“Canyon of Ruins”
Located in Malibu, this site has one of the only year-round waterfalls in the mountains. Full of history dating back to the early 20th century, visitors can take an easy hike for a couple of miles, or a strenuous hike over six miles. Proximity to the beach makes this an extremely popular destination on weekends. With limited parking, carpooling is strongly encouraged. The solitude, serenity, and abundant natural resources have attracted people to Solstice Canyon for centuries. The Chumash historically used the land for food, water and shelter. Ranchers grazed cattle in the area for many years. Around 1865, Matthew Keller built a stone cottage, which is still visible from Solstice Canyon Trail. The cottage is believed to be the oldest existing stone building in Malibu. the stone house survived many wildfires but was finally destroyed in the 2007 Corral Fire. The stone walls are still visible across the stream as you walk down Solstice Canyon Trail. Another home was built on the property in 1952. Renowned African-American architect Paul Williams designed the house for property owners Fred and Florence Roberts. The house was later featured in an issue of Architectural Digest for its stunning blend of natural features within the design, including waterfalls, creeks and trees. Today, you can see a small part of the past in the horseshoes and colorful pieces of glass glittering in the walkways at Tropical Terrace, near the building’s foundations.
Parking, as with every place in LA, is tight. Plan to get here early, or late, or maybe walk a little further. There are several trails, shorter and longer ones, that lead to the Roberts Ranch ruins, so you can spend a good bit of time here. The place is well-maintained by the NPS.
Be sure to bring a camera to get loads of pics of the abandoned mansion. You won't be disappointed. Also, be on the lookout for snakes.
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