How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail, California

How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

A Tough Hike with Our Toddler, But the View Made it Worthwhile!


We took on a challenging uphill hike with our little one, but the view at the top was breathtaking and made all the effort worthwhile. On the way down, we had to carry our toddler to ensure we had sufficient time to grab some sushi before his naptime. The highlight of the hike was undoubtedly the mesmerizing view of the Santa Monica mountains.
Let's go!



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How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California


How to get there: Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail

Location: Cistern Trail Parking, Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91301
Entrance fee: Free
Parking: Free side road parking
Route: Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail

Distance: 1.3 miles (out and back)
Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour
Elevation: 390 feet
Highlights: Up close with the Santa Monica Mountains and overlooking Century Lake 

Take note: No Dogs Allowed


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Parking on the dirt side of the road

There isn't much space for parking so get here early and avoid the weekends. 


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

The trail starts here...

The Cistern Trail Signage is very close to the parking spot and you'll be greeted with these stairs right away.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
Try to wear good shoes to avoid any injuries.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Amazing mountain views right away

We just started hiking and just the first few minutes from the starting point we already have such an awesome view of the mountains. I was really happy! For most of the hikes we did with our toddler, the mountains looked far but on this trail, they looked so close to you.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Prioritize your Comfort and Safety by Investing in Reliable Hiking Boots.

Our little adventurer loves his Timberland Toddler hiking shoes, which have kept his ankles safe as he hops and plays during our hikes. Meanwhile, we've been relying on our trusty  Columbia Men's and Columbia Women's Hiking Boots since 2019, and they continue to be durable and dependable companions on our hikes.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Mulholland Highway 

Cistern Trail to Mulholland Highway 0.3 mi

We took the Mulholland Highway, the trail is a bit downhill make sure to watch your step.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Important Landmark

Take note of this junction as it leads to many other trails. The Crags Road connects to the Lookout Trail.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Crags Road

We took the Crags Road and from here we had another amazing view of the mountains.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Protect Your Eyes Outdoors with the Right Sunglasses

If you're an outdoor enthusiast, investing in a pair of polarized hiking sunglasses is a smart choice. These sunglasses have anti-UV lenses that block all UVA and UVB rays, keeping your eyes safe from harmful sun exposure. The polarized lenses minimize glare and provide a clear view of your surroundings. With a wrap-around design, these glasses offer extra coverage, and the rubber tips keep them in place during intense activities like hiking, running, and even cycling. Learn more: Most Affordable Sunglasses For UV Protection And Polarized Lenses

Check out: Polarized Hiking Sunglasses US  I CANADA
Also, don't forget your little one too: Kids' Sunglasses  US  I CANADA


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
My husband is taking it easy now, knowing that the challenging uphill part is yet to come.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
There's not much shade so make sure to bring a hat, water and apply sunscreen during the hike.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
I've never seen the Santa Monica mountains this up close and beautiful. It was such an invigorating feeling being with nature and especially enjoying it with my favorite people. 


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Downhill

The trail heading to the Lookout trail is mostly downhill and easy even for a toddler, but it also means going back later will be a lot of uphill climb so we made sure to save our energy for the climb later.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Please Do Not Throw Your Trash!

Someone brought their coffee drink on this hike and intentionally left their cup, even making sure to remove their name on the sticker label. We normally bring a trash bag with us, and yes I had to carry it with me all the way down the mountain, thank you very much. Whoever you are, please stay away from any hiking trails and just stay home.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Favorite Spot

From this point, there's already a good viewpoint of Century Lake. The Lookout trail is not that far from this point. I actually like this spot here better than the Lookout down there.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Snack Time

Before we went all day down to the Lookout Trail, we had some snacks. We found a very big tree for shade and a lovely dinosaur backbone-looking line of stones, as what our toddler referred to, and we used them as chairs.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
One of the reasons we enjoy hiking is that we get to savor delicious snacks while admiring breathtaking views.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Hiking Secret: Modern Mommy Duties on the Go

Being a mother never stops, even when I'm out hiking! Thanks to technology, however, fulfilling my duties has become much easier. With the help of our iRobot, I can still keep my house clean while exploring the outdoors. I can activate our vacuum robot to clean our house while we're out and about, so when we return from our adventures, everything is clean and ready for us to make a mess again. 

This has saved me so much time, especially since we do a lot of hiking and traveling. As a busy blogger, keeping the house clean is still on my priority list and the iRobot has been a total game-changer for me.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

The Junction

This junction leads to different kinds of trails:

The first big sign:
Cistern Trail Junction 0.4 mi
Lake Vista Drive Entrance 1.9 mi
Mulholland Highway 0.7 mi
Phantom Trail 0.8 mi

The smaller sign:
Visitor Center 0.7 mi ( leads to the Rock Pool)
MASH Site 1.1 mi

The MASH Site is known to many as the place where they filmed the movie "Planet of the Apes."

How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

The Lookout

This is it! The overgrown bushes hinder you from viewing the lake from here. I like the view better at my favorite spot. If you still have more time, there's a trail here that leads to the Century Lake Dam.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

On the way back...

We followed the same trail, up to Cragg Road and to Mulholland Highway.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
Make sure to go up the trail once you see the Lookout Trail sign.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California

Uphill Climb

I took my husband's bag and this time he carried our little one all the way up to Cistern Trail, also taking in some breaks in between and admiring the view. We wanted to get sushi before his naptime so we were in a hurry to get back to the parking area.


How to get to Cistern Trail to Lookout Trail California
Make sure to take the right exit, replenish your fluids and pick up some trash if you find some.


Have fun and be safe ^__^




Do you want more hiking adventures?

Where am I going next?
For my next adventure: A Weekend Drive to Manhattan Beach, One of California's Top Beach Destinations.

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