Leo Carrillo State Park, located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica on the PCH, has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, kiting, surf fishing and beachcombing. The beach also has tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds. The park also features back-country hiking. Nature walks and campfire programs are offered and a small Visitor Center has interpretive displays. During the summer, children's programs are available. The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist. Leo Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and was instrumental in the state's acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon. He was related by blood and marriage to a long line of distinguished original Californians. Leo's greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid, an early 1950s TV series.
Kathy K. on Nicholas Flat Trail
Great hike. I would rate it as Moderate and not Hard as AllTrails has it rated. The only challenge is the constant upward incline, but it isn't particularly steep and the trail is not technical. Beautiful views and you can go up as far as you want and head back at any time. It is very beautiful in the Spring with lots of wild flowers along the side of the trail. Great workout hike! Amazing views all the way up and also at the top! Park on the street for free or park at Leo Carrillo Beach parking and pay the daily fee.
We loved this hike! Doesn't get much better then beach to mountains... gained a total of over 2100 feet out and back. Steady incline up. 7.2 miles in 2h40min. The views were spectacular. Mostly cloudy day was perfect for us and the dog. Cool changes in scenery also, wasn't expecting the meadow and although the pond was dry... still an awesome hike!
Margie T. on Nicholas Flat Trail
Great to go out early, started trail at 8:30 it was perfect time. incline for approximately an hour be ready total hike is over 6miles. in direct sun but if you leave early Ocean breeze and views are a blessing!
Great quick sunset family hike! I did this with my family last Sat (11/21/15) we did not complete the entire trail only got to the top of the first mountain, but I was absolutely GORGEOUS! The views were amazing specially with the sun coming down and disappearing in the ocean. The trail is in good condition, well kept and safe for kids. I though we were going to do the Leo Carrillo Trail, but we end up in the Nicholas Flat Trail, lol how ever we had a great time & we're looking forward to go back and even camp there sometime :)
We started late, around 11am 1-19-14, We went left at trail head and met up Nicholas trail about 1 mile in. Cliff Unger gave great directions from there. Temps in the mid 80s and no shade until about half way, but then some shade. Meadows were straw and lake was drained, never the less, both the kids I took had a great time hiking and being in a dry lake bed. Kids were 9 and 12 and experienced hikers, may be too much for kids that don't hike much.
There is a mobile trailer park for Leo Cabrillo Beach, a small visitors center, as well as the trailhead for numerous paths above PCH highway. I avoided the parking fee by leaving my car on PCH headed east. The fog had lifted by 8 AM on this section of Malibu but remained over the eastern section near Kanan Road. The rock out-cropping's into the ocean provide scenic viewpoints for photographing birds, fisherman, and occasional surfers. The ascent and descent from the oceanside hill is not very dramatic but it's good exercise for moderate hikers and safe for children.