wildflowers, butterflies, lizards and birds along the way. Bees had made hives in the burnt out trees and, although they didn't bother us, the sound was deafening relative to the quiet of the canyon - and strangely soothing. I even saw some tadpoles in the stream (maybe bullfrogs).
Here are some more photos of our trip.
For more photos from this location see my Flickr set here.
4 weeks ago