"Sunset over foggy mountains, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
National Park Service Sites
Circle X Ranch
Brochure for the Circle X Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Circle X Ranch Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Mountains to Sky 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 the 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 Group Campground Reservations required www.recreation.gov 1-877-444-6777 FEE: Special Permit for this Facility 10-30 people 31-50 people 51-75 people $35 per night $75 per night $125 per night QUIET HOURS: 10pm to 6am CHECK OUT TIME: Noon Information and Safety TRAIL ETIQUETTE Hikers should yield to equestrians. Equestrians should communicate with passing hikers and bicyclists. Horses should not graze or leave the trail. Remove manure from parking areas. Bicyclists should ride courteously and yield to hikers and equestrians; speed limit is 15 mph unless conditions require a safer speed. Bicyclists and equestrians are allowed on designated trails only (avoid social trails and fire lines). NATURAL AND CULTURAL FEATURES including rocks, plants, and animals are protected by law and may not be collected or disturbed. Do not climb on structures. Weapons, nets, and traps are not allowed in parklands. HORSE TRAILERS are not recommended due to winding roads and limited parking areas. Circle X Ranger Station 12896 Yerba Buena Rd Malibu, CA, 90265 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. MAXIMUM STAY: 14 consecutive days and no more than 30 days per calendar year. Limit of no more than 75 persons. Backcountry camping is not available. Charcoal fires are permitted in fire grates or personal barbecue grills. Gas stoves are permitted. Campfires with wood or compressed log fires are prohibited due to fire hazards. FIRE is a year-round concern. During times of high fire danger, smoking and all fires are not permitted. TRAIL CLOSURES will be in effect during and following extreme weather or hazardous conditions. PETS must be under control and on a leash, not to exceed 6 feet, at all times. Pick up after your pet. WATER that comes from streams is not safe to drink due to possible contamination or the presence of the giardia protozoan. CAMPING is restricted to the Group Campground only. Permits are required. FOR MORE INFORMATION Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center 26876 Mulholland Hwy Calabasas CA 91302 805-370-2301 www.nps.gov/samo EMERGENCIES Call 911. For a ranger, call Angeles Dispatch at 661-723-3620. North 0.5 Kilometer 0 1/4 Mile 0 1/2 Mile BONEY MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS Split Rock POINT MUGU STATE PARK M i sh e M o k w a (Dogs not allowed on backcountry trails) Tr ai E l CH Balanced Rock O CL Skull Rock IFFS he M is P ri v ate P ro p erty IN TA M Y NE O U N Tr ed ail Sandstone Peak 3111' Ba il ra ckb o n n rla in T ( u n m ain t ai e ) BO il ra aT kw Mo Tri Peaks 3010' be Water Tanks m Cha Boney Peak 2825' Inspiration Point a okw eM r Mish necto Con Exchange Peak 2950' P riv at e P r o per t y ROA D Trail View P r iva te P r o p e r ty Ca 1700' Group Campground B U ott o Gr To PCH R RBA O A A D EN YE Mishe Mokwa Trailhead B UENA BA nyo n R Y E Sandstone Peak Trailhead 2030' Ranch House Trail Paved road Ranger Station Dirt road Parking Trail Campground National Park Service Land Other Public Parkland Creek Picnic area Backbone Trail System Gate Restrooms Telephone Group Campground Gr o t (No dogs beyond this point) to a Tr il Detail Map Happy Hollow Trail Information Directions to Ranger Station (intermittently staffed): Pacific Coast Hwy to Yerba Buena Rd. Turn inland; go 5.4 miles to Ranger Station. Sandstone Peak Trailhead 1 mile north of Ranger Station. Mishe Mokwa Trailhead 1.75 miles north of Ranger Station. l Easy n Moderate t Strenuous Backbone Trail t 7.9 miles—The Backbone Trail continues west from Circle X Ranch to Sycamore Canyon and other trails in Point Mugu State Park. Obtain maps before entering the Boney Mountain Wilderness Area. From the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, the Backbone Trail continues east 4.0 miles to Yerba Buena Road near mile marker 9.1. The total length of the Backbone Trail is 65 miles. Bikes and dogs are not allowed in the Boney Mountain Wilderness. Canyon View Trail l 1.9 miles; no bikes—This trail can be accessed from three points: the Group Campground via the Grotto Trail, the trailhead 0.3 miles east of the Ranger Station on Yerba Buena Road, or the Sandstone Peak Trailhead. Enjoy views in every direction. Grotto Trail n 3.5 miles round trip; no bikes, no horses—From the Ranger Station, walk down to the group campground where the Grotto Trail begins. This trail traverses hillsides eventually leading down to the west fork of the Arroyo Sequit, with an uphill return. The Grotto area is EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™ The Grotto P r iva t e Property rugged terrain; be careful and wear appropriate hiking attire. The last 1/8 mile is through an unimproved streambed and dogs are not allowed. Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock n 3.5 miles round trip; no bikes, no horses—This trail begins at the north side of the Mishe Mokwa Trailhead. Traversing riparian, coastal sage scrub and chaparral, the trail offers wonderful views of Carlisle Canyon and Balanced Rock. Split Rock’s oak grove offers a shaded spot for picnicking. Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak t 6.0 miles round trip; no bikes, no horses—From the Sandstone Peak Trailhead, go to the Mishe Mokwa Trail Connector. Take the Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock and continue to the Backbone Trail heading south. This trail ascends to Sandstone Peak, then descends to the trailhead. Sandstone Peak Trail t 3.0 miles round trip— Starts at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead at an elevation of 2,030 feet. The trail climbs another 1,081 feet with views of the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys, as well as the Pacific Coast. printed on 100% recycled paper