Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
~Richard M. Nixon
Today’s Friday Photo features a beautiful view from the summit of Sandstone Peak. Sandstone Peak stakes it’s claim as the highest point in Southern California’s Santa Monica Mountains, with an elevation of 3,111 feet. It is also one of the crown jewels of Malibu Canyon. I took this shot on April 30, 2017, around noon.
The scenic route to Sandstone Peak is via the Mishe Mokwa Trail. It’s a moderate 6-mile out and back hike with about 1,656 feet of elevation gain. Before reaching Sandstone Peak, the Mishe Mokwa Trail also offers you several side trips to places like Balanced Rock, Echo Cliffs, Tri-Peaks, and Inspiration Point. The hike to Sandstone Peak makes a lot of appearances on the Top 10 lists of ‘must hike’ hikes in Southern California, and once you’re out there you’ll see why. Also note that this trail has very little shade, so caution should be taken on warmer days.
If you’d rather not hike back down the Mishe Mokwa Trail on your return trip, you can opt for the 1.5 mile route down a steep portion of the Backbone Trail to reach the parking lot. This makes for a nice loop hike that affords some impressive views on the way down. This will also shave about a mile off of your hike if you go back down this way. For more details about hiking Sandstone Peak, check out Modern Hiker’s writeup, here.