hiking

views

walking

wild flowers

no dogs

nature trips

birding

trail running

mountain biking

forest

wildlife

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.

Loved this little gem. Extraordinary views of the fire’s destruction from
2018. Also. MASH!

hiking
18 days ago

Clear trail to follow. Pretty flat mellow hike. Some shade. Arrive early if you like less traffic on trail. Several mountain bikes and trail runners. First time here so I’m not sure how it was before the fires. This was still a very scenic hike and will only get better as the area recovers.
MASH set survived.

hiking
18 days ago

This area was so much fun to hike! Although the recent fires have torched a lot of the greenery, there were lots of great spots for rock climbing and going off of the main trails, a nice river and cool rock formations. I’m a new hiker with an athletic background and this Trail was generally easy :) Lots it open space, I imagine it gets pretty hot during the summer. I got here around 8 am and left around 12 pm.

easy, quick hike

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, got to do it with a friend on a cloudy day. Both eleavtion and distance turned out to be more than the plan said. We both brought 3 literally of water, but could have used more. The view of the water was gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

What a great hike that has all kinds of layers and adventures to it. I did the lower east loop that goes through a bunch of epic rock formations (great for rocking climbers), the former set of hit TV show M.A.S.H, and ends with the rock pool where people gather to swim and jump off mini cliffs in the wilderness. I could only imagine how this park looks when there is actually water in the Malibu creek, it was all dried up pretty much when I went except for the rock pool area.

Most of the trail is wide and flat for the most part making it very doable yet still a great workout since it's about 6-7 miles long (roundtrip).

- @justroc @just.trek

Moderate intensity but views are totally worthy! We started at 10:00 am and was a little hot. I recommend to start earlier, because the round trip takes about 4 hours if you stop to take pictures and the sun is really strong while going back. Otherwise, amazing!!!

great hike! very, very low traffic. no views of the ocean, save for at the top of the mountain (but cool view of mountains!)

strongly suggest doing this hike the opposite way of how it's mapped here, i.e. ascend on the east side of the route and descend on the west - the eastern side is a lot more technical, footing-wise, than the west side and this was annoying during our descent - I personally would prefer the unsure footing to be on my ascent and the smoother path on the descent

just loved it! was perfect for walk and jog and sights were wonderful to see!

Good trail, easy to follow. Moderate intensity on the way up. It was more like 10 miles round trip and took me 3hrs and 30mins. Nice views from the top of the ocean and the valley.

Solid. Didn’t see anyone for 3 hours, other than some rock climbers. Not really one to do solo in hindsight.
I went side to side rather than there and back - no WiFi the other end, a few lodges and stuff you can log on.

Really beautiful especially towards the end! Went on a Thursday morning and saw maybe 1 or 2 other people. Also went in October so there was a nice breeze, the perfect temperature. I probably wouldn’t go on a hot day.

Mesa Peak is now part of the Backbone Trail and is no longer blocked off by any gates. Did this from the bottom to the top with zero gates, zero signs. Great trail, can be a bit brutal in full sun with only one small grove of trees.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful easy hike. Loved the MASH set.

love this place

Nice hike.. not much elevation gain .. we found the MASH set and took tons of pictures!

hiking
4 months ago

This hike's difficulty is largely weather dependent. I tried this hike today thinking there would be fog all day. Instead, the sun was blazing hot with very few spots of shade. Climbing continuosly uphill in dry desert-like 90 degree weather is very very challenging. My friend started showing signs of heat stress ( less than half way through). Another hiker on the road also experienced sypmtoms. Experienced Mountain bikers who passed by seemed unaffected. I loved the challenge and the scenery was breathtaking. However, I would highly recommend tackling this hike during cooler months/ very early in the morning. I will definitely return again to try in winter.

About the trail: signs are marked very clearly throughout. The uphill is not the steepest (streets in SF are a lot steeper) but, it is a constant uphill (after reaching the MASH site) in grueling heat.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike for a Saturday! There is potential to make this hike up to 10+ miles. It was neat to see the old MASH filming site. Nice change of scenery throughout the hike. The earlier you go, the less people. The trail starts getting busy around 8:30. Highly recommended!

Get there early to enjoy a nice, cool, easy hike and a beautiful lake at the end of the trail .

hiking
4 months ago

Three stars? There is so much beauty in the Santa Monica mountains but I didn’t like hiking the majority of this hike on fire roads. I liked the elevation gain challenge and there were amazing ocean breezes at the top. Using AllTrails map as a guide made navigating this hike easy. We parked in the lot for $12. The counter clockwise loop recorded at 15.2 miles.

Great trail. All the hard work is done in the first couple miles. As other reviews have said, the driving directions are a bit off. Park at the Tapia Trailhead parking lot.

on Malibu Lake Trail

4 months ago

Great moderate hike for the whole family. Always nice to see the original M*A*S*H Site.

WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE. Loud, trash littered by the trail, and people playing music from their phones while walking on the trails. If you’re seeking solitude and a dip in the lake to cool off this is not the spot for you. Probably best to go on a very early morning. The location is beautiful, but the cons far outweigh the positive aspects in my opinion. Could probably be a better hike if you go further into nature away from the lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Like everyone else said, this hike has some pretty scenary but the end is a huge disappointment. I guess I should have read the reviews more carefully but you really just end up at a gate at the precipice of Malibu lake... So close, yet so far. Wish it would have ended up at the lake so I could check it out.

I would rate this as really easy. Mostly flat with one part that has a 10 minute incline you have to hike.

One way took me about an hour.

great trail, shaded and really pretty at the beginning too, wasn't very steep either, took 4 hours, was 97 degrees outside which I don't recommend doing it when it's this hot, closer to 9.5 miles. probably one of my favorite hikes that I've done so far!

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike - highly recommend, if you can make the whole thing.

Decent hike with what would be amazing views at the peak (was cloudy when I got to the top), but I arrived at 7:30 am, the marine layer may be better burned off if you start an hour later (8:30 am).

Someone mentioned it before, but definitely park in the turnout about 100 ft past the trail head (I was the first car there but by the time I got back there were about 3 behind me so I assume it’s safe to park there).

Trail runs about 9.7 miles (the distance mentioned in the main description is incorrect). The first 5 miles is more or less all uphill with the retuning..... you guessed it, all downhill.

Overall the hike took me about 4.5 hours (3.5L of water in 87F weather), while seeing a minimal amount of people (which is great!)

Feet hurt towards the end as it’s a narrow/rocky trail, but worth it especially you are down for a good work out (2,400 calories burned)

hiking
6 months 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.

Load More