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Solstice Canyon
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mini location map2014-12-26
40 by photographer avatarwinotron
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Solstice CanyonLos Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2014
Hiking7.32 Miles 1,942 AEG
Hiking7.32 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   2.14 mph
1,942 ft AEG      45 Mns Break5 LBS Pack
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Our 2nd and unfortunately last hike of our Christmas vacation in LA. I wanted to visit Santa Monica and the Malibu/Santa Monica Mtns area. I read about this hike and it really interested me. A perennial creek and waterfall, and some ruins to explore...count me in. So we drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and got to the trailhead around 10am. We were surprised to find plenty of parking available.

You have a few different loop options here. We took an immediate right up the stairs and got onto the Rising Sun Trail. It was a pretty good climb up and out of the east side of the canyon. We had ocean views behind us pretty much right away. There's no shade on this trail at all, but it was very chilly and breezy today, so we welcomed the sun. We saw hardly anyone on this part of the hike. About a mile and a half into the trail we started descending the switchbacks down to the creek and the Tropical Terrace house ruins area.

The ruins were awesome, but there were a lot of other people hanging around there. It was cool to see the vegetation reclaiming the area. There were a lot of non-native tropical plants, and some palm trees. The ruins are well-preserved. We went over to the waterfall just behind the ruins and hung out there for a bit. Very serene, and I always love the sound of running water. Crazy to imagine this place being someone's back yard.

We started back on the main Solstice Canyon Trail, which was far busier than the Rising Sun Trail. We didn't want to cut the hike so short, so we ended up taking a right onto the Sostomo Trail. I really couldn't find a whole lot of useful information on the trails in this area, so I wasn't exactly sure where it was going, except that it obviously went up. It ended up taking us pretty steeply up and out of the west side of the canyon, down to a creek crossing, and then back up out of the canyon again. The view down into the canyon was nice, and as we climbed the ocean views got even better. We climbed probably ~1000ft in just over a mile. Definitely a workout!

We came to a junction with the Deer Valley Loop Trail. I wasn't sure where that went either, but we figured what the heck. It ended up looping us back around to this very same junction. It was mostly uneventful up here, except for when we came to a southern overlook and we had an absolutely spectacular panorama of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding mountains. As a native Arizonan that very rarely sees an ocean, an ocean view like this just stopped me in my tracks. We stopped and took in the views for several minutes before continuing. This spot alone was worth all the extra mileage and AEG.

We looped back to the main trail and followed that back to the trailhead. It was a nice, peaceful stroll, and we were back to the parking lot in no time. This ended up being a MUCH more strenuous hike than I intended, which I was fine with. My girlfriend, not so much. :) This was a really great day hike.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
A lot of the sycamores actually still had a bit of fall foliage on them.
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