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Solstice Canyon

A moderate hike to a ruined mansion in the Santa Monica Mountains, complete with waterfall!

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 5.9 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  This is an incredibly picturesque, mostly shaded canyon hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Solstice Canyon Trail is a popular,... more »

Tips:  While the Solstice Canyon Trail is mostly shaded year-round, the Rising Sun and Sostomo Trails are above the canyon floor and often in... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

The trailhead is at an often-crowded parking area on Corral Canyon Road. There are a few restrooms and a National Park Service Ampitheatre.

On this loop, get the elevation gain out of the way right in the beginning - look for a trailhead on the north side of the lot for a set of stairs leading to the Rising Sun Trail.

This trail does a healthy ... More

2. El Nido Junction

At the 3-way junction with the El Nido Trail, stay to the right to continue on the Rising Sun Trail.

The El Nido Trail drops back down into Solstice Canyon.

As the trail rises, you'll start to get a better view of the canyon itself, as well as the Pacific Ocean to your south.

3. Tropical Terrace Ruins

After a few steep switchbacks, the Rising Sun Trail descends back into Solstice Canyon near a creek, putting you near the ruins of the Tropical Terrace Mansion, which burned down in 1982.

Take your time to explore this area - there's plenty to see.

4. Sostomo Trail Junction

When you are done exploring the ruins of Tropical Terrace, start hiking south on the paved path leading down Solstice Canyon.

Just past the house, keep an eye out for the Sostomo Trail on your right. This trail ascends above the canyon on the west side, passing a few more ruined buildings along the way.

5. Deer Valley Loop Trail

Here, the trail ends at the Deer Valley Loop Trail, a 1.3 mile roundtrip with some great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Take a right on the trail if you'd like to complete the full-loop -- the route is easier to follow counterclockwise. If you'd like to, you can also just head left to a picturesque meadow, have a snack, and call it a hike.

6. Meadow

An unnamed meadow on the Deer Valley Loop Trail. The trail here is a bit indistinct, and may be difficult to spot. However, it also makes for a nice place to settle down for a quiet snack or lunch. This part of the trail system is very rarely traveled.

Either continue on the loop, or turn back the way you came, heading south on the paved... More

7. Keller Family Oak

The Solstice Canyon Trail is a partly paved, partly dirt path down the center of Solstice Canyon. Although it dips down to the water's level a few times, it is a relatively flat and easy trail - suitable for more rugged strollers.

On the way toward the trailhead, you'll pass this old, gnarled oak tree. A plaque marks this as the ‘Keller Family ... More

8. Waterfall

A small but constantly-flowing waterfall lies just to the east of the mansion ruins.

9. Statuary

A small statuary lies on the east side of the creek, just across from the Tropical Terrace.

10. Chimney

Pass the ruins of a chimney along the trail.