DescriptionThis is the shortest and most direct approach to Sandstone Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. This trail is a segment of the Backbone Trail.
The trailhead is just about one mile east of the Circle X Ranch main house off Yerba Buena Road (2,030'). The trail starts immediately on the northern end of the parking lot. The trail ascends steadily and after about 0.5 miles you reach the Connector Trail heading right (east) to meet with the Mishe Mokwa Trail. Keep left and continue on the Backbone Trail. The south cliffs of Exchange Peak, Boney Peak, and Sandstone Peak can be seen early.
|Exchange and Boney Peaks||Sandstone Peak||Exchange, Boney, and Sandstone Peak|
After a few more switchbacks you will be greeted with great views down Carlisle Canyon to the northeast with the Carlisle Creek making its way towards Lake Sherwood. Across the canyon you see Echo Cliffs with Balanced Rock above. In the distance you can see Los Padres National Forest.
Eventually the trail levels off and leads west on the north side of Sandstone Peak. To reach the summit, look out for a trail to the left. At the junction there is a sign and a series of steps cut into the rock start the climb. You can also use one of several “unofficial” use-trails up to Sandstone Peak. All of which require some fun, class 2 scrambling to the top. At the top you are greeted with plaque stating that the peak is Mt. Allen. The views from the top are magnificent on a clear day. Be careful of the cliff on the southside of Sandstone Peak.
Overall, it is a short, 3 mile roundtrip with about 1,200 feet of elevation gain.
|Google Earth Rendition - View Northwest||Google Earth Rendition - View Southeast|
No essential gear is necessary. Some scrambling to reach the summit. Bring sun protection in the summer.