Solstice Hill Loop via Roberts Road
This is a moderate loop trail in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
This area is really Solstice Canyon and has possibly the only year round waterfall in the Santa Monica mountains. It is a very popular park in part because of the waterfall. This hike is also called the Deer Valley Loop trail.
The only way to drive here is from the Pacific Coast Highway. There is free parking in the park, however this is a very popular site so the parking lot does fill up. There is a large one if you drive all the way in a small one at the entrance. Otherwise you can park outside the park up the road on the side.
The trail as defined here actually starts on the Rising Sun trail which has a moderate climb on a single track trail. That then takes you down the Robert's house ruins. This is where the waterfall is. They have changed this some, it used to be that you could climb around the waterfall. Now however they have put up a picket rail fence and marked the area with the waterfall and stream as "Area Closed." Therefore you view isn't nearly as good as in the past. Furthermore another site had been the "Mary statue". The access to this which is right next to the waterfall entrance is also marked as "Area Closed." The statue was in poor shape before with the head knocked off so maybe it's completely destroyed now, but since the area is now closed we don't know. The house ruins are still there and you can access them, however there is a sign about vandalism and that your being watched.
From there is the access to Robert's road and up to the Deer Valley Loop trail (some hiking books and NeoTreks refer to it by this name). This is another climb and there is a big rock that's scenic. You retrace your steps and back to Robert's road which is also called Solstice Canyon road for the return.
While the park is generally well used, the vast majority of people are going directly from the parking lot on Solstice Canyon/Robert's road to the waterfall and back.
There are bathrooms and possibly drinking fountains, dogs are allowed on a leash, see link below.
This hike is certainly popular with families and children. It's especially popular just going to the waterfall on the road which is mostly flat. The other parts are single track trails. There looks to be some poison ivy in parts of Robert's/Deer Valley on the way up to the loop.
Just going to the waterfall is probably an excellent choice for children, the rest maybe a little strenuous.
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