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Malibu Springs Trail to Nicholas Flat Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Malibu, California that features a lake. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, walking, and bird watching.

Length 6.7 mi Elevation gain 1,778 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Walking

Bird watching

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: As of February 2020, the Santa Monica Mountains trails crew is working on clearing the trails. Check smmtc.org for their work schedule.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (62)
Photos (224)
Recordings (44)
Completed (114)
Jackie Wiggins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 31, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

Challenging hike. We bypassed the “closed sign” on Mulholland (as we turned off of PCH) to get to the trailhead. It is right at the 3.22 mile marker and it isn’t obvious. (Parking for 1 vehicle). The good news is that there aren’t a lot of hikers on the Malibu Springs Trail. The bad news is that a lot of it is overgrown. I wish I would had heeded the warning to wear long pants as there are a fair amount of stinging nettles. Single track only. Once was got to the Nicholas Flats trail, it was much wider and well maintained. Well worth hiking to Nicholas Pond. Once you head away from the Pond the hike takes you up to the ridge with amazing views of the ocean. There aren’t many trail signs (we only saw 3, two of which were arrows) so having a map is critical. All in all a fun, but challenging hike.

Tanya Zhuk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 28, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grown

Haven’t done this since hike since the fires. It’s recovering beautifully. Sadly less shade than before as the big trees along the path have all been mostly burned. But gorgeous hike nonetheless. First mile - pretty steep. The reward at the end is priceless.

View Tanya's Recording
Jessie Helbacka-Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail! Great steady incline at the beginning- but nothing too challenging. Very isolated, saw 2 people on the trail and they were working on the trail (thank you!!). No shade- wasn’t a big deal in February but in hot months be sure to have sunscreen & lots o water. Beautiful views & terrain. Good for variety of skill levels. **if you are driving from PCH, Mulholland drive was closed off .75 miles from the trail head. I pulled off into a construction parking area and walked, but during the week that is probably a working construction site. I drove past 2 toad closed signed before the road was barricades off. Double check construction before going that way**

View Jessie's Recording
Don Brusselars
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2020
Hiking

Maintenance update - the Santa Monica Mountains trails Council crew was out on the trail on Saturday, and cleared the first 2/3 mile of trail. We will be out again next weekend to continue. Trail is relatively clear and about 3 foot wide in most places. Check out smmtc.org for our work schedule and flower pictures

Matthew Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 8, 2020
Hiking

The first part of the trail doesn’t appear to have seen maintenance in years. Even finding the trail head was a little difficult. There is space for only a few cars (maybe four) at the side of the road. You should definitely have a GPS with a trail overlay to hike these because for the trail up to the loop you’ll be hiking on only the faintest outline of a trail. Grass and brush are covering the trail to a significant extent. Some areas are completely overgrown with grass. We got very lost as about 1.2 miles. At the lower elevation there is a lot of shade and you’re walking through roots and the like. As you get closer to the loop there is less vegetation and the trail quality is better. Once in the loop the trail is good although we took a slightly different route than listed here. Taking the Ridgeline to the Meadow then to Pond, Nicolas and then Malibu Springs. The pond was beautiful and looked mostly full. The only issue with the pond is it’s mostly surrounded by tall grass so you can get good close up views in only one place. From a distance there are lots of great views. We saw a few people during our hike on the loop but we didn’t see anyone on Malibu Springs. I assumed we would be the last person to ever hike that. But when we got down to the car, there was another vehicle parked there. This hike is a gem which great views and beautiful surroundings in one of the most remote areas of the Santa Monica Mountains. Although the area was hit hard by the Woolsey fire it’s all overgrown now, although there are plenty of black sticks to remind one of the fire. I recommend covering up as much as possible and we found hiking poles to be helpful. I did not find the elevation to be as difficult as I thought it would be. But the trail quality did make for slow progress at least initially.

Serge Kulyk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 16, 2018
Hiking

Echoing what other folks have said: be ready for around 2 miles of elevation right at the start. Definitely wear some thing to protect your legs due to all the tall weeds and bush. In general dress for sudden temp drops in colder non summer seasons. The pond is a gentle reminder of what the years of drought have done to the ecosystem in SoCal.

Annouck Lavigne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2018

Tuff trail the elevation is a teal thing

Jennifer Rau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 9, 2018

amazing views of Sandstone peak and Boney, plus very abundant wildflowers but also very overgrown and itchy.

Giuseppe Corrao Jr.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 14, 2018
Hiking

the , teal fun, not to strenuous!!! thanks for the heads up,Jen.

Shauna McLaughlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 27, 2018
Hiking

This was an awesome and challenging hike! Be aware that the initial path is very overgrown with some kind of tall grass and I would recommend wearing hiking pants. I had shorts on because it was very hot out and I was fine but my legs got a bit chewed up by all the overgrowth, while my sister had spandex leggings on and she was much better off (and much sweatier). We cut off about half a mile by taking a shortcut a little past the pond instead of doing the full loop. It was a great workout and some very pretty views and the pond was a nice reprieve after all the uphill. As other reviewers have said, take the left at the fork!

Anathea Ruys
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 2, 2018

Great trail. Took around 4.5 hours with my 11 yo. Some challenging steep sections. Definitely take the left / lower path on the fork. Otherwise you’ll have a really steep climb! The pond is very lovely. Take a break from the set trail and explore the rocks at the back side off the pond. You can climb up to get the very best views of the hike and sit on the huge rock overlooking the pond to take a break. Like others we used the app throughout to make sure we were on the right trail and pretty sure we would have taken some very wrong turns otherwise.

Francine Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 24, 2017
Hiking

Went on 12/21/17 This trail is definitely an adventure with a little bit of everything... mountains on one side and Pacific Ocean (Leo Carrillo) on the other with a beautiful pond in the middle. Yes, the beginning of the trail has not been maintained but it's really not that bad if you wear actual hiking pants vs leggings. The few trees blocking the trail were easy to go under or climb over and added to the adventure. It took us about 4 hours including a stop to take in the pond (there's a nice bench) and have a snack as well as stopping for quite a bit of photos. We definitely needed to use the app map at some points to make sure we were going the correct direction. As for the fork in the "road"... Yes, go counter clockwise but that means to the LEFT (lower path) not the right as was mentioned in a previous review.

Ruben Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 12, 2017
Hiking

the trail is there just over grown with straw bush and like 5 fallen trees all which are a simple jump hurdle except for one that you kinda have to climb over....this goes on for the first 40 minutes of the hike but it's not that bad...where it is bad it's only for a few yards but it worth the hike and going to the pond to rest...no real great scenery...but I kind enjoyed it

KARTHICK IYER
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 9, 2017

There is no Trial. Full if bushes and fallen trees.

Lourdes Enriquez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2017
Hiking

Amazing hike! Go counter clock wise so to the right at the fork trust and believe the end of the loop is worth it. Save the best for last. I love nature so going through the overgrown vegetation was fine with me. The lake on top is very relaxing and perfect for a break and a snack. This hike is about 80% overgrown but it's nothing you cannot deal with. There is a small part where you walk through a flower that has spikes. I had tights on and I felt it through but it's just a tiny poke and that's all. There are a few bees working away some flowers on the trail but if your slow they just fly to another flower. I went over 8 fallen tree trunks nothing too bad. I absolutely recommend the explorers to do this one. Happy Trails!

Beth Ginzinger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2017

Great hike. Go counter clockwise.....I have done it both ways so trust me :)

Glenn Johnson-Grau
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2017
Hiking

Nice trail. We were there on a Saturday and saw two people the whole hike. Trailhead is marked but only parking for three or so cars. Trail itself is clear and easy enough to follow, but somewhat overgrown with grass. A few small tree trunks to climb over, thistle and prickles, as well as poison oak near the trail, so wear long pants. Nice views of the mountains and ocean views at the top.

Jack Torrance
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2017
Hiking

The Malibu Springs section was most of the challenge of this trail. It ascends steadily from a few hundred feet to ~1800ft in a 2-3 mile span. That part of the trail is narrow and overgrown in many areas, with a few fallen tree crossings. Once you get to the top of the hill and see the pond and meadow, the rest of the trail is easy and dare I say relaxing. There is a nice spot by the pond to stop and break for food or whatever. You'll know it when you see it, trust me. I thoroughly enjoyed this hike and I will return.

Camille Korven
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 29, 2017

Lot of overgrown bushes/plants in the way of the trail. Heard rattlesnakes all over which made the hike pretty sketchy and unenjoyable. A lot of the bushes that were in the way were the spiked ones that make your skin have an itchy/burning sensation for a while afterwards. My dog also had 3 ticks on her after the hike. Didn't even make it to the lake & had to turn around because the trail was that unenjoyable.

Jill Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 26, 2017
Hiking

This hike is amazing. Beautiful views of Santa Monica Mountains and ocean.

Joseph H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 27, 2017
Hiking

Nice hike and some good views.

william clabaugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 30, 2017
Hiking

good trail to hike. Nice and peaceful hike

Traci Shiver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2016

Our favorite trail so far, it only could have been better if there was water in the lake. We will be back. Only thing is All Trails says dog friendly, but the trail head is clearly marked no dogs. Not quite sure what is up with the incorrect information.

Oscar Astorga
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2016

Too much brush , path is hard to see and seemed A bit sketchy.

Maddog Madden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 21, 2016
Hiking

LOVED IT

Kevin Madden
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 21, 2016
Hiking

1st two miles is 90% of the elevation gain, Very narrow shady trail. awesome Hike

Henry Rosales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2015

Nice

Mandeep Singh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
View Mandeep's Recording
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