Hiking the Sandstone Peak Trail to reach the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains.

It was late in the summer and my friends and I were looking for a short hike that would hopefully take advantage of the cooler weather usually found in the Santa Monica Mountains during this time of the year.

After consulting our two favorite SoCal hiking resources – LA Hikes and Modern Hiker, we decided on Sandstone Peak.

The Sandstone Peak trailhead is located off Yerba Buena Road about one mile east from the Circle X Ranch main house.

The trail is about 3 miles roundtrip from the parking lot and intersects with several other trails in the area.

It starts off with is a fairly steady climb but the full hike only gains about 1,100 feet of elevation.

Views of Yerba Buena Road and the surrounding landscape abound as you make your way along the trail.

There are several different routes you could take if you wanted to extend the length of this hike. For a 6.1 mile option, check out this post by Modern Hiker.

Are we there yet?

Nope, there’s still more climbing to conquer.

Almost there.

These wooden stairs are your ticket to the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains and there’s even a sign below them to remind you of that.

The route leads into a series of use trails…

…which all eventually make their way up to the summit.

The Boy Scouts of America petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to name the mountain for W. Herbert Allen who had donated land for nearby Camp Circle X and other Boy Scout camps. The board denied the request because of a long-standing policy not to approve a geographic name in commemoration of a living person. An unofficial renaming ceremony was held in 1969, when the Scouts dedicated a plaque that can now be seen at the top of the summit.

This awesome compass is located just behind the plaque.

Looks like the class of 2016 had a memorable time up here.

When the marine layer isn’t present, the summit provides panoramic views of Malibu, The Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, the Conejo Valley, and four of the Channel Islands.

The impressive sandstone formations that surround the summit…

…make this a very unique setting.


A registry can be found in the brass box below the plaque.

Leave your mark…

…and find inspiration and wisdom from other travelers who have made the journey.

These words would end up being somewhat prophetic.

Just swap buttholes out with a knee.

Darbz got a little too excited at the summit and got an owie, but don’t worry about him, he went on to run another three marathons before 2016 ended.