hiking

views

walking

wild flowers

birding

nature trips

no dogs

trail running

mountain biking

forest

wildlife

dogs on leash

lake

kid friendly

Malibu Creek State Park features dramatic geology, epic mountains, and deep gorges formed by earthquakes and erosion that have impacted the landscape for millions of years and are still underway today. Hollywood has used the park in multiple movies and TV shows, creating landscapes that are meant to look like Mexico, space, and communist countries despite being a mere 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The park offers chances for hiking along streamside trails on Malibu Creek, fishing, bird watching and horseback riding through the Santa Monica Mountains. The park is open from dawn until dusk. A visitor center is open on weekends only. The park is located four miles south of Highway 101 on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road.

hiking
14 days ago

Loved this hike! I loved the challenge, length and beauty of this hike. So much to see. It was foggy in the morning, sunny by the end.

We hiked counterclockwise and really didn't have too much difficulty finding the trail back to Malibu Creek SP. When you reach the bottom of Mesa Peak Motorway/Piuma trailhead (where the toilet is), go left down the well worn trail. There will be a couple of small trails to the right - take one of them. It will take you down to the road to the water treatment plant. Turn left, look for small sign that says trail. Across from it is a small sign that says Backbone Trail. Follow the many trails down to the creek and cross it. Hike up in the direction of Malibu Creek SP on one of the many trails. When you get to the next paved road, turn left through the road gate. Continue on that trail until you reach the Camp Gilmore junction. The trail is across the way. It sounds like a lot, but it's not really too bad.

Fantastic hike. The first mile or two you gain a lot of elevation, but after that it's not too bad. Very enjoyable and I'm already planning to hike this one again.

If you’re willing to go off trail a little bit, it’s the most fun spot in Malibu

Nice hike. Veryeasy and great views, there's the MASH area where the TV show was filmed..

Arrived at 8am. Easy trail with ok scenery but WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE for my liking. There were literally tours groups of 15+ on the trail. Impossible to have your own space and enjoy nature.

Great loop! Beautiful views and easy walkway (semi paved). Both the Rock Pool and Century Lake are well worth seeing!

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve done this hike twice, counterclockwise and clockwise . You can do this hike without walking on Las Virgenes road, but it’s difficult to find the trail if you do it counterclockwise. It’s also easier to find the trail if you download the satellite layer of the map. If you do it clockwise, it’s easier to find the trail, but you’ll have to cross Malibu Creek. There are some rocks that you can step on so that you don’t get your feet wet. I uploaded my route from 5/25/2018 going clockwise and not walking on Las Virgenes. This route is a steeper ascent, and the views aren’t as rewarding on the descent. The counterclockwise route provides better views on the descent and is less steep ascending. You’ll want to bring at least two liters of water and lots to snack on, including a lunch. I burned over 4000 calories on this hike. Since most of the trail is exposed with almost no shade, hiking is best done before June or on a cloudy day. One of my favorite hikes, if not my favorite, in the Santa Monica Mountains. The views and the breeze from the top are heaven.

Clocked this at 9.6 miles. There are beautiful wildflowers all along the trail and plenty of shaded areas to rest and cool down. The ocean views are stunning. I’d recommend bringing 3 liters of water.

The trail is overgrown in many areas and we heard two rattle snakes but didn’t see them so be careful!

hiking
1 month ago

beautiful trail!

on Grasslands Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail. It was good my boyfriend has injury so we are trying to take it easy.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike for good views and a decent work out. Went up to the picnic table about 2.5 miles in. Have to come back and take the Backbone Trail even further! Good incline not strenuous.

Great trail very quite and serene.

very nice trail, beautiful and peaceful. highly recommended place to spend time with family, hike or simply clear your mind from the crowd of the city without being far away from it.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Great hike.

You can stay on the main path, or veer off for little challenges. Great spot

Beautiful trail

Lots of elevation gain initially, rocky trail. Nice foliage, greener than other trails in the area like Los Liones and Temescal. Great views and picnic table about 2 miles up.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike. I was concerned the fire road would be a bummer, but it never took away from the incredible views and stunning variation in landscape. So much green! I live in the desert and do 99% of my hiking in the desert, so if this review seems a tad hyperbolic, that’s why. Minus one star for being forced to walk along Las Virgenes.

hiking
3 months ago

It a good starter hike. Mostly fire roads and little shade.

trail running
3 months ago

If you start inside Malibu Creek SP, it’ll be an easy 2.5 miles in til you reach the start of Bulldog. That’s when the fun begins.. over 4 miles of incline to the peak. Don’t do this run/hike when it’s hot because you will hardly get any shade. View is great, you get to explore the caves (if it’s open to the public).

Be very careful on the descent. If you stick to the wide trails, you will end up on a parking lot off Las Virgenes, which will be 2 miles away from where you started. You’ll be hiking on a very busy road where the sidewalk disappears sometimes.

Definitely not for beginners. If you want the view and the challenge of Bulldog, or if you just want the elevation gain, I suggest you go out and back. Don’t do the full loop unless you pack a lot of water. It’s going to be a long day for you.

on Malibu Lake Trail

3 months ago

Love the creek and openness of trail, where there early enough to enjoy the trail in peace and quietness. Also parked outside the parking lot and save $$$

Awesome trail! Great photography possibilities for Los Angeles and the Channel Islands.

This is a great park. $12 day parking but the hikes are worth it. Beautiful and the MASH site was awesome! Most of the terrain was pretty flat.

hiking
4 months ago

Inclines are not too difficult but trails are long! Beautiful views to your east and west as you ascend.

I believe this trail is 9 miles. I'm not sure how anybody lost the trail. Maybe they've cleaned it up a bit but it was very clear to me. There are even steps up the boulders.

There is nothing difficult about this trail. It is moderate at worst.

Parking is worth noting...as there doesn't appear to be any. I parked in what looked like a tiny lot a few hundred feet north of the trailhead. My car wasn't told or ticketed so, perhaps it's legal.

Having said all that, the payoff at the peak is fantastic. Lovely view of the ocean and San Gabriel Mountains. Nice steady incline throughout. I ran about half the time going up and ran all the way down and it took me 2:45.

Easy

hiking
5 months ago

Lovely hike on a cool morning. First 2 miles or so is steady ascent (nearly all of the elevation gain). Highlights: oak trees cluster during ascent, views from the crest (both north and south), rock formations & wind caves near the end.
Note: the map shows leaving from a locked gate, actually the Puima trailhead is the right spot, 100 yards or so south.

One day trailed running and hiked! Completed the Backbone Trail: Tapia to Kanan-Dume, in 4 1/2hrs, over 11.6 miles in/out, a total of 23.2 miles, at 2,936ft. Rated: Moderate/Hard. Nice overcast (February 2018). Good to build your endurance!

The trail is primary used for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running and it is accessible year-around. In addition, be mindful of mountain bikers and dogs need to be on a leash. It was an amazing workout! My legs were on fire: burning nonstop. Also, if you’re planning on parking on Malibu Creek Road, the cost for parking all day is $8.00.

On that note, if you're looking to get into shape, lose weight, or tone up. I recommend, incorporated some kind of physical activities. That was a lovely hiked and trailed running. "Mind over matter." ❤️

hiking
5 months ago

For my second hike it was easy enough for both me and my husky(on leash). We got to see the lake and made the full circle back to the entrance. That last hill to the main street gets you heart going right at the end. There was a good amount of people for the time we went (nice people) and some people on bikes. Be mindful of the horse droppings as they are all over the trials.

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