#9 of 90 state parks in California

Best nature trips trails in Malibu Creek State Park, California

2,901 Reviews
Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Malibu Creek State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of nature trips trails in Malibu Creek State Park, California
Park information
Acreage:
8,215 acres
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Contact
805-488-1827
Helpful links
Top trails (10)
#1 - Malibu Lake Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(967)
Length: 6.6 mi • Est. 2 h 56 m
NOTE: You are NOT able to access the main lake using this trail. Malibu Creek State Park is a sprawling 10,000 acre park that protects 25-mile long Malibu Creek, the largest watershed in the Santa Monica Mountains. The creek itself is somewhat unusual in that it has cut a path through hard volcanic rock instead of the softer sedimentary rocks north of the Goat Buttes, which makes for some spectacular scenery during any time of the year. More than 30 miles of trails and fire roads are available throughout the park for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. There are also a few areas to swim and fish, and many rock climbers also practice their craft here. The area used to be a country club, and some of the buildings and landscaping from that era remains to this day - including the Visitor Center and Century Lake - originally built as a recreational lake and now a unique freshwater marsh that provides a stop-over for migratory birds in the winter. The park has also been home to filmmakers over the years. Movies like "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Planet of the Apes," and the television show "M*A*S*H" were all shot here - and several setpieces from M*A*S*H are still here. This route follows the namesake of the park as it meanders through several areas of spectacular scenery. This is an outstanding example of Southern California terrain that's definitely not to be missed.Show more
#2 - Rock Pool and Century Lake Trails
Malibu Creek State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(430)
Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
Please note: As of 5/19/20, Century Lake & Rock Pool are currently CLOSED. Please consult the park's website for more information: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=614 Lovely walk down oak shaded lane, a stunning rock pool with vertical walls of volcanic rock, and a picturesque lake pretty enough for a calendar. An easy hike with lots of variety. At the Rock Pool, watch rock climbers attempt to scale the Planet of the Apes wall, were the movie of the same names was filmed. When you reach Century lake, make sure to take the path down to the lake, its a truly spectacular place to stop for a picnic. Those with more energy can continue on several miles past Century lake to the site of the old M.A.S.H television series.Show more
#3 - Castro Crest via Backbone Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(237)
Length: 10.3 mi • Est. 5 h 51 m
#4 - Saddle Peak
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(265)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 58 m
Entrance is Backbone trail sign at lower end. You then veer to the left for Saddle Peak at the sign a few minutes in.Show more
#5 - Mesa Peak Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(286)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 54 m
#6 - Bulldog Loop Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(167)
Length: 14.7 mi • Est. 7 h 55 m
#7 - Backbone Trail Loop
Malibu Creek State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(211)
Length: 7.7 mi • Est. 4 h 7 m
#8 - Castro Crest: Upper Solstice Canyon to Mesa Peak
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(74)
Length: 6.5 mi • Est. 3 h 27 m
Please note that portions of this trail were closed as private property. The trail and peak are now reported to have been reopened. This hike first descends into Upper Solstice Canyon where the pleasant, mostly shaded trail follows a seasonal creek bed. As the trail begins to rise out of the canyon, the views get progressively more spectacular. First, lovely folded green hills emerge, followed by large sandstone formations in the distance. As you gain elevation, ocean views become more prominent. On a clear day, you can see most of the Channel Islands, Catalina, and the Santa Monica coastline. Once over the crest, seemingly endless layers of mountains abound in an almost 360 degree panorama, including views down into Malibu Canyon and beyond.Show more
#9 - Century Lake via Cistern, Forest and Cage Creek Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(105)
Length: 3.0 mi • Est. 1 h 32 m
Please note: As of 5/19/20, Century Lake & Rock Pool are currently CLOSED. Please consult the park's website before visiting. Century Lake via Cistern, Forest and Cage Creek Trail is made up of green hills dotted with purple lupines and golden poppies along a gently flowing creek. The area is home to many butterfly species and offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains. Show more
#10 - Backbone Trail: Tapia to Kanan-Dume
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(98)
Length: 11.6 mi • Est. 6 h 39 m
Shuttle/point to point hike on Backbone Trail - section 3. From Tapia trailhead on Malibu Canyon Rd to Kanan trailhead on Kanan Dume Rd.Show more