#9 of 90 state parks in California

Best wildlife trails in Malibu Creek State Park, California

2,434 Reviews
Explore the most popular wildlife 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 wildlife 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 (8)
#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 - Saddle Peak via the Backbone Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(276)
Length: 9.2 mi • Est. 5 h 15 m
Saddle peak is the second highest in the Santa Monica Mountains after Sandstone Peak. After a moderately difficult climb, you will reach the peak where you can enjoy great views of the LA basin and its surroundings. Show more
#4 - Castro Crest via Backbone Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(236)
Length: 10.3 mi • Est. 5 h 51 m
#5 - 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
#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 - Castro Crest and Bulldog Road
Malibu Creek State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(36)
Length: 7.3 mi • Est. 4 h 14 m
NOTE: Users have reported that one route leading to this trailhead, Latigo Canyon Road, is private and hard to navigate in a 2WD vehicle. To access this trailhead, please use Corral Canyon Road. Rock scrambling and a great workout hike in the southwestern part of Malibu Creek State Park / Castro Crest. Malibu Creek State Park sits in 10,000 acres of rugged terrain near the Malibu coast, protecting flowing creeks, man-made lakes, historic structures, and prominent cliffs. This route explores the southern and western areas of the park, far away from the creek that gives it its name. The landscape here is similar to other areas of the Santa Monica Mountains like Sandstone Peak, but has a unique geography all its own. Indeed, at some parts of this trail, you might feel more like you're in the canyons of Utah than Southern California ... at least until you look south to see the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands before you. Here, you'll have the opportunity to do some easy to moderate rock scrambling in a gorgeous setting, then top off the trip with a leg-busting descent into and ascent out of the central canyon area of the park. Whether you're hiking, scrambling, horseback riding or mountain biking, this section of the park offers something wonderful for you.Show more
#8 - Luna-Sirius Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(4)
Length: 0.6 mi • Est. 17 m