Hike to Sandstone Peak, the Highest Point in the Santa Monica Mountains

 Sunset views from Sandstone Peak toward the Conejo Valley

Sunset views from Sandstone Peak toward the Conejo Valley

At an elevation of 3,111 feet, Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains. It should be on everyone's "bucket list" of local hikes, with its sweeping views to the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands and inland to the Conejo/Simi Valleys.

 There are some steps, then some trekking, to reach the top from this sign. You've made it!

There are some steps, then some trekking, to reach the top from this sign. You've made it!

 The final ascent involves some rock climbing; not for everyone, but not too bad.

The final ascent involves some rock climbing; not for everyone, but not too bad.

Sandstone Peak is also known at Mount Allen, dedicated by the Boy Scouts of America to W. Herbert Allen, who donated nearby land at Circle X Ranch used for campouts.

 Plaque dedicated to W. Herbert Allen, along with logbook, is at the peak of the mountain

Plaque dedicated to W. Herbert Allen, along with logbook, is at the peak of the mountain

The hike itself is a challenge, about a 30 minute to 1 hour, 1 1/2 mile trek from the trailhead at a dirt parking lot off of Yerba Buena Road. For me, an even bigger challenge is the winding drive up Decker Canyon to Little Sycamore Canyon Road, about 14 miles from the heart of Thousand Oaks but about a 30 to 40 minute trip. If your kids get motion sickness, be careful!

LittleSycamoreCynRdSign.JPG

After the tight curves of the 23 (Decker Canyon) you turn right on Mulholland Drive West to Little Sycamore Canyon Road, which connects to Yerba Buena. Get ready for some tight twists and turns. Drive carefully!

The trailhead is just west of Circle X Ranch, 12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu. More information and photos at this link. There are some other amazing things to see up here, including "Balanced Rock," "Split Rock" and "Echo Cliffs' from the Mishe Mokwa Trail up there.

 Views from the peak towards the Channel Islands, floating in cloud cover.

Views from the peak towards the Channel Islands, floating in cloud cover.