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.

Steep, steady incline. Hiking shoes and gear aren’t really necessary. This would be a great running trail, if you’re fit. Saw 4 people during the 3 hours I was there...loved the peace and quiet! And yes, beautiful views!

1 month ago

Went to the peak via Nicholas Flat and then back on Willow Creek. We were the only ones in the trail. Views were worth it!

Great beach with camping near by

Beautiful views from everywhere. We found part of trails but most has been washed out so we walked on the sand.

trail running
4 months ago

My son and I ran up and down this trail on 9/23/17. We ran up the right side to the peak and then back down the loop. Nice view.

I've done this 3.3 mile hike over 100 times, and it always satisfies. Great views looking both towards the Ocean and the mountains/valleys looking North. Lots of choices here on routes, with the route suggested being a solid beginner-moderate route that most able-bodied hikers can complete. There are some hilly portions, but if you are even moderately fit you can complete them. Beautifully maintained trails near the "pond" (which is usually dry). Sparsely-hiked trail -- I've never run into more than 3 people on this trail, and 90% of the time none.

If you get really ambitious, you can turn this hike from low-moderate to moderate-challenging by adding a leg off the NW portion of the trail toward Mulholland for a fairly steep descent. Alternatively, go whole-hog and take the spur off the SE portion of the trail near the pond and go all the way to the Ocean (which is a moderate-to-hard hike).

5 months ago

If you're doing the full ocean-to-Nicholas Flats hike, it can be very challenging, as the 1-mile portion climbing from the beach to the ridge is an unimproved wash-out, closer to a goat trail than a park trail. This is not a trail for beginners. Highly recommend poles so you don't break an ankle in this portion. Start early, as the sun can be brutal.

The rest of the trail is rolling hills with some good elevation dips and gains (approx. 2100 ft increase in elevation). Great view and terrain throughout. If you're an experienced hiker, I highly recommend this route. If you're a beginner, I don't recommend this trail.

Lastly, don't expect any water in the "pond" at Nicholas Flats, unless we've had heavy rainfall. I've hiked this area over 100 times, and found water only in January 2017.

6 months ago

Dogs are NOT allowed on this trail...

10 months ago

April 1st, 2017....started a little late out of Leo, about 10 am, but great ocean breezes. took the left fork to Nicholas Flats with a fairly quick pace. Stopped several times to admire the wild flowers. Water on Nicholas Flats!!! First time in many years. Tad poles galore on the shorelines ....frogs should be croaking in good form soon!
Hike is becoming somewhat more difficult ...the last few heavy rains have made the upper part of the trail rutted and rocky from the natural runoff, thus more technical and slower going. Can't see that it will be worked on in the near feature, so be prepared for a more difficult push just before the ridge line trail. The lush green meadow and full pond/small lake do make it all worthwhile!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Very steep climb in the first 2 miles. Gorgeous views! Make sure you have lots of water!
We did the whole thing and took a snack break by the pond!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cool awesome workout but everything is unmarked. So ended up hiking an extra seven miles.

on Nicholas Flat Trail

Saturday, November 05, 2016

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.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

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!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Excellent trail

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pretty and just the right challenge for us

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Great trail, hiked up and ran down

Sunday, July 03, 2016

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!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Great trail, gradual incline that makes for a killer workout. From the magnificent aromas to the beautiful meadow at the end, this is a solid trail one of my new favorites.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Solid hike. The uphill was a great workout. Worth the drive!

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