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Circle X Trailhead | Quick Info

Distance: 3 miles
Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Medium to Low
Crowd: Low
Parking: Free parking at the circle x building
Tip: Hop around and explore on boulders after you find the Grotto

The AllThingsMalibu Opinion

The Circle X Grotto Trail is a unique, secluded hike in Malibu. It is located 5.5 miles up Yuerba Buena Canyon (next to Neptune’s Net) on the north side of Malibu. The canyon road is very narrow with sharp turns so watch your speed around the corners. The trailhead is also a camp-sight with restrooms, free parking, tables, seating and even a little store. This is a dog-friendly but bike-free hike. To find the trail, follow the signs at the parking lot and pass the campground.

This hike takes you down between the mountains for 3.5 miles, ending at the grotto. The grotto is filled with shallow water, presumably much deeper in the years before the drought. It is fun for all ages to explore the grotto. It gives off a little spooky vibe, but don’t worry, there is nothing to actually be afraid of.

There is a secondary trail called the “Canyon View Trail” that breaks off for 0.6 miles up to a mountain plateau with beautiful mountain views. It does not loop back around so you will have to turn around to get back to the main grotto trail. The hike should take between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how much time you take to explore.