Circle X Ranch

A large rock balances precariously on a cliff while mountain ridges recede into the background

Tucked in the canyons above Malibu and nestled below majestic Boney Mountain, you will find Circle X Ranch. This former Boy Scout camp offers many opportunities for exploration and leisure.

Hike one of the many trails that wind through this rare coastal Mediterranean ecosystem. Experience our chaparral plant community and look for red shank chamise, a tree-like shrub with reddish-brown bark, clusters of thread-like leaves and small bunches of white flowers that bloom in July and August. Keep an eye out for blue-bellied lizards and scrub jays during the daytime, and gray foxes and bats at twilight.

You can journey to Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, or hike down towards the Grotto, enjoying a creek-side picnic along the way. Reserve the group campground and listen to coyote songs while witnessing a night sky that is relatively free from light pollution. Marvel at one of the few locations near Los Angeles where you can see the Milky Way Galaxy.

Download Additional Information

Trail Map and Site Brochure

Fee required for camping.
Visit recreation.gov to reserve.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Climbing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Dog walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Directions
12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu, CA, 90265
GPS Coordinates: N 34.1100 W -118.9374
Circle X Ranger Station: Pacific Coast Hwy to Yerba Buena Rd. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Circle X Ranch contact station.
Sandstone Peak Trailhead: 1 mile north of Circle X Ranch contact station on Yerba Buena Rd. Parking lot is on left.
Mishe Mokwa Trailhead: 1.75 miles north of the Circle X contact station along Yerba Buena Road. Parking lot is on right.

Good to Know

Parking Yes
Restrooms Yes
Water Yes Bring enough water on very warm days.
Pets Yes Dogs are allowed but must remain on a leash at all times. Please pick­ up after your dog. No dogs are allowed past a certain point on the Grotto trail
Accessibility No Parking lots and trails are unpaved. Moderate to strenuous trails, and steep trails.
Cell Service No Depends on cell service provider. Unreliable cell service in the backcountry.

A small brown ranger station labeled Circle X on top with a few parking spots in front
Stop by our ranger station located at Circle X Ranch. It is a great place to ask about hiking and spending time in the backcountry.
Reserved Campgrounds sign in front of the foggy campsite with two tents
This NPS campground is located at Circle X Ranch near The Grotto Trailhead. Reserve the campground online.
Group of hikers on the right follow a dirt path through vegetation with the mountains in the background
Hikers make their way down to the Grotto. The hike has amazing views and ends in boulder scrambling.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

26876 Mulholland Highway
Calabasas, CA 91302

Phone:

(805) 370-2301

Contact Us