Malibu Lake Trail

MODERATE 258 reviews
#1 of 15 trails in

Malibu Lake Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Calabasas, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

6.2 miles
396 feet

kid friendly




horseback riding

mountain biking

road biking

rock climbing

trail running






wild flowers


no dogs

Some of the highlights along Malibu Creek, in central Malibu Creek State Park. 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.

1 month ago


1 month 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.

2 months ago

2 months ago

Beautiful and easy trails. But we were disappointed that we couldn’t get to Malibu Lake at the end.. you can’t even see the lake and you can’t access it. Bummer!
Along the whole trail there are many spots where you can smell the sewer. So much for a walk in nature with good smells..
the MASH site is pretty cool. Worth the effort.
We still enjoyed it after all and will do it again.

3 months ago

The kids and I love hiking here!

4 months ago

Parking is 12 dollars. Some people park on Mulholland Dr and walk in to avoid the fee.

This trail scales closer to easy. There's no dramatic inclines or excessive rough terrain. Family friendly!

Pretty straight forward with on and off shading. Century Lake was my favorite point of interest. The 50 ft dam can be accessed with some easy trespassing, but there's no safe way to get to the base of the dam.

The set of M*A*S*H is half way through the hike.

Unfortunately the ending is rather lackluster as you are dropped off on the tip of Malibu Lake which is gated off completely. No point to the end other than to reach it.

5 months ago

Cool hike. Starts off pretty easy, and then gets a little more fun. We took our 5 and 7 year olds, and they enjoyed it, too. I love MASH, so that was fun for me and the rest of the family.

6 months ago

I'm going camping there soon so I'll see if I like it.

7 months ago

Loved the hike and will go again for sure

9 months ago

Closed today.

11 months ago

Hiked this trail yesterday. Loved it. Will do it again.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Beautiful - I did it once before and it was totally manageable. But I was there last week post rain storms and a majority of it was impassable due to the water.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

If anyone went to this trail today (2/25) can you please post an update on the condition of the trails


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Malibu State Creek

So we attempted to Hike the M.A.S.H site at Malibu Creek State Park but with the storm we had it completely washed out the trail. So we were unable to access it. The Trail leading up to the bridge is a puddle. Just to cross the bridge you had to go over several fallen trees. To cross to the other side of the bridge you have to cross a steam knee high and along the rest of the way you will have to walk through water. We went as far as the caves that are on the left of the trail and couldn't go any further unless we were willing to walk through waist deep in water.

We did get to visit the Dam and explore other areas of the park. It's definitely one of those places you can go back to and hike several trails. We got there before it opened, so we just bought our parking pass through the parking machine which is $12. If you want to avoid the cost, you can park on Mulholland and walk in. I also bought the park map on the way out, which was $2. So next time I return we can explore new trails.

Friday, January 06, 2017

The whole park is gorgeous. This is a relatively mellow hike with lots of photogenic scenery.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A nice local hike and not too tough for the kids. Beautiful scenery and the creek seems to have more water that normal given the recents rains. A very nice family hike.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beautiful scenery

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Great park to explore. It costs $12 for a day pass and extra for a park map. I came on a Saturday late morning and hiked by myself. The park and trails were moderately populated - just enough to make you feel safe, but not crowded. The trails were pretty well marked. I explored all around - to the M.A.S.H. Set, century lake, rock pools and Reagan ranch. I was able to do this in less than 3 hours as I mixed hiking with some trail rubbing. The hike is pretty moderate, though there is some good terrain to do hill sprints. Also good hike to do as a group as the trails are pretty wide. Also saw a handful of mountain bikers.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Easy long hike with a very nice view all through out.. MASH site is there too.. mostly shades and there's a lot of dears and blue birds.. creek is a little dried up right now.. but all in all i was satisfied with the hike

Saturday, October 01, 2016

I haven't been here since the big drought, so it was a real disappointment to see so many shades of death along the trail. It appeared that all the trees were dry and bare, the riparian landscape was muted and bleak. It's not the place I remembered, but the hike was easy and light.

The MASH film site was in good order! I would warn you that the hike is a bit anticlimactic as it dead ends at a chain link fence without a view of the Malibu dam.

As far as wildlife goes, we saw a few turtles in the stagnant ponds along the creek, but few other signs of life.

If you're coming expecting the same old Malibu Creek, I would suggest waiting until Spring.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

There is a small creek resivoir which is accessible but the Malibu lake is actually a closed private community so you can't even get there and they fail to mention that. After 3 miles of hiking we found out that we can't even get there.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Great trail

Monday, August 01, 2016

I like this hiking trail , but the lake water was not clean!

Thursday, June 09, 2016

It's a nice place to go hike

Monday, May 02, 2016

It was ok, we were going to the Mash site and actually got a bit bored, but it was a long 6 miles hike, there is one hill that was a bit much but everything else is flat, the water is there but kind of stagnant. But it was a good Sunday afternoon

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Great trail! Not so far from Malibu beach. Good for pets.

Friday, December 04, 2015

This hike can be as long or short as well as easy or hard. A great hike from beginning to end, we hike to the mash site and pass on down to the dam and then when we hike back we hike century dam trail which is really awesome with shade from the trees and the lake which usually has ducks and sometimes turtles. One of my favorites :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Another fun trail like heading up Mush trail.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I have approached Crags Rd from both the Grasslands Trail and Cistern Trail. It's a very nice road for hiking. At this point I'd say the MASH site is the best feature along the trail but then I'm of an age that I watched the original broadcasts of MASH. I haven't been in the Visitor's Center for over a decade but at that time it was a worthwhile stop and may still be. The easier approach is the Grasslands Trail. The Cistern/Lookout Trail has really great views but hiking out is taxing. It isn't that it climbs that much, about 450 ft, it just does it over a very short distance. When you encounter steps on a trail you know there's a significant grade. If you can leave a car at the Grasslands Trailhead and take another car to the Cistern Trailhead, you could walk down the scenic Cistern/Lookout Trails and exit the easier Grasslands Trail. Its about a 4.5 mile hike if you enter by the Cistern Trail, go to the MASH site, backtrack to the Visitors Center, and then exit the Grasslands Trail.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I loved that this was a long hike. Going through the State Park Main Entrance requires a parking fee of $12. We opted to park on the street and walked an extra 15 minutes, but that is the whole point of hiking during weekends.
We saw the Mash Site. There were a lot of friendly trail bikers and trail runners. There are a few trails to explore. Almost every site is photo worthy. We saw some dogs both leashed and unleashed. A few hikers had toddlers on their backs. I can definitely go back here!

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