Mishe Mokwa Trail & Sandstone Peak
Mishe Mokwa Trail & Sandstone Peak information
On warm spring mornings when the snowy blue ceonothus perfumes the air with honeysuckle, there’s no better place to be than this 6-mile loop trail that winds through a red-rock canyon dotted with climbers, through the oak oasis at Split Rock and up to Mount Allen (aka Sandstone Peak), the tallest mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains.
A spectacular perch overlooking the sea and the West Valley, with golden eagles and red-tail hawks riding the thermals – this is what silence sounds like.
Take the Pacific Coastal Hwy past Trancas to Yerba Buena Rd (look for Neptune’s Net). Make a right on Yerba Buena and follow it to the ranger station at Circle X Ranch. Maps and trail conditions are available at the ranger station, but it’s usually only staffed on weekends. You can also download a map online. The trailhead is actually a mile past the station on left. Hike for 800m up the fire road (spoiler alert – this steep yet wide trail leads directly to the peak in 1.5 miles) before verging onto the Mishe Mokwa connector trail, a spur that will lead you to the gorgeous Mishe Mokwa trail. Picnic beneath the oaks, then keep humping up to the peak – you won’t be able to miss it. After enjoying the view, don’t double back on Mishe Mokwa; keep hiking down the fire road all the way to the parking lot. It gets crowded on weekends.