Posted by: GeekHiker | February 24, 2008

HIKE: Arroyo Sequit Park

(More vacation posts this week, but I just had to hike today…)

I slept last night to the sound of rain pouring down on the roof, which was continuing into the morning, so I knew today’s hike would be a wet one.

Pouring over my trail maps of the Santa Monica Mountains, I knew I was looking for a relatively short hike, and something that I hadn’t previously blogged. This limited me a bit until my eye wandered across the Arroyo Sequit Park trail.

I’d done the hike only once before, on a blisteringly hot day, but with rain showers moving through, I figured it might be perfect.

Driving through the Santa Monicas during a rainstorm is an experience all on its own. The whole place comes to life, with water everywhere. Driving down the road, waterfalls spring to life: little 10 and 20 foot bands of white leaping over cliffs that otherwise you’d never notice. And they’ll be gone in a day or two.

Arroyo Sequit 09

Distant seasonal waterfall seen from Mulholland Highway

Once you arrive at the park, start your hike by following the road past a gate. The road starts as asphalt and turns to gravel further in. Just past the house (a park employee residence), turn left and continue following the road towards an old barn.

Arroyo Sequit 01

Old barn (restored) and spring grasses

Just on the other side of the barn is a set of benches sitting in a circle. Even though the park is only an hour’s drive from LA, its dark enough here for Santa Monica College to hold stargazing sessions.

Arroyo Sequit 02

Santa Monica College Observation benches

Past the benches, head uphill and into the brush, starting onto a nature trail, which was originally signed as a Boy Scout project years ago (sadly, few of the signs are left).

Arroyo Sequit 03

Heading up the trail, damage from the storms evident

Arroyo Sequit 10

Meadow in Arroyo Sequit

To the north, on a clear day, views to the north of Sandstone Peak and Boney Mountain appear.

Arroyo Sequit 04

Boney Ridge peeking through the clouds

The trail will drop down into the canyon, swinging in and out of side canyons. On this rainy day, each one of the normally dry canyons had its own little river. With all the rain, the spring wildflowers are starting to appear as well.

Arroyo Sequit 05

Early spring wildflowers

Arroyo Sequit 06

Clouds clearing over Boney Mountain

Even better, a 20 foot waterfall comes into view about halfway along the trail. There’s no access to the falls from the trail, but the trial will cross the lively creek further down (at least after good rains):

Arroyo Sequit 07

Waterfall, for a day or two at least

Arroyo Sequit 11

Green switchback along the trail

The trail crosses the stream several times, their bridges having washed away in previous storms.

Arroyo Sequit 08

Washed out trail (trail used to go over the culvert)

Arroyo Sequit Boney Ridge Pano

Panoramic view of Boney Mountain from Arroyo Sequit Park

At the end of the nature trail, turn right and ascend the hill, crossing the short ridge and intersecting back with the road. Turn left and follow the road back to the parking lot.

Total Distance: 1.2 miles

Elevation Gain/Loss: 200’/200′


Directions: From the 101, exit at Westlake Blvd (State Route 23 South). Drive south until the road intersects with Mulholland Highway and turn right. Continue along Mulholland to mile post 5.6 and turn left into the parking lot. From Highway 1 (PCH), turn right onto Mulholland Highway and follow it to mile post 5.6; park entrance on the right. Parking is available for about 5 cars.



  1. Oh my can you imagine living in that restored barn? How frikkin amazing would that be to wake up THERE every day? Gorgeous! And those flowers!! Breathtaking. I can’t wait until they start to peek out from under our snow here. Its warming up!!!

  2. Sounds like a nice hike. The flower pic came out very nice. Can’t wait for the wild flowers to really pop soon. Last year’s crop were a little sparse but the rain this year should give us a good bloom.

  3. You shame me into wondering why I’ve not taken more time to hike this year. 😦

  4. I want to live in that restored barn. And I want to wear old dresses and drink fresh milk. And I want to own a bicycle with a basket and drop off fresh bread to the neighbours who live down the road.

    Perhaps you could do your best to get that little gem of a place ready for my arrival?

  5. As a recent transplant from Colorado to the LA area (Pasadena) I appreciate all of the great ideas for hikes that can be found in your blog. Thanks!

    • Hi,
      I recently moved here from Colorado too. I landed in the remote mountains of Malibu. Great place for so so many great hikes, waterfalls, views, Native and modern history! I actually now guide hikes for non profits in these hills. And OH!!, the plants! They are SO amazing, many edible and delicious, many medicinal, useful, etc.!
      Hope to see fellow Coloradoans on the trail. 🙂 Solstice canyon is great but Escondido Waterfall, if you can find it, is amazing. 250′ free fall of year round water!
      live well!

  6. backpackermomma – Indeed. Amazing this is only an hour from LA, isn’t it?

    Homer-Dog – Yeah, this should be a great year for the wildflowers. My cameras are ready…

    Aaron – Heh! No worries, there’s still time.

    brandy – I’ll see what I can do. Just make sure to let me know when you’ll be arriving so I can have everything ready.

    Hadley – Welcome to the site! Hope you enjoy hiking around LA. If you see a guy in his thirties wearing a Tilly Hat, be sure to say hello.

  7. I want to go and read on those benches… I am so sick of being indoors. Oh, and to fall asleep to the rain (even if it gave you a wet hike) is soooo lovely.

  8. a life uncommon – Sounds like a pleasant way to spend the day. And falling asleep to the rain is the coolest.

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