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Tri Peaks from Sandstone Peak Trailhead w/Caving Option

June 15, 2019 @ 2:00 am - 8:00 am

It’s been way too long since we’ve taken this route but it’s been on my mind lately. I’ll be relying on gps for this one since I can’t recall the trail but it seems pretty straightforward. Limited parking at the trailhead so please, please CARPOOL and keep your rsvp accurate. Bring a headlamp, if you’d like to explore the caves 🙂 Gloves will be helpful as well.

Starting at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead, we’ll head up part of the Backbone Trail to Sandstone Peak, Inspiration Point and Tri Peaks. From there we’ll head down to the shaded Mishe Mokwa Trail to check out the giant Split Rock. We’ll hike at a slow to moderate pace, smell the flowers and take pictures. There will be several points to regroup on this one so we don’t lose anyone.

Write up is Don’s:

The Stats

Distance: 8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1800 feet

Rating: 5-6/10, Advanced Beginner and up

Trail: looped trail, single track, optionarock scrambling

Duration: 5 to 6 hours, depending on exploration of Tri-Peaks area

The Plan

Why the limit? The NFS folks have limits on hikers in this area due to popularity and trail overuse. Keep your RSVP accurate!! If you are not going to make it give your spot up to someone who will!!


Many options on this one

If you just want a 6 mile loop hike you could leave off the Tri-Peaks portion. Getting back to your car is a fairly straightforward and well marked trail.

Caving: A cave or a tunnel? You can find out as I won’t be going down it. I’ll be more than happy to show you where it is and bring some rope which is used so you can find your way out. Make sure you bring a flashlight, though a headlamp is preferred. I’ll be more than happy to hang out while you explore. Actually gloves and knee pads would probably be helpful as well.

This is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highlights include the spectacular Echo Cliffs where rock climbers ascend shear cliffs, a house sized boulder delicately balanced on a small rock beneath, a giant split rock where kids can dash between the sheer walls, stunning giant sandstone formations, and breathtaking views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point.


The trail head we will be using is the one for Sandstone Peak in the Circle X Ranch, which is located 5 ½ miles from Pacific Coast Highway on Yerba Buena Road in Malibu. Alternately, from Westlake Village, exit on Westlake Blvd from the 101 Freeway, and follow it south for several miles as it merges with Mulholland highway. Turn right onto Little Sycamore Canyon and it will become Yerba Buena Road as you cross the county line. Proceed on Yerba Buena Road for about 4.25 miles to trail head (about a mile before you hit the Circle X Ranch Ranger Station). The first parking area you will see is the one for the Mishe Mokwa Trail Head. This is NOT where we are meeting. Continue up the road a short distance further and you will see a small dirt road on the right leading to a parking area for the Sandstone Peak Trail Head. This is it.

Very important #1 – we are meeting at the trail head for the Sandstone Peak and there are other parking locations up there. If you’re not familiar with the area please leave yourself extra time to find it. Look at the PDF I have linked below.

Very important #2 – if you come from Westlake Village and have motion sickness issues either drive or take Dramamine. The roads are very windy.

VERY IMPORTANT #3 – Read very Important #1 again!

Map https://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Check the Weather http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=90265&wuSelect=WEATHER


The Fine Print

PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.

The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)

RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.


Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!

1 – A long walk

2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain

3 – 5 mile hike w/up to 1000 ft. elevation gain

4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)

5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)

6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)

7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)

8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)

9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)

10 – Use your imagination

Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.



I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

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June 15, 2019
2:00 am - 8:00 am
Event Category:


Sandstone Peak Trailhead Parking
12896 Yerba Buena Rd
Malibu, CA 90265 US
+ Google Map


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Trail statistics are approximate.  For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER.

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