Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hiking Solstice Canyon

When you think of Malibu you often think of movie stars, beaches and Ferraris not mountains and canyons but Malibu has a lot more of the later than the former.

Solstice Canyon lies deep in the heart of Malibu, miles and miles up the PCH but not quite Ventura this place offers trails for everyone. There is a flat, mostly paved trail that will take you from the parking lot to a crazy burned out house (more on that later) but because I and my hiking compatriots were looking for a challenge, we decided to hike the Rising Sun trail and then continue on the Deer Park loop.

I always seem to take the hardest trail in any park (sometimes by choice, often by bad luck [if you didn't have bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all!]) and the Rising Sun trail is no different. About .1 miles into the park you start heading up

The effort you make on this trail are well worth it though as you make your way up canyon, the Pacific opens up and gives you some killer views.

The path itself is wide and well trod upon which may or may not make you happier as you go up each incline

As you get up higher and hug the canyon walls the other mountains of Malibu reveal themselves.

Eventually you make your way to the shell of the house deep in Solstice Canyon

what is fascinating is that all the chimneys remain and that there were several houses in the canyon, all wiped out by fires over the years. This canyon, while beautiful, is not a place to build a house.

Then the long slog out of the canyon up to a saddle which overlooks Malibu. To get to this point requires a bunch of toiling up and down gullies with very little shade to speak of.

I am not going to lie, the uphills are a bit demoralizing. Much like Kim Kardashian's celebrity status (zing!).

Finally you get to the top and the whole Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the celebrity enclaves all open up before you!

What was the best part of this hike, you might ask? Well I am glad you did cause I will tell ya.

Southern California often gets ragged upon for having no seasons. 72 and sunny every day. There is a lot of truth in this but we do get a hint of the seasons here and there. On today's hike, Fall was poking its head out and led to some of my favorite pics of the hike, check em out:

Sure, it isn't exactly Vermont but this Upstate boy takes what he can get out here in SoCal.

Overall the trail was 8 miles (plus an extra .5 due to the parking situation, there aren't a lot of spots) and while tough in parts, the views will make it worth it. Am I a fan? I am a fan!

For more info on the trail check out this link: http://malibuhiking.com/rising_sun.html#all


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