Hey there, fellow adventurers! Are you ready and raring to go hiking through the stunning landscapes of Malibu, California? Well, buckle up, buttercup! We are about to embark on a journey through all the best hikes this coastal gem has to offer.
And yeah, we will talk about bathing suits along the way because why the heck not? Lace up your boots, slap on some sunscreen, and get ready to hit the trails in style.
Why Should You Go Hiking in Malibu?
Imagine if all the people who claimed to love hiking in their online dating profiles actually enjoyed hiking — there’d be no room on the trails. But let’s say you’re one of those sparkly unicorns who actually DOES enjoy hiking: Malibu is the place to be.
Most obviously, you have to go to Malibu to check out our brick-and-mortar storefront for something to wear on your vacation. If you’re someone who likes to try on a bathing suit in person, you will love our cute little shop. In fact, you will love many of the shops in Malibu because it’s a great place to find an eclectic mix of stores and restaurants.
Malibu is essentially known for two things: celebrities and beaches. Though people aren’t necessarily coming here for the hiking initially, they soon find that the Malibu trails are b-e-a-utiful! Many trails head to springs or the beach itself, and if they don’t, a trip to the beach after your trek makes for the perfect day.
Let’s chat about what to bring on a hike to The Boo before you head out.
What Should You Bring Hiking in Malibu?
Great question; we’d love to answer it. We’ve compiled a short list of items to bring, but bear in mind that this list is for a day hike. If you are one of those superhumans doing thru-hikes, multi-day treks, etc., you’ll need more gear:
- Sunscreen: Many hikes in Malibu are not exactly through woodland groves, as you can imagine.
- A sun hat: Same reason as above — that sun can be scorching.
- A swimsuit: Don’t call us crazy. A lot of Malibu hikes either start or end at a beach and/or have pools and streams along the way.
- Hiking boots: Ankle support. Bread rolls, not ankle rolls.
- Snacks: Flamin’ Cheetos or trail mix — no judgment here.
- Water: Have more water than you think you need; hydration is key.
1. Solstice Canyon Trail: Mother Nature’s Mixtape
Let’s kick off this hiking extravaganza with the three-mile Solstice Canyon Trail Loop, a true crowd-pleaser for both nature enthusiasts and thrill seekers.
You want some nice scenery? Check. You want some history? Double check. This trail’s got it all. Just picture this: A scenic route that takes you through lush canyons, past trickling streams, among cool, glistening pools, ultimately revealing the awe-inspiring ruins of an old 1950s ranch house.
It’s also not unusual to spot celebs along the route of this short, fairly easy, family-friendly hike. Yeah, that’s right. It’s like hiking through a real-life episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Hiking.”
Now, let us remind you, folks, that this is Malibu we’re talking about. So, naturally, you'll spot some stylishly adventurous souls sporting their cutest bathing suits as they take a dip in the crystal-clear pools along the way. A bikini top looks like a crop top, and a one-piece suit looks like a chic unitard.
Who said hiking and swimwear can’t go hand in hand? Strap on those boots and suits, and let’s go!
2. Escondido Falls Trail: Where Waterfalls and Fashion Collide
Escondido Falls Trail will blow your mind with its magnificent cascading waterfalls. It’s like a natural beauty pageant, but instead of crowns and corsages, it’s an ensemble of hikers clad in their trendiest gear (often swimwear), hoping to get influencer-quality pics by the falls.
Annoying? Yes. Worth it to experience the falls? Also yes. And, let’s admit it, influencer or not, you’re going to be snapping more than a few pictures of all your best angles too.
May we recommend our Corvo Button Up? This one is going to give you the best of both worlds when it comes to fashion and function. It’s super cute, easy to throw on over a bathing suit top, and will protect you from the sun. After all, this is a 4.2-mile hike, so you probably want to be realistic when selecting your attire.
Don’t let the blacktop at the beginning of this hike deter you: Within minutes, the hike will turn into the idyllic fennel fields, thickets of wildflowers, wild dirt paths, and gorgeous falls the trail is known for. At 150 feet tall, they’re the highest falls in the Santa Monica Mountains, btw.
The lower falls are stunning to explore, but it’s best to appreciate the upper falls from afar, like how you look at celebrities buying their Starbucks. The upper falls are home to a delicate ecosystem that boots are not kind to. Speaking of the environment, if it’s been super dry recently, the falls might be as elusive as sleep during a newborn’s first year.
PS: Bring cash — for a snack after and for parking, which usually costs about $12.00.
4. Point Dume Trail: Scenic Strolls and Surfer’s Paradise
If you’re looking to blend breathtaking views with a sprinkle of surfer vibes, check this one out. This short but sweet 1.5-mile stroll takes you along the cliffs of Point Dume, treating you to panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the occasional sighting of sea turtles, dolphins, and whales (Oh my!).
On a clear day, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Catalina Island off in the distance. The sweeping, unadulterated views make this an ideal sunrise or sunset hike, as you will be at the perfect vantage point to take it all in.
And hey, if you’re lucky, you might even witness some professional surfers catching waves down below. It’s like a fashion show where all the models just happen to be hanging ten in their raddest rashguards. Maybe you’ll be inspired to grab some ocean-friendly swim attire and surf Malibu’s best beaches next time.
5. Backbone Trail: Hiking With a View and Some Sore Muscles
Listen up, my fearless hiking warriors: The Backbone Trail is no joke. We’re talking about a hike that stretches a whopping 67 miles, like a marathon for your quads. If you want to triumphantly conquer nature like a freakin’ gazelle, make this trail your B word.
If you hike the entire 67 miles, you will have the unique experience of enjoying the Mediterranean ecosystem, which is only found in five places in the world (seriously … the WORLD). The variety of the wildlife and nature of the hike is unbeatable, as you’ll walk through meadows, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, and streamside areas. Yeah, the hike is so darn long you’ll go through five different ecological communities. But never fear; there’s no law that says you have to hike the whole thing.
As you strut your way along the Backbone Trail, you’ll come across all sorts of hikers. You’ve got your serious hikers, probably doing all 67, decked out head to toe in high-tech gear, looking like they just walked off a futuristic sci-fi movie set. Then you’ve got those who treat the trail like their own personal fashion show. Hey, if you’re gonna hike, you might as well hike in style, right?
5. Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock Trail: A Werk Out
So, the old Mishe Moka Trail to Split Rock Trail loop in Malibu, huh?
This hike is like a choose-your-own-adventure book, except instead of choosing your fate, you’re choosing between sweating profusely or profusely sweating. Fun times! Totally kidding. Kind of. Kind of totally kidding.
Now, Mishe Mokwa is not for the faint of heart. It’s like hiking on a StairMaster that Mother Nature set to level 10. Hiking apps will tell you it’s “moderately challenging,” but take that with a grain of salt.
The loop is 5.6 miles of hilly terrain, and even though it’s hard, it’s also a very popular choice for local residents. This one’s a challenge, but the mountain views and the feeling of accomplishment will make it all worthwhile.
You know you want to take a girls’ trip to Malibu! Check out the Andie store, go for a nice day hike, scope out some nature (and maybe some surfers), and end the day with a lovely restaurant meal and some drinks. Whether you choose a short easy hike or opt for a little challenge, Malibu is the place to be.