Trailhead: 12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu, CA 90265
Elevation Gain: 1075 ft.
Total time: 3.5 hours
Parking: Parking at trail head (free)
Sandstone Peak is the tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, which is super adorable because it’s only 3,111 feet tall. Look at you go, little guy!
The trail is a loop with a fairly gradual incline, although there are a few ups and downs… just like life, amirite?
To take the longer route, go to the right when the trail splits off, unlike what we did, which was go left and then have to turn around. This seems to happen a lot when I happen to hike with this particular guide. Not sure why I keep letting him lead me into the wilderness.
Most of the trail is completely exposed, so going early morning or late afternoon to catch the sunset is advised. While trekking along, you will likely see rock climbers on Echo Cliffs, which is a name that sounds like something that you’d see in The Princess Bride. “As you wiiiiiiiissshhhhh!”
There is one spot about 2 miles in that offers some shade, but that’s about the only part on the trail that doesn’t leave you exposed.
After this section, you’ll continue skirting around the mountain. Head down the backbone trail to continue to Sandstone. To get to the actual peak itself, you’ll be required to participate in a smidgen of rock scrambling, and climb some stairs, so get a few Buns of Steel workouts in before you go (J/K its not that bad and also does Buns of Steel even exist anymore?).
Sunset at the peak is quite a sight, especially when it’s windy and cold and you have to shield yourself behind a rock because you didn’t bring a jacket. Good times.
Once you’re done and complete the loop, go back down the stairs and make a right when you reach the trail. I was told by my guide that you can also see glow worms on the trail at night, but I didn’t see any on our trek. Then again, he is also the one who says “I think we go this way” and is wrong soooo…