Grotto Trails Review

This past weekend I set out on a ride with a group of friends to Malibu. Our destination was the Grotto Trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s not an over populated hike, but it’s probably my favorite one now. The ride up there also offered plenty of adventure and variety for the views.

I set off for this trip from the Dodger stadium neighborhood area. I rode CA-2 N to CA-134 until it turned into US 101 N. Traffic was moving well considering I left at ten in the morning. I took exit 36 on Kanan Rd and made a left turn.

At this point in the ride, the street changed to single lanes. I took Mulholland to Encinal Canyon Rd, to Lechusa Rd, to CA23, to Mulholland Hwy, to Little Sycamore Canyon Rd, finally turning onto Yerba Buena Rd.

The best part of the back roads is that these roads all offered fun twisty roads, great sights, and variety. For instance, Mulholland tends to be very well paved and has some cool tunnel action. Yerba Buena Rd had old pavement and very tight corners. This road also had rubble on the road and had plenty of signage warning drivers about rock slides.

During the latter part of the drive my speed definitely decreased and I took the corners slowly because I couldn’t see around them at all. Plus, the lanes are very narrow and there’s no guardrail on this road. So, I highly advise all riders and car drivers to ride cautiously on this road. On a positive note, there are some great views. When the overcast cleared on the ride down, I had a cool view of the Pacific beyond the hills.

I saw a number of motorcyclists up here as well. It seemed like everyone had the same idea as it was a great weather day.

Riders should be advised that their phone’s GPS might go out once they reach Little Sycamore Canyon Rd. So print or memorize the final instructions when heading to this location.


Another bonus about the Grotto Trails location is there’s parking available at the Circle Ranch Ranger Station. There are also hiking maps, and an open bathroom as well.

The Grotto Trail isn’t too strenuous as it’s about three miles round trip. After the long ride it’s nice to chill out in the shade of the grotto. This time of year, you can even take a dip in the grotto. Be warned the water is extremely cold, first hand account here.

Stay safe in these streets!

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