This trail is one of the best along the Pacific Ocean, with a beautiful drive up through the Santa Monica Mountains north of Malibu. I drove up there insanely early after dropping a friend at LAX, making it to the trailhead at 6:15AM. My car was the only one there and I was ecstatic to have a solo walk in the mountains before the heat hit its blasting temperature.
Short on time, I chose to take the direct route to Sandstone Peak, although there is an option for a longer loop trail that I would love to explore in the future. Rising far above the ocean fog, I made my way through the fairly exposed, windy trail, breathing in the fresh morning air that I knew couldn't be found down at sea level.
At the peak, I met Allen, a dapper fellow honored at the top as a benefactor for the Boy Scouts back in 1965. There was even a slot to leave notes or sign a registry. I ate breakfast, taking in the surrounding peaks, some just barely visible, peaking out of the fog clouds. As the sun got stronger, I made my way back down to an entirely full parking lot. Glad I missed the crowds, I drove back down the mountain, nearly colliding with a demonic bobcat. We both survived.